Once you realize that your restaurant is running well, you may decide that you want to figure out a way to bring more profit in. One way that many restaurant owners decide to drive more revenue and business is by offering off-site catering. However, when developing an off-site catering menu, you must be careful with the foods that you will offer your customers. Some don't travel as well as others. With some foods, you can make them work as long as you have a few tricks up your sleeves. Read on to learn more.
Non-Ideal Foods for Your Catering Menu and How to Make Them Work
Below, you will find a list of foods that are not ideal for off-site catering. However, who says that you can't make avoidable foods work? There will be a brief explanation as to why these foods should ultimately be avoided for off-site catering as well as an exception to the rule.
- Hot Pasta – Pasta can easily dry out or become overcooked when it is reheated. However, if you opt for lasagna or macaroni, you should be safe. Alternatively, you could opt to boil the noodles once you get to the location and simply add the pasta sauce right before serving.
- Fried Foods – Fried foods will not only get cold during transport, but they'll likely get soggy. So, if you don't want to cut them out of the picture altogether, the best thing you can do is wait until you get on-site to fry them. An alternative would be to fry the foods ahead of time, cool them in a blast chiller, which will prevent condensation for transport, and transport the food in a ventilated container.
- Hot Vegetables – When hot vegetables sit too long or are reheated, they may become overcooked. So, don't cook them completely before heading to your catering location. Leave them a little bit crispy. They'll finish cooking on the way and on the buffet table. Crispier vegetables are better than mushy ones anyway.
Ideal Foods for Your Catering Menu
Below you will find a list of foods that are absolutely perfect for off-site catering. However, as with all good things, a few things can go wrong. With that being said, there will be a brief explanation as to why these foods work well as well as a few precautions.
- Soups – You can't go wrong with soup. It can't be dried out and it can't be overcooked. It may thicken up over time, but it can be thinned down with water. Just make sure to watch for a crusty lining over the top if you're serving a buffet. This can usually be avoided by frequent stirring.
- Half-Shell Oysters – As a general rule, these won't cause an unpleasant fishy smell. They can be chilled or served raw. Just make sure to invest in an oyster shucker and some additional help, as they will take some time.
- BBQ – Pork and chicken are often difficult to overcook and the barbecue sauce will keep the meat moist. Just be careful not to keep it covered on the buffet table or it may become overly soggy.