How to Meet the Pent-up Demand for Catering with Limited Staff
May 18, 2021
Remember all of those catered events that clients postponed last summer?
They’re coming back in a big way. Summer 2021 will be chock-full of bookings for weddings, graduations, reunions, birthday parties, conferences, and more.
This is terrific news for caterers who have struggled mightily under COVID-19 restrictions.
What’s less welcome is the current market for labor today. Like most foodservice operators, caterers are finding it difficult to recruit the people they need to meet all of the pent-up demand.
This shortage is forcing them to rethink the items and ingredients that go into their menus. They simply can’t afford unnecessary labor and waste as they refill their calendars.
Frozen and prepared foods save the day for caterers
To meet the challenge, many caterers are finding success with high-quality, frozen and prepared foods where much of the time-consuming prep—like peeling, chopping, roasting, blanching, etc.—is already done. Prep is often as simple as heat and serve (or even thaw and serve in the case of Simplot’s new line of Ready-to-Eat products).
Beyond reduced labor, the consistency of frozen and prepared products helps maintain quality, event after event. The convenience of frozen lets caterers limit their use of labor-intensive fresh produce to only those instances where it can have a real impact.
10 Simplot speed-scratch products that caterers love
Simplot offers a helpful variety of potato, avocado, vegetable, roasted vegetable, fruit and grain products that, while frozen or chilled, offer caterers the farm-fresh colors and flavors they need to please discerning clients. They hold well under catering conditions, and 100% edible yield means a lot less waste.
Here are a few that are especially well-suited to catering:
• Baby Bakers™ Roasted Potatoes
• Ready-to-Eat Flame-Roasted Fuji Apples
• Roasted Rosemary Redskin Potatoes
• Flame-Roasted Corn & Black Bean Fiesta Blend
• Flame-Roasted Cob Corn
• Roasted Vegetables & Pasta Blend
Five on-trend catering recipes for Summer 2021
Looking for some great recipe ideas that work well for events? Simplot’s Culinary Team has selected five of their favorites to share with you, featuring many of the products mentioned above. They include:
Flame-Roasted Fuji Apple and Cherry Bread Pudding
A classic bread pudding with the welcome addition of flame-roasted Fuji apples, dark cherries and a sweet whiskey cream sauce to serve it with.
Buffalo'ed Baby Bakers™
A delicious vegetarian appetizer option that will please your plant-based diners and just about everyone else. Prepare to make a lot of these. They'll be popular.
Southwestern Taco Lasagna Bake
Bring the flavors of the Southwest to diners with this riff on lasagna featuring our new Simplot Good Grains™ Cilantro Lime Rice & Fire-Roasted Corn Fiesta.
Couscous and Avocado Salad
A delightfully refreshing and hearty vegetarian salad featuring Harvest Fresh™ Avocado Dices and Simplot Good Grains™ Couscous, Red Quinoa and Vegetable Blend.
Lemon Tarragon Shrimp Pasta
An elegant meal with sautéed shrimp tossed with Simplot RoastWorks® Roasted Vegetables and Pasta Blend and Simplot Simple Goodness™ Asparagus, Cuts & Tips.
Don’t let a labor shortage slow down your recovery
For caterers, innovative products like Simplot RoastWorks®, Harvest Fresh™ Avocados, and Good Grains™ are an economic necessity, allowing them to take on big events and serve unique, crave-able menu options that deliver on expectations. And the appeal of reducing unnecessary labor and waste with high-quality, speed scratch products isn’t likely to fade anytime soon, even if the pandemic does.