Smithfield Foods Announces New, Industry-Leading Environmental Initiative, Smithfield Renewables

SMITHFIELD, Va., Oct. 12, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced today the launch of Smithfield Renewables, a new platform within the organization that will unify, lead and accelerate the company’s industry-leading carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts. Smithfield Renewables will ensure the company meets its environmental commitments including its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2025. Bbq catering Sydney treat your guests to authentic, pit-smoked BBQ and made-from-scratch sides and desserts. Perfect for business events, graduations, meetings, weddings, parties, and neighborhood get-togethers.

The company announced Smithfield Renewables at the 2017 COMMIT! Forum, an annual conference for corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners to network and share best practices. Smithfield also introduced its first Senior Director of Smithfield Renewables, Kraig Westerbeek. In this new role, which will report to Smithfield’s chief sustainability officer, he will lead and oversee GHG reduction efforts, keeping the company responsible for achieving its goals.

“Smithfield has long led the industry in sustainability and its environmental commitments,” said Kraig Westerbeek senior director of Smithfield Renewables and Hog Production Division Environmental Affairs. “Smithfield Renewables will ensure we continue to lead in this arena by further sharpening our focus on programs that help us reduce our carbon footprint and recycle energy more efficiently.”

Westerbeek will lead an advisory committee that will evaluate projects and help direct a company-wide strategy for renewable energy projects across both farms and facilities. At facilities, this includes refrigeration, boiler and other equipment upgrades. On farms, this includes projects that convert manure into useful products from fertilizer to renewable energy sources. Smithfield Renewables will further develop and build upon these best-in-industry projects.

“At Smithfield Foods, we are known for producing good food responsibly and our bold environmental commitments,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and CEO of Smithfield Foods. “By launching Smithfield Renewables, we are better positioned to achieve these goals and continue setting pioneering environmental programs.”

Please watch this video for more information about Smithfield Renewables and read more about the company’s industry-leading environmental programs in Smithfield’s most recent Sustainability Report available here.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including SmithfieldⓇ, EckrichⓇ, Nathan’s FamousⓇ, FarmlandⓇ, ArmourⓇ, John MorrellⓇ, Cook’sⓇ, KretschmarⓇ, GwaltneyⓇ, Curly’sⓇ, MargheritaⓇ, CarandoⓇ, Healthy OnesⓇ, KrakusⓇ, MorlinyⓇ and BerlinkiⓇ. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.

Hit The Road With Ease By Planning Ahead

It doesn’t matter where you’re going; it only matters not whether you are preparing for a recreational trip across state lines or across the border; a trip away from home is cause for great excitement and possibly a great deal of stress.The beneficial travel advice in the following article is here will help you have a successful trip. The crew at Bluepowder.com.au are throwing down some seriously good discounts for early bird bookings for Canada’s 2017/2018 ski Canada deals.

Don’t use the computers in your hotel or any other placing offering internet service for looking at sensitive information. There may be malware on the computer that is tracking your personal info.

Don’t take any unnecessary valuables that you on your trip.

Create a list for your trip!

Be wary of people who tell you that they are police offers or government officials in a foreign country. Do not let anyone have your passport; they may steal it. Do not get in a vehicle with someone you don’t know.

If the venue you want to go to offers online ticketing, head to its website and see if it is possible to buy and print tickets from there. The fee is worth it to avoid long lines. If the park uses a timed entry system, you can generally bypass these, too.

Make sure that you have clothespins with you when travelling. They are often forgotten, even though they are not something someone thinks to bring with them.

When traveling, it’s a good idea to wear slip on shoes that are light and comfortable. You will have to take them off quickly for security checks. Flip-flops or slip-on shoes are ideal air travel footwear.

Luggage tags on the bags’ exteriors can fall off without much provocation.

You do not want to deal with the noise of construction when you are trying to relax.

Melt hotel ice if you want to have filtered water for morning coffee. Tap water is not always the best tasting option, so place ice in the bucket for overnight melting. You can brew your coffee in the morning.

