Menu Planning Chapter 3
Menu Planning Principles • Qualify the Client • Date • Number of Guests • Location • Budget An Off Premise Event cannot be properly planned until the location and it’s facilities are known
The More Details the Better • Who are the guests? Age, Sex, Singles, Couples, etc? • Special Event or celebration • Any socioeconomic, ethnic or religious factors • Any Foods to include or avoid • Client’s likes and dislikes about previous events • Association or Corporate Affiliations • Budgetary Considerations – where to spend the $$$
Questions for clients • Purpose of the event • Is there a theme? • Is there a budget? • What beverages will be served • Group Dynamics
Be ready to answer • Recommendations on foods based on budget • What type of service would be best? • What is a reasonable cost for this type of event? • Set up and tear down time? • What is included in price (linens, tables, chairs, etc) • Can I supply my own liquor? • Is a guarantee required? • Are special permits needed? • Refund and cancellation policies.
Basic Menu Categories • Seated and Served Meals – • Server • Family Style • Buffets • Food stations (or Action Stations) • “Stand up” Cocktail Parties • Barbeques and Picnics • Combinations or variations of several
Buffets • Self Service – less staffing required • Variety of foods available • Always must look full – must prepare more food • May or may not be more expensive than plated • Minimum selection should be • One Salad • One to two entrée choices • One starch • One vegetable • Breads • Desserts and Coffee
Food Stations • Work well when the venue is spread out • A Variety of International Foods are Offered • When the client wants people to mingle • Can be staffed or not staffed or a combination of both • Can be hors d’oeuvres, Main Course or Dessert • Popular Concepts include: • Stir fry cooked to order • Egg / Omelet Stations • Fajitas, Tacos • Pastas • Meat Carving Stations
Stand up Cocktail Parties Either passed (or Butlered) or on buffet tables Should be bite sized Should be easy to handle with beverage Barbeques and Picnics Typically an outdoor event Can be simple or complex All Cultures have some form of BBQ
Catering Menus • Federal Truth-in-Menu laws require that menus accurately describe the foods offered: Brand Names – must be used “as is” Means of Preservation – e.g. “Never Frozen”, Fresh Merchandising Terms – home style vs. homemade Point of origin – Maine Lobster, Champagne Price – all must be disclosed (service charges, etc) Product Identification – reserve the right to substitute Quality – USDA Prime, Choice, etc Quantity – 5 oz. Type or preparation
Dietary and Nutritional Claims • Terms must be accurate – such as ‘Fat Free’ or ‘low sodium’ • Should know all ingredients for client safety – such as allergens • Also should be aware of any binders used in foods and their origins • Nutritional content claims should be support by laboratory Analysis
Big “8” Allergens • Eggs • Milk (also casein, whey) • Peanuts • Tree nuts • Fish • Shellfish • Soy • Wheat
Menu Types • Preprinted menus offer advantages such as: Client can respond quickly by reading the menu – either selecting certain items or using them to develop others Help ‘control’ clients by offering specific choices best suited to off premise catering Kitchen Staff are already familiar with the menu
Menu Types • Should convey the image you want to project • Should be easy to read • Should include brief descriptions • Use exciting words – Juicy, Succulent, Enticing, etc • Spell check is just the first step – • Eye Sea Wi !
Guidelines • As a Rule, keep Off Premise Menus Simple • Consider appropriateness of foods, textures, shapes and flavors • Make it sound good! • Have dual entrée selections – surf and turf, etc • Do your research - visit new restaurants, etc. • Good Selections include: • Foods that have worked well in the past • Foods that the staff have experience with • Signature Dishes • Feature locally grown and seasonal foods • Popular Favorites • Beverage Selections
Special Diets • Vegans • Lacto-vegetarians • Ovo Lacto vegetarians • Pescatarians • Low fat • Low cholesterol • Diabetic • Kosher / Halal
Food Presentation • Use all 5 senses • Sight • Hearing • Touch • Smell • Taste
Serving and Holding Options Keep Food Safe!!! Platters Chilled ice displays Use props from ethnic stores to serve ethnic foods For plated meals, use unusual plates and platters
Culinary Trends • Even with caterers that specialize in traditional foods, such as “BBQ” or “New England Clam Bake” need to keep up on trends • Trends are cyclical – yesterday’s traditions return, but frequently “with a Twist” • Budget is always and ever will be important • Diet and nutrition -
Trends • Ethnic Cuisines • Pac Rim, “Asian Fusion”, Pan Asian • Indian Cuisine • Latin American Cuisines • Cheese Courses • “Street Foods” • Specialty Breads • Tableside ordering -
Computing Food Quantities • Involves a certain amount of guesswork • Mistakes can (and will) Happen • Keep Records – the past can help the present • Know all you can about the client’s Guests • Who – male, female, age, profession • Local or Out of Town • Pre or Post event ( i.e. Theater, Tailgate Party) • Sophisticated or Occasional Party Goers Too Much Food is Better than Too Little ( but not TOO Much)
How Much is Enough Should be prepared for 5% to 20% extra – The larger the group the small the % overage 20 people – prepare for 24 (20%) 200 people – prepare for 215 (7.5 %) These are general guidelines – These overages should be calculated as part of the fee.
General Guidelines • Hors d’oeuvres – • 4-8 pieces pp before dinner • 8 -12 pieces pp at food stations • 18-24 pieces pp – stand up dinner • Large Shrimp • 1- 2 pieces butlered • 4 -12 on a buffet • Soup (1st course) • Salads • Main Course • Side Dishes • Desserts
How Much is Enough - Yields • Many foods require trimming – can lose up to 45 % on some foods • Serving Size / Yield = Raw Portion Size • Tenderloin 4 oz. / 75% = 5.33 oz • 150 guests X 5.33 oz = 799.5 oz / 16 = 49.96 lbs of Tenderloin
How Much is Enough - Ordering Use recipes to calculate raw ingredients for ordering Match to the number of guests Develop Menu cards in spreadsheet format – Need knowledge of Quantity Food Preparation Techniques
Food Cost • The Food Cost can be determined by multiplying the amount of each ingredient by the cost per unit • Cost of the meal is the sum total of the cost of all ingredients – • Don’t forget labor, props, etc. when calculating cost to the client.
Leftovers • Can be risky because of food safety guidelines Throw Out Give to Client (keep accurate HACCP records, label) Reuse – Give to Charity Staff Meals (on site only) Use at companion facilities Reward helpful people (valet parkers,etc) Return to vendor
Next Class • Quiz Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 – Beverage Service • Chapter 8 – the Show