The minute the sun makes an appearance during a great British summer, the temptation is to have a barbecue to make the most of the weather. Did you know that Britons throw away a whopping £428 million worth of barbecue food in August, according to research by Sainsbury’s? Nearly 12 million UK barbecues are expected to over-estimate the amount of food they need, with much of it ending up in the bin.
Sainsbury’s research shows that many people try to impress family and friends by over-catering, with an average of £36.47 worth of food wasted at each barbecue; that figure does not include drinks! Salads, burger buns, hot dog rolls, coleslaw and potato salad were the top five items heading for the bin. More than one in four people said they threw away salad if it had been left outside, even for a short while. About 15 per cent said they ended up with leftover rolls and buns because of the low-carb brigade.
Instead of wasting this food, the hosts could send their guests away with a doggy bag or devise a menu to use up leftovers. Instead of putting all the salad, coleslaw and dips outside at once, they could put out a small amount at a time and leave the rest in the fridge. That way, it stays fresh enough to use the following day. Likewise, cook in batches so less goes to waste and what isn’t used can stay fresh in the fridge.
Catering for the masses
If you regularly hold barbecues for large amounts of people or for corporate events, it is even more important to cut down on waste so it doesn’t eat into your profits. After the event, you’ll also want to clear up as quickly as you can. You will also need to think about cleaning. You can get undercounter dishwashers, such as those at https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/commercial-warewashers/commercial-dish-washers/undercounter-dishwashers, where you can clear away plates and cutlery to wash up as you go rather than leaving it all for later.
Another way to cut down on waste is to devise a menu for clients so they know how much food is provided per person. Any leftovers can be bagged up and offered to the client. If they don’t want it, it is a welcome bonus for your catering staff.