You can’t really lose something written on the mirror using a dry-erase marker because it’s hard to overlook.You can use dry-erase markers will easily wipe off of mirrors with just a little bit of tissue paper.

Think about different transportation you’re going to use. Buses are not like they once were. You can find bundle deals from some bus lines that will make your travel planning simple.

Hotel walls can be very thin at times. A reliable pair of earplugs can filter out excess noise and let you a restful night’s sleep.

Airports are normally extremely busy, because each plane must wait for the last one to fly out and make room at the gate. The first flight during the morning is very limited reasons for a delay.

Remember to bring along your crucial medications. It can be almost impossible to get your medication shipped to your destination.

Tip generously to anyone who deserve it. Give the steward a nice tip when boarding the ship. You will probably have the same folks waiting on your party for the rest of the cruise, you are likely to be well taken care of.

Make sure you create copies of all important documents when you travel.Keep these copies of passports, insurance papers, and any other important documents in a safe place.

Contact lens cases are a case when you going on a trip. These items are great for small amounts of the product.

If you won’t have immediate access to a currency exchange service when you land, consider exchanging a little money before you leave, and exchange the rest once you have found a currency exchange.

A great travel tip is to make sure you give yourself sufficient time for hotel check-outs. Many hotels will charge high fees if you have not left your room within the specified time. Always check out with plenty of time for checkout.

Be cautious of any unsolicited emails that cover travel deals.

If you are bringing a pet, then make sure you find a hotel that accepts pets and find out if there’s any fees that go along with having a pet stay with you.

Keep in mind that you are not the only person staying in hotels. Be sure to keep your noise level down and close doors quietly. Even during the day people may be sleeping, someone may be napping or recovering from a bad case of jet lag. You don’t have to whisper and tiptoe, but everyone will appreciate it if you keep your noise to a minimum.

Use lens cases to bring small amounts of lotions or gels with you on your trip. These small containers have leak proof screw on lids, are made to be portable, and are portable. You can get a container like this for almost nothing at your local drug or grocery store.

Try to take clothing items that can be worn more than once. This will limit the number of items that you must take along on your trip.

No matter the type of journey planned, a properly-researched itinerary is the best way to go. By following the tips presented here you can enjoy a remarkable, memorable and safe trip.

Starbucks Extends Licensing Agreement with Maxim’s Caterers Limited

SEATTLE (Sept. 27, 2017) – Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX) today announced it has entered into an agreement with its long-time strategic partner Maxim’s Caterers Limited – a leading restaurant operator of multiple brands across Asia – to fully license Starbucks operations in Singapore. Under the agreement, Maxim’s Caterers Limited will have the exclusive rights to operate and develop Starbucks stores in Singapore. The move further accelerates Starbucks operations in this important market and aligns with Starbucks growth agenda. If you are visiting Australia for business, we would be delighted to recommend some local activities for you and your colleagues to enjoy your corporate activities.

“We’re pleased to take another step in our ongoing growth aspirations in Asia by transitioning the Singapore business to Maxim’s Caterers Limited, our trusted business partner with a successful track record in delivering the unique Starbucks Experience and developing our iconic brand,” said John Culver, group president, Starbucks International and Channel Development. “Starbucks remains committed to growing in Singapore, an important market where we will build on 20 years of proudly serving customers.”

Starbucks entered Singapore in 1996 with the opening of its first store at Liat Towers, centrally located along the renowned Orchard Road shopping belt. Since then, Starbucks has built the brand by delivering a consistent, authentic in-store experience to more than 130 Starbucks stores today in Singapore.

“Our partnership with Starbucks is 17 years strong and we are proud to deliver the Starbucks Experience to our customers in Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam and Cambodia today,” says Michael Wu, chairman and managing director of Maxim’s Caterers Limited. “We look forward to leveraging our expertise and deep understanding of the Starbucks brand to welcome Singaporean customers into the stores and earn their trust and respect through the unparalleled service, craft and passion known by customers around the globe.”

The partnership between Starbucks and Maxim’s Caterers Limited started in 2000 in Hong Kong. Currently, there are more than 210 Starbucks stores in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Macau and Vietnam, employing nearly 2,900 partners (employees) across the four key markets.

