Premier Foods carvery guide


Premier Foods carvery guide

Welcome to the highlights from our Carvery Guide; a tool to help pubs, restaurants and hotels make the most of this popular dining option. Some of our best loved brands, including Bisto, Paxo and McDougalls, are perfectly placed to help outlets serve delicious accompaniments to a carvery roast, and our Executive Chef, Mark Rigby, has put together recipes and top tips to help inspire you.


The recipes have been developed based on the results of exclusive consumer research we conducted to find out what people are looking for from a carvery meal, helping you to tempt your diners. There is even inspiration to help you cater for vegetarians, making sure there is something for everyone.


What do consumers want to see on the menu?

  • 62% of those surveyed strongly agreed that a carvery would be nothing without a good gravy, with people from the Midlands feeling most strongly about this! *
  • People from the South were most likely to want more gluten free and low salt options at a carvery*
  • Our research shows over a third of people selected Bisto as their favourite gravy brand and 1/3 of people said Paxo is their favourite stuffing brand*

What makes the perfect carvery?

The carvery is a famous British institution offered in many pubs, restaurants and hotels. Carveries run every day of the week, but are most popular at weekends, when a Sunday roast can be offered. Traditionally the meat in a carvery is accompanied by roast, mashed or boiled potatoes, a range of vegetables and a hearty gravy. Our Executive Chef, Mark Rigby, has put together his top tips to ensure you are offering the perfect carvery to your customers:


The meat

Great meat is the centrepiece of any carvery. The choice and cut of meat is key. As well as offering the favourites, why not try focusing on the preparation and cooking method? Slow roast a saddle of lamb, stuffed with shallots, pancetta, rosemary and garlic for a tasty twist that customers will love. Typical meats used for a carvery are roast beef, chicken, lamb or pork, although seasonally duck, goose, gammon, turkey or other game birds may be used.


The gravy

Gravy is another pivotal piece of the carvery puzzle. Tailor your gravy to ensure you stay distinctive and deliver the flavours you want. Make sure you add the meat and vegetable juices to your gravy to add flavour, and why not try adding wine and herbs. With everything from cracked black peppercorns and cream, to caramelized onions and sugar, Bisto Gravies can be tailored to suit any menu.


Yorkshire puddings

Customers can often tell the difference between homemade and frozen Yorkshire Puddings, so to stand out make sure you are preparing them from scratch. You can prepare the batter at the beginning of service using McDougalls Batter Mix and bake them freshly throughout the day so that the carvery is constantly stocked with a fresh offering.



Stuffing is a firm favourite with customers as part of a carvery. Try using Paxo Sage & Onion Stuffing which delivers a consistently great taste that customers know and love and has the added bonus of being suitable for vegetarians.


Top tip: Blend a little sausage meat into your stuffing to both enrich your stuffing, and keep it moist


Mark Rigby’s top tips!

Portion control

  • The right equipment is essential. Make all serving spoons suitable for portion size so that customers don’t take more of each item than they need
  • Ensure carving knives are sharp so there is no meat wasted
  • Count and record the portions of meat you get from each dish, so you can cost this back and set a target for the chefs to achieve
  • As opposed to self-service, where possible, serve up the most popular items directly to your customers to ensure you don’t run out prematurely e.g. stuffing balls and Yorkshire puddings


  • Try adding sides, such as pigs in blankets, or courgette in Panko breadcrumbs with parmesan for your vegetarian customers, to drive upselling sales
  • Extra sauces are the second most popular upsell initiative on menus with 29% of dishes having this option. Make sure you are offering your customers the option to purchase an additional sauce which can be made up freshly with the new Bisto sauces range
  • Upselling is a great opportunity on a carvery as not all aspects need to be included as part of the main meal. But, always remember that any upsell should be seen as an added bonus

Take a look at our fantastic carvery recipes below!

*Source: Premier Foods Carvery Guide 2017
Disclaimer: The information contained on this page has been provided directly by Premier Foods and is in no way related to Bidfood UK.

Back to Top

Stay up to date...

Click subscribe to sign up to our newsletter.

Ready to shop?

Visit Bidfood Direct to place your order.