Six saving tips for every catering kitchen

Shopping in 2022 is becoming a painful task. Bread, pasta, vegetables, cooking oil, and even tea, coffee, beer and meat are rapidly jumping up to alarming prices. Inflation in almost every country was over 9% higher than the previous years.

Energy prices and the prices of ingredients like cereals and maize (often used for cattle feed) had already risen due to the coronavirus pandemic. The war in Ukraine has now added to this.

The price increases can have knock-on effects along the entire supply chain, like falling dominoes: energy costs, labour costs and transport costs are resulting in high price increases for almost all food products.

That is why we’re offering you some practical and useful tips to save money in your catering business.

Stop wasting food, start packing

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about the rising prices. So you'd best make sure that you make the best use of the ingredients and food you do buy. Shopping smartly is important, of course, but good packaging and efficient storage is just as essential. Packaging your food correctly can extend the shelf life exponentially meaning you don't have to throw away food so quickly.

One of the most effective ways of packaging is to use vacuum or airtight packaging.

Vacuum packing has many advantages:

  • Food stays fresh much longer as bacteria don’t get a chance to contaminate the food
  • The preservation of smell and taste
  • More efficient as it’s easier to pack into the right portion sizes so you throw away less
  • Saves space compared to separate packages and boxes
  • Prevents freezer burn

Vacuum packing is quick and easy with a vacuum pack machine. These come in different shapes and sizes: from mobile floor models for big jobs to compact tabletop models.

 

A tray sealer is a compact vacuum machine for packaging preformed trays and platters into a leak-free format. They are ideal for catering companies, delivery services, the hospitality industry, butchers and supermarkets.

Reduce your menu

In the catering business, even when using the above packaging tips, throwing away food is inevitable. And with the extreme price increases, this hurts even more.

Consider, either temporarily or not, reducing your menu. By putting fewer dishes on the menu, you need fewer different ingredients and therefore reduce the amount of food waste.

Look at which items on your menu generate 70% of your turnover. In other words: what is the real return on all that extra choice in the menu? You might be surprised by how many ingredients you use only incidentally.

Research has shown that the top and bottom dishes on the menu sell the best so put the dishes with the highest margin in those places. You can do the same with your drinks menu.

Buy locally

While you're looking at your menu, also take a look at the purchasing process. Can you buy certain ingredients or even entire dishes locally? With fewer intermediaries, a product is often cheaper.
Even better, you can then build up a relationship with the supplier and possibly even negotiate bulk prices or other agreements. In addition, local products are growing in popularity and can help you stand out from the competition.

Look for second-hand catering equipment

Another area you can also save in is on catering equipment. The purchase of new equipment can be a substantial investment. That’s why Maxima offers a continuously updated range of good quality refurbished appliances.

Here, you never have to worry about quality. In most cases, these are returns because the packaging has been damaged during transport. The appliances are essentially 100% in new condition. So you can purchase new appliances at a massive discount!

These appliances may also have been demo models, or have suffered slight damage to the exterior. To guarantee the quality of the refurbished products, every returned appliance is thoroughly serviced and extensively tested in our own workshop. So you know that Maxima's used appliances are always 100% working, checked and tested.


"Vacuum packing food keeps it from drying out and preserves flavour and vitamins."

Check your energy consumption

Energy consumption can be a huge cost and is important to consider when it comes to saving. But this is often overlooked. Take a walk around your business. There are always areas for improvement.

Many workspaces are still lit by old-fashioned fluorescent tubes. LED lighting and lighting with movement sensors can save you a lot of money in the longer term if you take the time to make these small upgrades.

Turn down the thermostat an hour before you leave and see if you can control certain lights with a timer. Every little bit helps.

Lastly, older fridges are classic energy guzzlers, as are fridges with worn rubber seals on the doors. Keep your refrigerators and freezers away from all heat sources, such as cookers, and even windows that receive a lot of sunlight.