About Maxim’s Caterers Limited

Founded in 1956, Maxim’s Caterers Limited (a company incorporated in Hong Kong) is a leading food and beverage company comprised of Chinese, Asian and European restaurants, quick service restaurants, bakery shops, coffee shops, Japanese chain restaurants and institutional catering, while providing a range of festive products, including the award-winning Hong Kong MX Mooncakes. It is the licensee of various renowned brands including Starbucks Coffee, Genki sushi, ippudo and Cheesecake Factory in different territories. Altogether, it has over 1,000 outlets in Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. To learn more about Maxim’s, visit www.maxims.com.hk/en.

How Pricing of a Catering Job Is Done


Before you sit down to put up a menu and put a price against each menu item, there are some important things to consider. You need to get all the information about the event, if possible, before starting with the catering preparation and pricing. The following pointers might help you in ensuring you have everything you need before you plan for the sourcing of ingredients and supply of food.

Place of the event (how far from your catering location, transportation options, whether there will be on-site catering, etc.)
Starting time and duration of the event
Expected turnout of guests
Guest preferences (if any)

Gather Competitive Intelligence

Once you have the above information, the best way to begin with the pricing estimate will be to scout the market rates for an event of a similar nature. This can be achieved with a few phone calls to some of the local catering companies. With this knowledge, you can be sure that you’re not going to quote above the market rates. In addition, while determining your own pricing strategy, you have a good yardstick so as not to quote lower than the norm. Thus, equipped with the upper and lower limits of pricing in terms of market rates, you can now begin your own estimation and arrive at a competitive pricing.

Factors to Consider During Cost Evaluation

If it is your first venture into the catering business, you need to evaluate the costs thoroughly before fixing the price. You need to determine how much you will end up spending, so that you know how much you need to quote to be able to at least “break even”, that is you must at least make as much money as you would spend. Otherwise, it would be a loss-making proposition. The following factors must be considered to arrive at the break-even cost.

As per the number of expected guests, chart out a “feasible” menu. If you’re going to serve gourmet food for very few guests, the high cost of ingredients may not add up to a reasonable pricing. Some dishes will make sense only if there are a good number of guests.

Calculate cost of your food (include cost of all ingredients for the dishes in your menu and the labor cost).

Extra costs include transportation costs, utility costs including that of equipment, propane, gasoline, ice, cleaning products, and cost of employing extra helping staff.

In case of on-site catering, you may have to include rentals, insurance, etc.

Thumb Rules

Catering Thumb Rules:

Always include 10% extra food than required to manage contingencies. Include this in your costs.

It is customary to fix the menu price at three times the total food cost. For example, if a menu item costs a total of $10 to prepare, then the menu price would be $30.

Depending on whether your customer is price-sensitive and how much your own desired profit margin is, you may negotiate or choose your own margin percentage.

Refer to your competitive rate research information to finally judge your own desired profit percentage.

How to Price a Catering Job

Pricing can be fixed in at least 3 different ways, as follows.

Fixed Pricing: With fixed pricing, you would assign a price to your menu item, do this for each menu item and charge the customer on a “per-plate” basis or platter basis. Check if this model suits your catering assignment. Needless to say, in this case, profits would be determined also on a platter basis.

Tiered Pricing: This is very similar to fixed pricing but you can pass on the benefit of numbers to your customer. Essentially, more the expected turnout, lower will be the price of each item. You can have 3-4 such tiers with the minimum number of guests deciding each tier price. For example, for greater than 50 guests you could charge $20 for an item; for greater than 100 guests you could charge $18 for the same item and so on. This can be a very cost-effective model provided there is a great turnout of guests expected.

Customized Pricing: With the earlier methods, the customer knows upfront what your charges typically would be; however, with custom pricing, you have the freedom to decide the menu and pricing after the customer briefs you about all the details of the event. However, it is still beneficial to have a pricing guide ready for reference even for custom pricing. It will enable you to approximate the estimates better.

