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8 Ways to Save Money on Wedding Catering

Are you overwhelmed and horrified by the prices you’ve been quoted to provide food and drinks for your wedding guests?

It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some options to keep food and drink costs within your wedding budget.

Choose a wedding venue that lets you choose the caterer: Many wedding reception sites only allow you to choose from their preferred caterers, who may all be pricey (and who know they have limited competition). Before committing to a location, make sure you find out what they allow for catering and that their options fit your budget.

Hire a full-service caterer who will help you with more than just the food: Some caterers really go above and beyond, acting as wedding planners that will help you find the best prices on florists, a DJ, and rentals. They may also act as wedding coordinators to help make sure everything runs smoothly the day of. You shouldn’t expect a catering company to do this, but if you can find one that does, their expertise and extra work can save you time and money and help you put on a better event than you might have been able to otherwise.

Work with a company that includes or discounts rental items: When people serve catered meals, they will either need to rent plates, silverware, glasses, tablecloths, and so on or purchase disposable ones. Deep discount caterers will actually include most or all of these things in their prices, and many other caterers will offer you a deal as part of a catering package or be able to get you a deal if you work with their preferred rental company. For the price of nice disposableware, you may be able to borrow the real stuff, which will make your event seem a lot nicer.

Avoid popular days and times: Give a caterer a chance to work when they might not normally get any business and they might be more willing to give you a discount off their regular rates. At least choose a time when you won’t be competing with the Saturday-evening wedding crowd.

Avoid holidays when caterers are in high demand, like the winter holiday season: Caterers will be able to pick and choose their jobs then, and they will be less inclined to work with an individual on a budget when they could be working a corporate holiday party. Choose a wedding date when caterers aren’t likely to have other jobs.

Consider a less-experienced caterer: Companies looking to make a name for themselves have to do something to convince you to take a chance on them—and that something is often a lower price. The going rate for catering in your area might be $30 to $50 a head, but a newbie might only be charging $16 to $20 a head. Minimize your risk by interviewing the company thoroughly, asking for references, researching them online, and doing a tasting before putting down a deposit.

Get a detailed proposal that lists and breaks down all costs and all of the caterer’s responsibilities: Make sure the proposal is complete and that it specifies the amounts of any required taxes and service fees. Make sure that the prices are fixed and can’t be raised on you after you’ve agreed and paid your deposit. Also, be aware that some caterers will expect you to tip the servers “at your discretion” in addition to paying a 15% service fee.

Hire a company that lets you keep the leftovers: Some caterers will not give clients the leftovers under any circumstances because of concerns about food spoilage. But others will give you any leftovers if your wedding venue has a fridge where the leftover food can be stored at the proper temperature until you can take it home. There’s no guarantee that there will actually be leftovers, of course, but if there are, you can put them in your freezer, go on your honeymoon, and eat for free when you get home.

Remember — you’re the customer, and you’re probably going to be spending thousands of dollars. You want to choose a catering company who is excited to earn your business and willing to do things the way you want. You may have to look harder, but you can find a caterer you can afford.

The World’s Smallest Finger Food

In the movie “Fantastic Voyage,” Raquel Welch and her crew board a submarine which is miniaturized and injected into a Russian scientist who was shot by his comrades while trying to defect. In the story, both the US and the USSR possess technology that can miniaturize anything – rockets, nuclear bombs – but the American version lasts only for an hour. The defector has figured out how to extend it indefinitely, but is suffering from an inoperable blood clot, and the clock is ticking as Welch and company try to destroy it before they return to full size while still inside of him. What delicious irony.

You’d think Peter Callahan would love this movie, but he hasn’t even seen it. He’s the Philadelphia and New York-based caterer who single-handedly sparked a national trend by miniaturizing comfort food, which people happily inject into their own mouths.

“I didn’t consciously think, ‘I’m going to shrink everything in sight.’ It just happened,” says Callahan of the mini ground sirloin burger hors d’oeuvre with hand-made seeded buns that started it all. He then filled mini-cones with mini frites and turned mac and cheese into bite-size jewels. He went on to shrink the entire canon of breakfast food, even designing mini-bread pans to bake bread for tiny French toast.

