Blog & Current news


Office catering Birmingham Blog, with information for all your catering needs from Trenchers, including information on sustainability, allergens, portions, hygiene inspections.

13Mar

Coronavirus update from BSA.

We Have received a helpful guide for small  business and clients alike from The British sandwich association...

  • A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41m to apply for a loan of up to £1.2m, with the Government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion pounds to protect and support small businesses. 

 

  • For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the Government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2bn to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.
  • A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree abespoke Time to Pay arrangement

 

  • There will be a £3,000 cash grant to 700,000 of our smallest businesses, delivered by Local Authorities, and worth a total of £2bn.
  • Finally, the Government is temporarily increasing the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value. Nearly half of all business properties will not pay a penny of business rates.

 

  •  
  •  
  • The impacts across supply, demand and labour markets
  • Actions being taken by firms to address these impacts
  • Any gaps in the Government response from your perspective

 

Please send this information to intel@beis.gov.uk.  We understand that individual company information may be commercially sensitive, and it will be treated accordingly. 

 

 Scotland

The Scottish Government has announced a ban mass gatherings of over 500 people to free up emergency staff but there are currently no similar plans in the rest of the UK.

 

A new helpline has been launched to supply Scottish businesses with tailored advice on coronavirus.


It will be open Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 17:30, based at Scottish Enterprise's call centre in Clydebank.


Call handlers will answer questions from businesses related to Covid-19 as well as relaying the challenges faced by businesses to the Scottish government.


The helpline number is 0300 303 0660.

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19Feb

Speed sandwich making challenge, for a well know tv show. 10 sandwiches made in 1 minute.

A few years ago we were asked to make as many ham and cheese sandwiches as we could in a minute for a well know afternoon tv show.

I could not make it to the show in the end due to Trenchers being really busy, however we still have the attempt on video and we have just stumbled upon it.


Take a look.

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13Feb

Food hygiene best practices and what scores on the doors mean.


 

Do you know the environment you buy or eat your food from? 

 

What are “food hygiene ratings” 

 

 


The scheme gives businesses a rating from 5 to 0 which is displayed at their premises and online so you can make more informed choices about where to buy and eat food.

5 – hygiene standards are very good

4 – hygiene standards are good

3 – hygiene standards are generally satisfactory

2 – some improvement is necessary

1 – major improvement is necessary

0 – urgent improvement is required

 

Do you know where to search a business premises?  

 

https://ratings.food.gov.uk/

 

What the rating covers

Ratings are a snapshot of the standards of food hygiene found at the time of inspection. It is the responsibility of the business to comply with food hygiene law at all times.

This includes:

• handling of food
• how food is stored
• how food is prepared
• cleanliness of facilities
• how food safety is managed

The food hygiene rating scheme does not provide information on the following factors:

• quality of the food  
• customer service  
• culinary skill  
• presentation  
• comfort

For suspected food poisoning, seek medical advice from your GP and

contact your local environmental health or food safety team

 

 

 

Good hygiene practices

 

Hand washing… Something so simple! but a lot of people don’t wash their hands correctly

 

 

 

Follow these five steps every time.

1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

 By Marie Jones 

 


 

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07Nov

Can Trenchers become plastic free? We have trialled many different plastic free options, these are our findings.

Trial to be 100% Plastic free.


◦It has not been Possible to source a 100% plastic free option for catering.

◦At this moment in time Trenchers Catering is 75% plastic free at point of delivery using our branded white Trenchers boxes.

◦The Only plastic we use is sadly the platter bags and dip pots.

◦The Card we use for platters is 100% recycled and locally sourced.

◦ We Recycle 75% of all rubbish discarded by the business = 2200kg per week recycled.

◦As soon as plastic free sustainable options become available, we will be the fist to use it.




