Cutting through food inflation forecasts: Practical solutions for chefs and catering teams
We recently published a blog with updates regarding food and commodity forecasts and the latest CPI and PPI insights.
But so “what does this mean for our foodservice operation?”, we hear you cry! “How should we change our menus?” and “Do you have any quick and easy tips?”.
… Yes, we do! And we hope that the following ideas help you and your catering team.
We’re here to enable you to apply the information in our forecast insight and take action to reduce your food costs and make your catering budget go as far as possible.
Food Inflation: Practical Solutions
- Purchase loose boxed veg instead of ready prepped veg. Ready prepped can be up to 50% more expensive
- Consider using a sandwich supplier and save some of your payroll costs by tasking chefs to prep other core ingredients (like veg!)
- Control, monitor and reduce your food waste (explore using the Guardians of Grub tools – for allmanhall clients, there is information about this available on The Pass.)
- Try to order cases rather than splits for multi temp purchases, where possible.
- Stop purchasing premade jars of sauces and dressings – make in-house. Also better from a nutrition perspective as many premade sauces and dressings are processed foods.
- Reduce deliveries, increase drop volumes and efficiencies and reduce emissions.
- Substitute branded lines for own brand – if appropriate to do so.
- Try alternative products that are cheaper, better value and more sustainable. Ask us about Rubies in Rubble, available to order through Bidfood!
- Batch cook to use up leftovers and increase efficiencies from both an ingredient and an operations point of view.
- Simplify your menus. This doesn’t mean reducing variety or quality. Fewer ingredients can mean more focus on better production.
- Use a price comparison tool or the Recipe module of your catering control platform, through allmanhall, to create shopping baskets and order lists.
- Cost recipes and menu cycles, including an assessment of recommended portions (especially protein). If you’d be interested in protein analysis to identify cost savings and a reduction of menu carbon emissions, please do speak to the team at allmanhall.
- Purchase seasonal ingredients. This can also have nutritional benefits.
- Reduce ruminant meat consumption by trialling hero dishes and new innovative products to replace the ruminants on your menus. Devil’s Kitchen do a brilliant range and these products can be ordered via Bidfood.
- You don’t have to make big changes. You may like to start by swapping half of the beef mince in your cottage pies, for example, with a better value and more sustainable alternative. Plantbased, white meat and blended mince alternatives are available.
- You could also take a look at reducing non-plantbased protein portion sizes
- Removal of terminology from recipes such as vegan / vegetarian and put more of these into your menu cycles. The ‘v words’ can sometimes deter diners from choosing delicious plant-based options, which may be more cost effective and better for both your spend and for the planet!
- Add hero dishes to your menus. These have a low carbon footprint and are nutritious as well as good value. If you use Foodsteps through allmanhall you will have access to these hero dishes via Foodsteps. And all allmanhall clients will be able to access menus and recipe ideas on The Pass. There are also ideas on there about how to use leftovers and ‘waste’ products!
- Ask allmanhall about tendering suppliers or about tariff negotiation details.
- Ensure staff training is up to date. Skilled production methods can save costs and reduce waste. Development days can also help inspire cost effective and fresh ideas. allmanhall arrange and provide these
- Maintain equipment regularly. Poorly maintained kit will affect the quality of food, increase waste and use excess utilities such as water and energy. Sadly it’s a false economy to not maintain or replace foodservice equipment.
allmanhall are here to help and to provide insight and updates to help you make informed decisions. After all, good food shouldn’t cost the Earth!