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Catering Services Sydney – How to Choose Best Caterers For Your Special Event

6 Январь 2010 Mariya 1 комментарий

Food catering service is considerable thing for all event planners to put in his mind in each occasion. Food is the spirit and essence of every good occasion and party. The event will like to be failure in absence of tasty food. So, to make your party memorable, you need to get the best dishes from your food caterer for your event. But to get a good caterer for your special event is not easy. You need to do your homework by going onto the Internet and research for some of the best caterers out there in your city. Check the testimonials and track record of catering company to whom you are hiring for your party. Always get an analysis sample before you make your last choice.

There are various options to save money on food catering. First of all check the cost of food per guest plate and then calculate your estimate party members who are invited and then calculate the total amount for your party food. The price of per plate integrates when the food that you provide is fancier. So that, you should always select something that is satisfying to everyone and make it fall within your catering budget.

The catering organization should also have an organized fax data sheet about their association that they can fax to the individual after they get off the phone with them. Providing catering services by phone to company is not complex, but rather the first step in the sales process. While choosing a catering service you have to believe all this and be confident that you are up for the performance that will be needed in the prospect.

Once you have chosen a catering company, be sure that you concise the caterer on each factor of your event. This will avoid any last minute confusion that will make the event to go haywire. Before the actual event, you have to verify the number of guests who will be coming for your event. Take note that not all guest who have scheduled for your party will turn up on the genuine day. It is wise to take 75% of the total attendance as the figure of authenticated guests so that you will not over order the food needed.

As long as with the good preparation, you certainly can save money of your catering service by at least 20%. So do waste some time to plan correctly and save cost.

About Author
Peter Jones is the writer of this article. For more information about spit roast catering, Sydney catering services, food catering, party catering Visit – http://www.crowncatering.com.au

Catering group Compass says profits jump

1 Декабрь 2009 Mariya Нет комментариев

yourfile

LONDON – Compass Group, the world’s biggest caterer, said Wednesday that annual net profits rose more than 32 percent as it won new contracts and cut costs, adding that it saw «excellent» growth prospects.

Compass said earnings after tax grew 32.3 percent to 586 million pounds in the year ending September 30, compared with the group’s performance in 2007/08.

Annual revenue jumped 17.5 percent to 13.4 billion pounds.

«Compass has delivered an excellent performance in a challenging environment,» group chief executive Richard Cousins said in comments accompanying the data.

«Consistently high levels of net new business and a step change in operating efficiency, generating 161 million pounds of savings, have contributed to… profit growth.

«Whilst in the short term the prevailing economic conditions are likely to continue to impact organic revenue growth, the pipeline of new business looks strong.

«Furthermore, the considerable potential to deliver ongoing efficiencies underpins our expectation of further progress in the margin,» Cousins added.

Compass chairman Roy Gardner said: «The group’s core strategy remains focused on foodservice and our fast growing support services business. We have excellent future revenue growth opportunities.»

Guide to Starting a Catering Business

When going into the food business, it is always best to start small. In this, one would better understand how it is run. This will also allow one to have more time to focus on the important aspects of the business, rather that worrying about managerial problems as in big businesses.

Catering is the cooking and serving of special dishes, preparation and decoration of venue for a special occasion, feast, meeting or other gatherings. Servers and waiters are hired and paid per function or occasion.

Kinds of Catering Services

Full Catering. In this type of service, the caterer serves the food, prepares and manages all details of the occasion. This includes the provision of equipment, utensils/wares that will be used, decoration of the venue, table setting, serving and clean up of the equipment used.

Partial Catering. This is almost the same as the full catering. The only difference is that a partial catering serves only part of the entire menu. Other dishes may be cooked or served by the client himself or by another caterer. The caterer only does the arrangement of the venue and food servicing.

Service Only. The client is the one who prepares the food. The caterer only takes care of arranging the venue and is in charge of the food service. This may include the provision of entertainment like song and dance numbers and games, giveaways or souvenirs for the guests.