The above guidelines for determining the pricing for a menu are not stringent. It is just information about how pricing for a catering job is done. You will in fact need to be flexible if you’re serious about being in the business for a long time. There are many other factors that influence pricing such as the type of customer, your immediate competition in the same area and how established you are in the business. If you’re well-known for the quality of food, customers may not be very rigid about lowering your prices. On the other hand, if you have your close competitors quoting below your rates, you may have to negotiate harder so as not to lose the deal. You may have to provide additional “frills” to add value and differentiate your catering service from that of your rivals. If you’re very new to the business, you may well have to incur losses in your first few assignments just to prove your worth and establish your presence.

Thus, the ultimate profitable pricing strategy is a mix of several factors. Keep an open mind and be optimistic about the outcome. Once you know your market, your client base, etc., you will gradually work out the pricing strategy that is optimum for your catering business. Take each assignment as a challenge and be willing to learn from your mistakes as the catering business is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Many unexpected challenges may arise in the form of lesser than expected guest turnouts or shortage of food during service, weather delays, etc. Once you start your catering business, only experience can help you find your foothold in this industry. With some experience, you will be able to predict and manage most risks and contingencies better and plan everything in a cost-effective manner.

My work experience spans content development, knowledge management and organizational social learning activities. One of my favorite subjects, relating closely with my career background, is the study of social media tools and social learning strategies within huge organizations and their potential benefits in facilitating real time exchange of ideas and knowledge transfer.

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How to Turn Your Love of Cooking Into a Home Based Catering Business

Have you ever dreamed of having a home based catering business? If you have a love of cooking this would be a great career.

In many homes nowadays both parents are working. Economic pressures require a double income. Schedules are hectic and it is very difficult to prepare wholesome, nutritious meals.

A catering business can be very lucrative in providing daily meals for these families (singles or couples). You would not only be preparing delicious meals but eliminating the stress that these people feel when they under the pressure of shopping and cooking. They would have more time to enjoy each other and do the things they enjoy most.

Before you jump into your apron, here are some things you want to consider:

1. What will be the name of your business?

2. Are you doing this by yourself or will you have a partner? If you have a partner will you both be responsible for the cooking, or will one take care of the administrative duties? In the future you may find the need to hire a cook. Dependability is a required.

3. Create a business plan that you can use if you need to get financing.

4. Check with your local food administration authorities about the laws governing your type of business. Find out the appropriate licenses and permits you will need. Check into these details first so you will not have problems in the future.

5. Decide on what types of meals you are going to provide. You will want to include two or three choices daily. Once you establish your clientele you can give them an order form of the various meals available on certain days. You can establish the time frame you want to maintain. A week or two ahead have the forms returned to you. You can come up with a computerized form that you can email your clients and they can email you their choices. Do whatever you can to automate your business and eliminate unnecessary legwork. You will have to decide what works best for you. You will want a week’s notice for shopping and preparation purposes.

If you want to specialize utilizing your specific cooking/baking talents, your catering service could be for special soups, desserts or birthday cakes. This is your choice.

6. Pricing your meals will be more of a challenge. You will want to keep your costs as low as possible in order to have a desirable profit. Call other catering businesses to get an idea of what your completion is charging. You do not want to price your meals so high that you will price yourself out of the market. Allow for a fluctuation margin in market prices.

7. You will want to buy in bulk. Get a membership at your local wholesale club. This will save you quite a bit. You still want to be a savvy shopper as there are times when your local supermarket’s prices are lower than the wholesale club.

8. Bulk shopping will necessitate your knowledge of the shelf life of the foods you are storing. When in doubt of how to, and how long to store food items, the internet holds a wealth of information at your fingertips.

9. How are you going to advertise your business? Of course, word of mouth continues to be one of the best forms of advertisement. You should consider flyers, or posters that you can leave at various businesses in your area. You will be able to create and print these on your computer. This will cut printing costs. Newspapers and mail coupon services can get the word out to many, but will be more costly.

You may want to consider designing a web page so that you can create an internet presence. Print up business cards including your web address. Get permission to leave this in places such as the doctor’s office, dentist, or hairdresser. Design your website so you have your weekly choices listed and your contact information.

