While you're planning an event, you have many different details to determine. One of the decisions you have to make is whether you will serve food. If you do choose to serve food, putting together the menu and ordering the right quantities can help turn a good event into a great one.
The common practice is to order more food than you think you'll need. Whether you're planning a corporate retreat, wedding or birthday party, more guests may show up or simply eat more than planned.
However, when you order more than you need, you can end up with leftovers — sometimes a lot of leftovers. Knowing some methods of reducing food waste at events can keep you from throwing away perfectly good food. Here are three places to start.
Buffets and other self-serve food stations are ways to save money during an event. Instead of hiring servers, guests can serve themselves. But, self-serve food stations mean you can't control portion sizes. Guests can take as little — or as much — as they want. Even though you don't need servers for this form of food service, you do need staff to refill stations as required.
One way to save food is to only refill these stations when necessary. When you refill them too much, you may end up with full or near-full trays when the event is over. Food that stays out too long may become spoiled, leaving you no choice but to throw it away.
Food waste doesn't just mean the food itself. Minimizing event food waste means looking for ways to do it at every point of the food service. Using reusable serving and dining items means less waste, too.
For example, use pitchers of water instead of plastic water bottles and use silverware instead of plastic utensils. Unnecessary waste also includes items such as disposable utensils and plates. Finding alternatives to items like this will significantly reduce food-related waste during your event.
Sometimes, we do end up with much more leftover food than we estimated. If you have a smaller event and small amounts of leftovers, you can send those leftovers home with your staff or guests. But, with larger events come more leftover food.
Instead of throwing that food away, find a local organization that can put it to better use. Local food banks, food pantries, and homeless shelters would be thrilled to receive donations in this way.
However, you can't just show up at an organization like this with your leftover food. Develop relationships with those who manage those organizations ahead of time.
Reducing food waste at your event has a significant impact on the environment, especially if you take these measures for all your future events. Show attendees your dedication to sustainability by asking guests to avoid food waste.
If you're looking for the perfect event space in Central PA, choose Spooky Nook Meetings & Events! We have amazing spaces for any sized event, from conventions and trade shows to small, intimate weddings. Please contact us today to learn more about our event spaces or schedule a tour.
Topics: meetings and events