Utensils, Wares and Equipment Used in Catering

Catering does not immediately require a big capital. One may start as a home-based venture for as long as the kitchen space is big and clean enough for cooking varied dishes. However, a complete set of utensils, wares and equipment are needed to start the business. Below are some of the basic utensils needed:

Chafing dish, used to keep the dishes clean and hot.

Flatware, table utensils such as knives, forks and spoons for ordinary occasions.

Silverware, high value and elegant table utensils for grand and special occasions.

Drinking glasses, ordinary glasses and goblets used to serve beverages.

Plates and serving dishes, separate sets for ordinary and special occasions.

Disposable cups, plastic or paper cups used for picnic and children’s party.

Tablecloth and napkin can be tailor-made to fit the style and size of your table.

Case, used to keep glasses, plates and other table utensils while in transit.

Table decorations like table centerpiece, flower vase and colored lights to make the venue more attractive.

Ashtrays, for smoking visitors and provided only upon request and if there is a designated smoking area in the venue. Tables and chairs that can be rented.

Points to Consider in Making A Catering Service Contract

Before entering into a contract, the following should first be settled and understood by both the caterer and client:

Occasion or gathering

Motif of the occasion to complement the decoration

Number of guests

Menu based on the choice and budget of the client

Cost of food to be served

Payment scheme

Serving system

A 50% down payment may be required upon signing of the contract to guarantee payment of cost of ingredients already bought should the client withdraw from the contract. In this way, losses are avoided.

Allowance for Food

In the occasion that the number of guests exceeds what is expected, a caterer must have food ready for them. Thus, a caterer usually makes a 10% allowance from the agreed number of guests to be served. The caterer will only have to charge the additional foods served.

Emergency

Be prepared for whatever accident or emergency that may arise in delivering or serving foods. Bring extra equipment/materials like tablecloths, tables, drinking glasses and plates as replacement in case these are soiled, broken or damaged. It is also important in the catering business to have a vehicle to be used for delivery and pick-up of food, equipment and utensils. If the budget is not enough to have your own vehicle, you may have to rent first for your marketing and delivery service needs

Principles of Quantity Cooking

It is important in the food service business to know how to cook for a big number of people. One should study this standard measure very well to be able to estimate contract price, purchase ingredients and avoid possible loss.

Suggested Portion Serving for Meat

In quantity cooking, one must consider the correct portion of main ingredients for every serving so that one can easily estimate the quantity of ingredients to be purchased and the profit. The following are the suggested serving size for beef, pork, chicken and seafoods. In a fine dining restaurant, all servings are weighed.

Table 1. Serving Size for Fine Dining

Type of Meat Portion Serving
(in Grams)
Pork with bones (ex. Lechon kawali/spare ribs)Pork without bones (ex. Asadoladobo)

Beef with bones (ex. Boiled/ pochero)

Beef without bones (ex. Stew/asac/o)

Chicken with bones (ex. Chicken curry/ afritada)

Chicken without bones (ex. Chicken nuggets)

Seafood with bones (ex. Steamed lapu-lapu)

Seafood without bones (ex. Fish fillet)

200 – 250150 – 200

200 – 250

150 – 200

250 – 300

150 – 200

250 – 300

150 – 200

To determine the number of servings in a kilo of meat for a fast food/ eatery or turu-turo type of food business, the following may be used as guide:

Table 2. Quantity Per Kilo of Meat

Type of Meat Quantity/Kilo
Pork with bonesPork without bones

Beef with bones

Beef without bones

Chicken with bones

Chicken without bones

Seafood with bones

Seafood without bones

Ground Meat without extender

Ground Meat with extender like potatoes and other vegetables

8 pcs12 pcs

10 pcs

12 pcs

6 pcs

10 pcs

6 pcs

12 pcs

15-20 parts

32 parts

Additional Guides in Quantity Cooking

These are other things that a food business operator must know in quantity cooking:

1. The quantity of ingredients cannot just be multiplied from a standard recipe for 5 to 6 persons or a family according to the number of diners. If your recipe is good for about 6 persons and there are 24 persons that are to eat, you cannot increase the ingredients (especially the seasonings) four times. For example, if the recipe for 6 persons needs 2 teaspoonfuls of salt, it does not necessarily need 8 teaspoons of salt for a recipe good for 24 persons. Study the adjustment of recipe and the balancing of ingredients.