10. If you go this route, you will want to find a web hosting company that also provides you internet marketing tools. I know of one company that has a bulk emailing program, with an auto responder where you can set up various campaigns. It also provides a video producer with templates that you can create for your specific business. The best part of this company is that they have training by professionals in the industry. If you are a cook, more than likely, you are not overly versed in computers!

11. How are you going to get the meals to your customers? They can pick them up from your home or you could deliver to their place for a set fee. You will need to put great thought into planning your cooking and delivery schedule. As a suggestion, allow yourself about one hour to an hour and a half.

12. What type of containers are you going to use to pack your meals? As there is a possibility that the food may need to be reheated, you will have to take this into consideration when purchasing containers. Look into microwavable items. A wholesale club usually has great prices on food containers.

13. Be a good planner. The internet will provide you with an endless supply of recipes and ideas for different meals. If you are cooking for a family with children, take this into consideration. Spicy does not always work with little ones!

14. When you purchase your fresh produce make sure it is cleaned properly and when possible cut and ready for use.

15. Keep a cautious eye on your costs.

16. You want to develop a good relationship with your clients. When possible, satisfy special requests. Always be the type of person that you would want to work with.

17. As suppliers are an important element in your business you want to develop a good relationship in this area. This will go a long way in getting better service.

It is up to you to decide on how large of a business you want to create. A small business will be easier to handle. Once it grows it will necessitate hiring additional staff members. But then again this would translate into greater revenue.

As an added suggestion, be sure to keep your recipes either on the computer or in a binder in protective sheets. Who know, someday you can add to your business profits by publishing a cookbook of your catering recipes.

I hope that your love of cooking will be the first step to initiating a profitable home based catering business. I wish you all the best and a kitchen filled with aromas of happiness and success!

Judy Conway is retired. She has a passion for writing and uses her blogs and articles to reach out to encourage and help others sharing her life’s experiences. In addition to spending time with her family, she enjoys learning all she can about internet marketing. She feels a day without learning something new, is a day wasted. To learn more about Judy and what she does visit [http://judyconway.com] and [http://fullservicemarketingtools.com].

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How to Write a Food Industry or Catering Business Proposal

Do you need to write a proposal to promote your food-related business to a prospective client or to get funding? It doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. The goals for any business proposal are: introduce yourself, highlight your products and/or services, describe the costs, and convince the client that you are the right choice for the job or you are worth investing in. To speed up the proposal writing process, you can use pre-designed templates and get ideas from sample proposals.

Whether you are describing a catering service, pitching a food service (deli) to be installed within another company, buying or selling a food franchise or food vending business, requesting that a grocery store of specialty store chain carry your food product, or even asking for funding to start up or expand a restaurant, the proposal structure will be similar. Here’s the basic structure to follow: introduce yourself, then summarize the prospective client’s needs, describe your services and costs, and finally, provide information about your organization, your credentials, and your capabilities.

For a food-related business, you will also need to include some detailed information about your services, menus, or products that are of interest to the specific client. For example, a catering service might need to include menus and décor themes from which the client can select, and a food vending operation might need to explain how machines will be operate and which items will be stocked.

Always keep in mind that the purpose of a proposal is to persuade your potential clients to give you their business or loan you their money. You must prove that you can deliver the products or services they need. A simple price list can never substitute for a real proposal.

Proposals should be targeted to a specific client. This means you need to gather information about your client so that you can present a proposal tailored to that individual client’s needs. It’s never a good idea to send all prospective clients the same sales letter. Clients are much more likely to accept a proposal tailored just for them.

So, let’s get back to the order described above. Start your proposal with a Cover Letter and a Title Page. The Cover Letter should deliver a brief personal introduction and contain your company contact information. The Title Page is just what it sounds like: the name of your specific proposal (for example, “Proposed Catering Plan for Your Awards Banquet”, “Proposal to Place Food Vending Machines in Community College Buildings” or “Business Plan Funding for Hot Stuff Bakery”).