Corn starch bags –

Pros

Compostable

Semi clear

Keep fresh

Moisture resistant


Cons

Looks terrible

Only small bags available

Looks like cheap plastic

Larger bags would need to be manufactured – cost above £10,000 as would need to buy 100,000

compostable


Verdict – not viable





Compostable bags-

Pros

Compostable

Clear

Keep fresh

Moisture resistant

compostable


Cons

Looks terrible

Only small bags available

Looks like cheap plastic dog poo bags

Larger bags would need to be manufactured – cost above £10000, would need to buy 100,000



White or brown Kraft bags-

pros

Largest bags available just about fit

Cheap

compostable


Cons

Look cheap

Easy to rip

Not moisture resistant

Looks terrible

Would not be able to use any wet products – sliced fruit or wetter fillings and salads

Paper is breathable, meaning bread will go stale very quickly.





Current only ‘plastic free platter available anywhere only’

Pros

Looks nice

Waxy box

Strong



Cons

Plastic lid

No wet fillings – sliced fruit

Only one size that I could find

Expensive - £3 per box and insert with min order of 100 of each.

Not compostable



Other option from leading biopac packaging manufacturer. (fibre box and lid)

Pros

Strong

Water resistant to a point

All catering can be used on this box

Looks good


Cons

It uses a hard plastic lid

Not compostable




Paper wrap

Pros

Clean

Can fit all sizes of platter boxes

Cheap


Cons

Not water resistant,

Compostable,

Very time consuming to wrap,

Air can get to the food as paper is breathable meaning bread would go stale quicker

Not easy to wrap quickly, we would need to do this whilst making every other lunch.

Would not be able to use sliced fruit or wet fillings as this would wet the paper

Looks only ok.





Manufacture a box with a lid (Walsall box company is our current supplier)

Pros

Looks good

Would be branded

Fit the catering perfectly as made to measure


Cons

Would cost the following to make the lids for our boxes……


1100 (min) – 250 x 178 x 40mm @ £352.00 per 1000


1000 – 330 x 245 x4 0mm @ £418.60 per 1000


Plus Cost of new artwork & Stereos per size @ £125 and £200


Need to store 2100 boxes – no room

Not water resistant – no sliced fruit

Clean

Compostable




Plates – standard for Bnp Paribas

We use a verity of plates however the lids used are hard plastic and the platter bags are plastic meaning this will not be a viable option anymore.





Trenchers Boxes.

Our standard packaging is Card Platters however to keep the food fresh and well presented we have to use plastic platter bags. The plastic platter bag’s and dip pots are the only plastic that we use to make and transport our catering. Our delivery boxes are card, our fruit is brought from the market plastic free.

Meaning we are 85% plastic free already which is at least 50% better than any of our competitors.

We are the only caterer to have allergen information on our card boxes packaging as standard.









And now a little something about our competitors.

competitors, please see pictures below




 





Lazy lunch – hard plastic lid and base Philpots – hard plastic lids and base

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11Oct

Prize draw winners - Regus Victoria square.

Congratulations to Regus Victoria square, who have won a bespoke Regus branded victoria sponge with jam and cream made by our bakers at Hand-made Bake.

 

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23Sep

The Difference a good caterer makes to your event.


 

There are numerous corporate functions during which hiring a caterer would be beneficial for everyone. Generally speaking, fed employees are happy employees and that’s cause to consider hiring out for a business meeting, retirement party or maybe even a special office anniversary. Hiring a company like Trenchers Catering takes care of all of the work involved with making your employees and coworkers feel thought of – Undeniably, food makes an impression and brings people together.

As much as we hate to admit it, our lives tend to revolve around breaks and meal times both in and out of the office. Think back to your latest function, do you remember the food?

Of course you do!

Everyone always remembers the food! Food brings people together and it has the innate ability to make a meeting an occasion. It can add to a function or just as quickly take away from it so hiring a professional to take care of the preparation and logistics helps you do your own job better.  Imagine walking into your next deal meeting or presentation with the aroma of fresh brewed coffee dancing around the room and a spread of pastries and fruit to lighten the mood. Everyone appreciates a pick-me-up and with Trenchers Catering you can trust that when the atmosphere is dry, the food won’t be.

When you’re preparing for corporate events the utmost importance is how you’re treating your guests and employees. You want to portray the company well so you clean up, dress well, decorate accordingly, prepare slides and handouts but one of the best things you can do is make a good impression with the sustenance you’re offering. A good selection of refreshments or a well put together meal shows your employees, partners and guests that you care about both their well-being and that they enjoy their time spent with you.

