by Martin Eshelby, Food Innovation Manager

5 tips to make festive food prep as efficient as possible

5 tips to make festive food prep as efficient as possible
This year, timing saving, simple solutions for your kitchens are more important than ever. And with a busy festive period ahead we wanted to give you some top tips to help your service go as smoothly as possible.


1. Use frozen accompaniments

Frozen veg and accompaniments make portioning and cooking extremely efficient during busy periods. Use frozen pigs in blankets instead of making your own to save kitchen time pre-service – and we’ve got a gluten free option for these too.

Braising red cabbage for festive menus takes a lot of prep time. This year we’ve launched a frozen braised red cabbage to help you remove that time from your kitchen. It is frozen into small portions so that you can easily cook from frozen for individual orders. Also, products like frozen duck fat potatoes and Yorkshire puddings make for a much simpler prep, allowing you to really focus on your centre of plate food and the menu options that do require more preparation.


2. Individual portion desserts are a perfect time saving menu option

Individual portion desserts, whether hot or cold, can be really simple and easy to use ahead of and during service. Balance your dessert menu by providing hot and warming wintery options that you’ll need to pop in the microwave, and serve with decadent chilled options that literally come out of the fridge and straight onto a simply dressed plate.

Desserts like sticky toffee pudding and chocolate fondants are really popular on menus and we have some perfect options for you including our new vegan banana and date sticky toffee pudding (61345).


3. Think about menu options that would work across multiple menus

When considering you menus, don’t over complicate them. Choose options that work well for lunch and dinner, utilising food that can create small plates on your menu means you can easily adapt them for each service but also provide variety across your menus.

For example, hassleback potatoes can be loaded as a small plate or sharing platter (check out a recipe here) or used simply as an accompaniment.

Festive burgers are really popular now and they work really well on a lunch, brunch or dinner menu. Our festive burger recipe is so delicious and really easy to prepare.

Salmon Gravadlax is another classic starter option for festive menus, but it is also perfect as part of a festive brunch menu option.


4. Use pre-sous vide centre of plate meats that save cooking time but also allow you to add your own stamp on your menu option

We’ve launched three new sous vide meats, a beef short rib, pork shoulder and pork belly that are perfect for adding your own stamp and flavour combinations to. They require a little cooking in the oven and can be finished off in a pan to add more colour… but the hard part of the prep is done for you! Choose your base, sauce and accompaniments and away you go.


5. Be organised with orders ahead of time

Make sure you get your pre-orders in and organised ahead of service. Make sure you are fully prepared and stocked up for these orders ahead of time, and account for some curve balls during every service.

Making sure you have these pre-orders fully organised means you have a lot more time to run your business and deal with walk in orders when it gets really busy, meaning you get the most profit out of the busy festive period as possible.


For more inspiration for the festive period head to our Christmas page.

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