How to plan a wedding menu to avoid food wastage
A well-planned menu will not only minimise costs, but also reduce food wastage. Here’s what you should know to prepare a menu that serves on all fronts—from the occasion to the environment
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CATERERS
Caterers offer menus across the spectrum. From a cost-conscious meal to a lavish spread, there are several combinations that you can opt for. Most couples pick elaborate meal plans to cater to the varied tastes of as many guests as possible. However, this strategy doesn’t work for all weddings. It is important to communicate with your caterers and explain to them the theme, number of guests invited, and food preferences (vegetarian or non-vegetarian). “Once the requirements are set, we suggest meal options and per plate charges. We can also help clients decide dishes according to the theme,” says Anukriti Garg, a wedding planner. Clear communication with your caterers can help them design a suitable menu, which includes appetisers and welcome drinks to complement the theme.
A large amount of food wastage at weddings is a result of elaborate, over-the-top food menus. Much of this food wastage can be curbed by simply designing the menu smartly. Chandni Shah, who recently tied the knot, shares, “The idea of an elaborate wedding menu was a big no-no for us. We decided to keep it compact, yet exciting. We chose live counters for our favourite dishes and a few multi-cuisine dishes.” Optimising the menu does not necessarily mean fewer choices; instead, it caters to what the guests really want. Leaving out fringe items that aren’t really in demand at weddings is a good way to limit wastage.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
An assortment of items is always better than a lengthy multicuisine menu. Quality often takes a backseat when there are too many dishes to serve. Homemaker Jaya Shah, who took charge of her son’s wedding catering, advises, “We made a conscious decision to serve only 10 main dishes in order to avoid any compromise on quality. Guests, too, prefer fewer dishes that are well-prepared rather than numerous options that might be undercooked or lacking in flavour.”
STRIKE A BALANCE
If a majority of the invited guests are vegetarians, then ensure that the menu offers more vegetarian dishes. Similarly, if there are many guests from overseas, then the menu should have a balance of Indian and multi-cuisine food. A balance of food options will not only help optimise costs, but will also allow you to prepare a menu that cares for the environment!
DO THE MATH
Running out of food is perhaps one of the most embarrassing situations for any host. In such cases, a little surplus is recommended. Wedding planner Sagar Shah explains, “If you have budgeted for 500 guests, account for additional 20-30 guests, especially those who attend without any RSVP.”
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