From small office meetings to large corporate events, the right food can improve overall morale and help keep attendees focused and engaged. Catered events help build relationships and that’s what business is all about. Sitting down with a hot cup of coffee or to share a meal brings us all back to just being people, working together to build something wonderful – your company. Trust Trenchers Catering to help you host or celebrate and leave the food to us. You know business and we know food. With catering companies like ours, plenty of dietary restrictions can be accommodated and we are happy to take the planning off of your plate and provide services to your satisfaction when you need them most.  Make good food a part of the experience of working with your company.

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30May

The importance of good caterers to your events.

The Importance of a good caterer for your office event:
One of the most important factors that add colour to your event is food. This is a natural phenomenon, everybody likes food. The quality, Choice, preparation and presentation of the food you serve in your event can make the event more colourful and memorable. This is why a large part of the planning stage for your event must be dedicated to planning the food you want to serve your guests. Planning, preparing and serving the food for your events can be quite a difficult task and it is best to employ the services of a corporate catering Company just like Trenchers Catering to help you out with this task.


Some Importance of a good caterer?
Professionalism: One of the benefits or importance of catering for the office environment is that these people are professionals and are experienced in the job. As corporate caterers know how to plan, prepare and present the food to suit your event.
Reduces Workload: Planning an event can be very burdensome and would require your attention for many different tasks at a single time. So it is best to delegate some tasks to professionals to help you out. This will reduce the workload and also maximize the effectiveness in handling other tasks.
Better Presentation: one of the benefits of hiring the services of corporate caterers for your event is that they know how best to package and present your food to reflect the goal of your event. The Professional caterers have already been trained in the art of food presentation. So, choosing the best way to present your food to mirror your event is no big deal.
Conclusion
Apart from being trained in the art, preparation, presentation and service of food to suit your event is important and this is what the team at Trenchers Catering Birmingham are known for. So always put you best foot forward when you a going for a corporate catering because they can make or mar your event

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24Mar

Great blog by Jen reviews, all about french bread.

There is a great little article about french bread written by Jen Miller from the blog site Jen Reviews, it talks about how to make the perfect french bread, and its  available to read in full  here: Jen Reviews


below is a brief snip it of it.....

Bread, in one form or another, is something that can be found in every cultures kitchen. We use it as a way to break our overnight fast, to sandwich delicious ingredients in-between for the mid-day meal, or to sop up flavor infused liquids from a sauce or soup at dinner. It’s really the most universal of finger foods. However, we usually leave it to the experts to prepare either in an artisan bakery or in a commercial kitchen environment. Of course, that was before this French bread recipe! 


We hope you liked the post as much as we do at Trenchers.


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18Feb

Feedback for Trenchers Catering

At Trenchers we love knowing what our customers think of us and what we do. So attached is a downloadable feedback form for all our customers to let us know what you think.


FEEDBACK FORM.docx

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21Nov

We make 70,000 sandwiches a year,(WOW) would you like to know what fillings we use on a regular basis, then read on......

Here at Trenchers catering in Birmingham we make around 70,000 sandwiches a year, so what are the great fillings that keeps our customers happy and coming back for more?

After many years of many different fillings, we have had many conversations with our customers, and we have come up with a standard set of options that we try to stick to unless requested by a specific customer.


Our meat fillings are as follows:

Ham and tomato 

Ham salad

roast beef and tomato

roast beef salad

turkey salad

mature cheddar and tomato

chicken and sweetcorn

chicken mayo and bacon

chicken and stuffing

tuna mayo and sweetcorn

chicken tikka

coronation chicken

ham and cheese 



Our veg fillings consist of the following....

mature cheddar and tomato

mature cheddar and salad

mature cheddar and Branston pickle salad

egg mayo and salad

brie and cranberry

three cheese and onion in mayo salad

Houmous and roast veg.


Our vegan fillings are as follows......

Roast pepper houmous salad

houmous and roast veg salad

vegan cheese salad


Our halal fillings are as follows...

Chicken tikka

coronation chicken

chicken mayo

tuna mayo


Christmas Fillings:

Turkey and Stuffing,

Turkey cranberry and stuffing

Turkey Cranberry stuffing and bacon,

Roast beef and horseradish

Cheddar and pickle

Smoked salmon and cream cheese,

Brie and Grapes

Brie and Cranberry

Brie bacon and cranberry.