After this introduction section, add topics that describe the needs of your client. If you are presenting a proposal for a complex project, you may need to write a summary to precede the detail pages. In a proposal for a corporate client, this is normally called an Executive Summary. For a less formal but still complex proposal, it’s more often called a Client Summary. In this summary and the following detail pages, you should demonstrate your understanding of the client’s requirements, goals, and desires, as well as discussing any restrictions or limitations you are aware of. This section should be all about the client.

Next is your chance to advertise yourself. Follow your introduction section and the client section with pages that describe what you are offering. These pages might have general headings like Services Provided, Samples (offering the client to pre-sample selections from your menu or food products), Benefits, and Services Cost Summary, Product Cost Summary, Entertainment (if provided with food service) as well as more specific pages that detail the products and/or services you can provide and explain the associated costs, the number of people that will be served and so on.

Your specific business will determine the specialized topics and pages you need to include in your proposal.

A catering service might need to include topics like Specialization (to highlight a specific niche you excel in) Services Provided, Options, Cost Summary, Events, Entertainment, Rentals, Special Needs, Policies and a Contract and Terms.

A deli or fast food franchise might want pages such as a Location Analysis, Future Potential, Financial Information, Income Project, Feasibility Study and other business opportunity templates describing the business opportunity.

A company selling a product to a store might include Product Cost Summary or Price List, Distribution, Market and Audience, Marketing Plan, Ingredients, Packaging, Footprint, Cost/Benefit Analysis, Quality Control and Benefits.

Specialty businesses such as event planners, party planners and wedding planners typically have to incorporate catering services as just one component of a larger proposal and will deal with additional topics such as the Venue, Performers, Products, Logistics, Packages and so on.

A business proposing to provide school lunches for students would need to provide additional details to show they can handle the volume and safety requirements. You can add topics for Requirements, Facilities, Safety Plan, Training Plan (for how your employees are trained), Certifications, Insurance, Quality Control, Experience, Capabilities, Capacity and so forth.

If you’re asking for funding to start a food business (anything from a coffee shop or bakery to a full size restaurant), you’ll want to add pages such as a Competitive Analysis, Industry Trends, Market and Audience, Marketing Plan, Insurance, Liability, Time Line, Funding Request, Services Provided, Products, Company Operations, Balance Sheet, Income Projection, Sources of Funds, Uses of Funds, Personnel, Legal Structure and any other topics required by the lender.

In your last proposal section, provide your company details, including pages such as Company History or About Us, Capabilities, Testimonials, Our Clients, or References. Your goal in this section is to convince the prospective client that you can be trusted to deliver the goods and/or services they need and want.

Those are the basic steps for organizing and writing the proposal. But you’re not quite finished yet. After you have all the information down on the pages, focus on ensuring that your proposal is visually appealing. Incorporate your company logo, use colored page borders, and/or select interesting fonts and custom bullets to add color and flair. Just be sure to match your company style when making these selections.

To finalize your proposal, it’s essential to proofread and spell-check every page. It’s always a good idea to get someone other than the proposal writer to do a final proof, because it’s very common to overlook mistakes in your own work.

When the final touches have been completed, print it or save it as a PDF file, and then deliver it to the client. The delivery method you should use will depend on your relationship with your potential client. While it’s common to email PDF files to clients, a nicely printed, personally signed, and hand-delivered proposal may make more of an impression and demonstrate that you’re willing to make an extra effort for the client.

So, to sum up, a food-business proposal can vary widely in content depending on the business and the project. Each company’s proposal contents will need to be a bit different. But all these proposals will have a similar format and follow a similar structure.

If you’d like to get a jump start using pre-designed templates with simple instructions and tons of suggestions for content, you can use Proposal Pack which includes all of the material mentioned above. The product also includes many sample food business proposals that will give you great ideas and help you easily create your own successful proposal.

Ian Lauder has been helping small businesses and individuals write their proposals and contracts since 1999. => For more tips and best practices when writing your business proposals and legal contracts go to http://www.proposalkit.com

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Catering Menu Ideas and Advice

Developing a selection of menus for your catering business can be challenging. To a certain extent you can question the client as to their preferences but from there you are on your own. You will have to come up with your own menu creations that also fit in with the client’s requirements. Some clients may not know what they want at all and you may have to show them a variety of menu options.