2. As much as possible, use a weighing scale and measuring utensils in measuring the ingredients. In this way, the measurements of ingredients or serving size are exact. It is cheaper this way than merely estimating the ingredients.

3. Have a proper storage system of ingredients purchased in bulk. Allocate an area to store canned goods and ingredients that are not perishable. Take extra care in cleaning and storing highly perishable ingredients like meat, vegetables, egg and fish.

4. Allot three to four months trial period. This is to determine which food or meals sell and which don’t. This will also guide you to determine the quantity of ingredients to purchase and the meals that are to be included as regular menu.

5. Take extra care in storing, handling and delivering cooked foods. Cooked foods need to be stored properly to avoid spoilage. These can be covered with plastic to avoid dirt.

6. Look for regular and trusted sources of ingredients. It is better to have regular and trusted sources of ingredients because aside from being cheap, you are assured of its freshness and quality.

7. Study how to make use of leftover or excess foods to make another dish. If there is leftover lechon, it can be re-cooked into lechon paksiw. Leftover fried fish can be cooked into sarsiyado or as ingredient for fried lumpia. Meat broth can be used in cooking noodles or soup.

Planning a Menu

The menu is the most important foundation and attraction of a restaurant. It presents the different dishes served by an eatery, catering or food delivery establishment.

The following are some practical guides in planning your menu:

1. Know what specialty foods you can cook that your customers will like. For example, if you are excellent in cooking kare-kare, make this the specialty of your restaurant. Just be sure that you have other dishes that complement the kare-kare like grilled meat, pancit, viand with broth, fruits and dessert like kalamay.

2. Plan the menu according to your target customer. For example, students prefer beef, pork and chicken to fish and vegetables. Manual laborers often ask for more rice and any viand with sauce. This is because they want more filling food that is cheaper. On the other hand, children prefer spaghetti, hotdog, hamburger and fried chicken.

4. You may use as basis, the cost of food and the expected profit in planning the food to be served. Use extenders like potatoes, tofu, veggie-meat and other vegetables to lower the cost of the meal.

5. Make sure that the ingredients are on-season to be able to serve foods that are cheaper but higher in profit. For example, if bangus is cheap, you may include in your menu different special dishes from bangus like relleno, sinigang na tiyan ng bangus and sarsiyadong bangus. Put a sign or poster outside your restaurant advertising your special menu.

5. Make sure that you can serve the foods that are in your menu. Also, make sure that you have the needed equipment. For example, you need a grill if you have barbeque or inihaw in your menu.

6. Use your imagination and creativity in preparing your menu even if these are simple, so as to make the food attractive to the customers. For example, a pancake may be ordinary but it becomes special when you put different flavors and garnishing. An ordinary galunggong will become special if served in banana leaf with side dishes like atsara or vegetable salad.

7. Match the menu to the weather. On cold days, it is best to include in the menu foods rich in energy like beef, pork, chicken, pasta and kakanin. Also include delicious food with broth like arroz caldo, nilaga and chicken soup. On hot days, prepare refreshing foods like halo-halo, mais con yelo, sago’t gulaman, ice cream and different salads.

8. Give importance to the health and nutrition aspects in planning the menu. Avoid serving oily foods. Balance the foods and know the right combination to make sure that the foods served have enough vitamins.

9. For breakfast, prepare simple and easy-to-cook foods like tapsilog (tapa-sinangag-itlog), longsilog (longanisa-sinangag-itlog) and tosilog (tosino-longanisa-itlog).

10. Consider the space of your kitchen and cooking area. If your kitchen space is small, serve food that can be cooked early so that these can be just heated when ordered. Consider using a microwave oven because this type of oven does not alter the taste, volume and texture of the food being heated.

source: www.trc.dost.gov