Any filling sugegstions are always welcome, so please ask the team to add your favourite.

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26Sep

How will the Brexit deal and the looming congestion charge effect Trenchers Catering in Birmingham

My alarm went off at a later than normal 3:15am today, and normally that would be great, however, getting up later means we are quieter than usual, Trenchers Catering has been going from strength to strength recently, however, i always have it in mind that things can change at any moment, with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit at the moment coupled with looming congestion  charges about to be implemented in Birmingham over the next few month, all i see is challenges.

Office catering in Birmingham has always had great scope for a company to disrupt the market and at Trenchers we try to be innovative with presentation, and production were possible.

We have some great new packaging about to be introduced which will mean we are better branded and also meaning almost 70% of the packaging we will be using will be able to get recycled after use in companies waste paper baskets.


I don't know of any catering company with there own sustainability policy, and even any catering company that can show a real push towards a greener more sustainable product, all our competitors are using hard plastic platters.


The Congestion charge coming it force will mean Trenchers investing in more new refrigerated delivery vans to ensure we are meeting the required targets for emissions in Birmingham.


Brexit will be the big looming issue and hopefully our government will get there act together and get something sorted so we as a small business can continue to thrive in an ever changing and uncertain environment, as we rely on the success of other businesses in the city.



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02Sep

Trenchers caters for around 70,000 people a year and has found still our most popular fillings are BLT,Ham and Cheese.

At Trenchers Catering we make sandwiches for around 70,000 people a year, and in our experience, the simpler the sandwich fillings are the better our customers enjoy them.

Recent article published in the `independent has found the nations favourite sandwich filling is ‘The ‘BLT’, which is most defiantly one of my favourites, however, we have found just plain ham salad or cheese salad, works best when catering for large amounts of people, and as long as we have these fillings on our platters the customers are happy.

Sandwiches have been enjoyed since the 18th century, when the Earl of sandwich first came up with the idea of putting bread and a filling together.

According to new research, the great people of the UK are supposable moving away from the standard classic fillings and are heading towards a more modern avocado sandwich or Brie and grape, which is great, but there will always be a place for the classics.

Over the last 50 years, our tastes have not changed to much, here is what we have been eating….

1970s 

Ham salad

Ham and cheese

Ploughman’s

Cheese and onion

Egg mayonnaise

1980s 

Chicken salad

Tuna mayo

Tuna and cucumber

BLT

Tuna salad

1990s 

BLT

Tuna mayo

Chicken mayo

Tuna salad

Chicken Club

2000s

Smoked salmon and cream cheese

Chicken mayo

Brie and cranberry

Salmon and prawn

Brie and grape

2010s

Hummus and falafel

BBQ pulled pork

Avocado

Chicken and avocado

Brie and grape

All these fillings are available on Trenchers menus at. all times and generally will get rotated daily to add to variety.

I would also like to add the Coronation chicken and chicken tikka, to the nations favourite as these are always been requested by my customers

 

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How the humble sandwich has stood the test of time

Warburtons have asked 2000 people to take part in a study which found according to the research, the most popular sandwich filling of the 1970s was ham salad, with chicken salad reigning supreme in the 1980s.

The BLT followed as the most desirable sandwich of choice in the 1990s, with participants opting for a fishier filling in the 2000s with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

However, in recent years it seems that more Britons have been opting for plant-based alternatives, as the hummus and falafel sandwich- however this is down to what I believe is the Vegan effect.

51% of chefs in America are adding Vegan options to their menus.

Do most people describe a sandwich as their favourite meal, these studies suggest so.

Darren Littler, innovation director at Warburtons, explains that the study demonstrates the nation’s desire to be more experimental in the kitchen.

“Whilst the humble sandwich has remained a classic UK favourite over the decades, it’s interesting to see the fillings that fall in and out of favour in line with trends and preferences,” he says.

 “Now, with a vastly increased number of choices compared to years gone by, more adventurous fillings are now clearly the order of the day for many Brits, with corned beef no longer cutting the mustard.”

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