Here are some catering menu ideas for you to consider as you proceed to put your own menus together.

Type of Event

Think about the people who will be attending, the kind of food they might like and what kind of volume they may consume. Things that you may have to think about here include age, gender, culture and socio-economic background. Will the event be formal or casual?

Timing of an Event

This is an obvious one really. Whether you serve dishes suitable to a breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, morning tea or afternoon snacks will depend on what time of day a catering event is scheduled.

Theme

Clients may have a theme in mind for an event and want you to work in with it. Even if they don’t it is quite a marketable concept to have menus in themes that tie in with table decorations and server uniforms. Regional themes work best for food such as an Italian or Asian theme.

The Client’s Budget

This is going to have a large impact on what is possible in terms of a menu and your catering services. The budget will determine the ingredients that you can use, what dishes you can serve and in what volumes you can serve them.

Number of Guests Attending

Working out an average amount that you expect the guests to eat will help you to plan a menu. You have to make sure that you prepare appropriate servings that give everyone enough to be satisfied without having too much left over food that may go to waste.

Some catering companies have rough guidelines for the amount of food required per head. For example, caterers may estimate that the average adult will eat 180 grams of meat, chicken or fish, 180 grams of carbohydrates (potatoes, rice or pasta), 160 grams of vegetables and 80 grams of salad. Every catering business owner has a different opinion here so adjustments can be made once you know what you are doing.

Where will you be Preparing the Food?

This will determine what equipment you have access to and thus what dishes you will be able to create. If you are preparing the food onsite then you won’t have the hassle of transporting it to the venue. If you are preparing it from your own commercial kitchen then you may be able to do more much more than if you are using facilities that you are not familiar with.

Good Menu Combinations

Foods should go together on serving trays or plates in a way that they will compliment each other with regards to taste and visual appeal. Menus for an event should also be planned out in the right combinations so that the overall menu has the right balance of meats, dairy products, fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates and fats and oils.

Wherever possible you should give people variety. Let them add their own salad dressings, sauces or condiments.

Catering to Dietary Requirements

When consulting with a client you should ask them if they would like you to include dishes in the menu that cater to specific dietary requirements. You might include some vegetarian or vegan dishes and others that may be specifically for people with food allergies.

Having certain dishes that you can say are low fat or low in carbohydrates is a good idea for catering to those who may be on diets.

Contemporary Food Trends

People expect something special from a catering business these days and you have to give people new and exciting dishes. Depending on the client and the guests the best way is usually to balance some modern cooking styles with classic dishes.

What Foods Make Good Business Sense?

It is great if you can work out which dishes and food items allow your catering business to make the most profit? You need to understand a lot about the current market prices for all commonly used ingredients. Some foods are seasonal and are therefore usually only profitable when they are in season.

When presenting a client with a variety of menus that your catering business offers give them the chance to upgrade to more expensive options involving more expensive ingredients.

The Number of Courses

The more courses you include, the more service staff you will need and the more dishes and cutlery you will need to bring. Remember that some ingredients should feature only once in a multi-course menu. You wouldn’t want to have a chicken soup on the menu if you also had roast chicken as part of the main course for example.

Study Menus at Restaurants

Whenever you are eating out at a restaurant or at a catered event, seek inspiration from menus that have been put together by other people. More importantly, judge the reaction of the people who are being served and eating the dishes in question.

Over time you can improve your menus by taking note of which dishes were popular and which were hardly touched. Drop the losers and go with the most popular dishes while testing new dishes from time to time.

You will also notice that once you get started you will get numerous new catering menu ideas popping into your head and through customer feedback.

Planning your first set of catering business menus doesn’t have to be a nightmare if you go about it in an organized manner. Just pretend that you are having 120 guests over for a dinner party!

For articles on preparing a catering business plan as well as many other topics visit –

Starting a Catering Business

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