Blog & Current news


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

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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19Jun

The planned congestion charge and how it will effect Trenchers catering.

What effect will the congestion charge have on Trenchers Catering?

In 2020 Birmingham will need to have changed their pollution levels in the city to acceptable levels or face a hefty fine of up to £60 Million pounds, now we all know that Birmingham city council have struggled to manage the ongoing needs of the Birmingham population on a normal government budget, however, with this fine looming, the congestion charge will be implemented swiftly, and will cause a lot of bother to a small business’s that needs to go in and out of the city on a daily basis.

Trenchers are a small business and we already have to pay quite a lot in parking and fuel costs, so with the proposed cost of between £8 and £10 per day per van to get into the city, we will need to find a minimum of £3650 per year per van. This is a significant amount of money and will mean either not going in to the city for business (which would be almost company suicide) or passing on the extra cost to the customers, which we all know is a really difficult proposition, with money for catering being very tight as it is.

Looking at the issue of pollution in general around the city centre, I would love to know what the pollution levels are like when not at peak times, as what I find is the roads around the city are almost empty from between 10am and 3pm, and in this respect we are not like the centre of London where you would find constant heavy traffic all across the day.

I selfishly believe that the city would benefit from a peak time congestion charge, which would be more of an encouragement for the average worker to use public transport instead of their cars, but then also not push already hard up businesses who need to come in and out of the city numerous times a day to have to pick between work and extra business costs.

I’m not an expert, and I also know we are all in this together, so will abide by whatever congestion charge is put in place, and hope that this will indeed help the environment and not just be another way for the government and council to extort more money from us all.

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29May

How Trenchers Caters for so many companies at once.

How do we cater for multiple companies?

At Trenchers we work really hard to plan and deliver wonderful, fresh locally sourced catering to a great number of corporate clients in and around Birmingham.

The first thing we need is an order, at this moment in time the most popular form or ordering is via email,  and the information we take from each order is as follows…..

Company name, address, telephone number, email address, what the company would like to order and a delivery time, if this is a new customer, these details will be inputted to our accounts software(we use Kashflow, however there are many others to choice from like SAGE, or QuickBooks).

How we go about this, takes quite a lot of explaining….

At any one time, we can caterer for up to 50 companies in a single day, to accomplish this we have to break down every order in to as small a number as possible and re configure it all into a grid planning system,

This system will consist of multiple rows and column, with each column, being a company and each row will have the items to be made and platted up.

                               Company a   company b company c

Meat sandwich

Veg sandwich

Meat savory

Veg savory

Cake

Fruit

Crisps

Drinks

Special requirements

Using the above system we can not only break down an order, but also split the order for each caterer to have their own section and can easily work along the line and do multiple orders at once, platting and labelling each order as they are made and placed in the respective fridges.

From this planner sheet, we also take the total number of meat and veg sandwiches and the total number of meat and veg savories, and these get made separately and placed in the fridge, and get platted up when they have cooled down to below 5c in the case of the savories or in the case of the sandwiches, when all the baguettes, wraps and special requirements have been made and then we can start plating the sandwiches up to the customers specification.

The production side of things can mean a very early start for everyone at Trenchers, so once all the orders are made and in their specific fridges, we will take a break, so we can work out all the delivery runs and who will be doing what and where.

After a break we spend some time putting all the mixed up buffets in to the individual customers order boxes, and checked via the planner, and then a secondary check via the printed of email, that the company had originally sent over to us. This process takes 4 people almost 30 minutes and has to be done correctly, as this is where mistakes are made and rectified.

Once we are all happy with the lunches, they get loaded up, into our refrigerated vans with temperatures below 5c.

We generally like our delivery drivers to leave at 10am, as most customers like their lunches delivered between 11am and 12pm. We cover the whole of Birmingham, so the earlier we leave the better we deliver on time, I do love the saying “if you are early you are on time, if you are on time you are late and to be late is unacceptable.”

At the point of delivery the delivery, the driver will take the van temperature and note the time of delivery, and the customer will sign the delivery form acknowledging the delivery time and van temperature.

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24May

Trenchers Takes GDPR seriously, and as such have now published our Data Protection Policy, on the following blog. We only store basic customer details used only for invoices and confirmations, all customer data can be deleted at a push of a button upon request.

Data Protection Policy 

Policy statement

Trenchers Catering is committed to a policy of protecting the rights and privacy of individuals, voluntary and community group members, volunteers staff and others in accordance with The Data Protection Act 1998. The policy applies to all voluntary and community group members and staff at the community Centre. Any breach of The Data Protection Act 1998 or The Community Centre Data Protection Policy is considered to be an offence and in that event, disciplinary procedures apply.

As a matter of good practice, other organisations and individuals working with the Centre, and who have access to personal information, will be expected to have read and comply with this policy. It is expected that any staff who deal with external organisations will take responsibility for ensuring that such organisations sign a contract agreeing to abide by this policy.

 

Legal Requirements

Data are protected by the Data Protection Act 1998, which came into effect on 1 March 2000. Its purpose is to protect the rights and privacy of individuals and to ensure that personal data are not processed without their knowledge, and, wherever possible, is processed without their consent.

The Act requires us to register the fact that we hold personal data and to acknowledge the right of ‘subject access’ – voluntary and community group members and staff must have the right to copies of their own data.

 

Managing Data Protection

We  will ensure that our details are registered with the Information Commissioner.

 

Purpose of data held by the Community Association

Data may be held by us for the following purposes:

1.   Staff Administration

2.   Fundraising

3.   Realising the Objectives of a Charitable Organisation or Voluntary Body

4.   Accounts & Records

5.   Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations

6.   Information and Databank Administration

7.   Journalism and Media

8.   Processing For Not For Profit Organisations

9.   Research

10. Volunteers

 

Data Protection Principles

In terms of the Data Protection Act 1998, we are the ‘data controller’, and as such determine the purpose for which, and the manner in which, any personal data are, or are to be, processed. We must ensure that we have:

Fairly and lawfully processed personal data

 will always put our logo on all paperwork, stating their intentions on processing the data and state if, and to whom, we intend to give the personal data. Also provide an indication of the duration the data will be kept.

 

Processed for limited purpose

We will not use data for a purpose other than those agreed by data subjects (voluntary and community group members, staff and others). If the data held by us are requested by external organisations for any reason, this will only be passed if data subjects (voluntary and community group members, staff and others) agree. Also external organisations must state the purpose of processing, agree not to copy the data for further use and sign a contract agreeing to abide by The Data Protection Act 1998 and (your name here) Data Protection Policy.

Adequate, relevant and not excessive

The Association  will monitor the data held for our purposes, ensuring we hold neither too much nor too little data in respect of the individuals about whom the data are held. If data given or obtained are excessive for such purpose, they will be immediately deleted or destroyed.

Accurate and up-to-date

We will provide our members (voluntary and community group members, staff and others) with a copy of their data once a year for information and updating where relevant. All amendments will be made immediately and data no longer required will be deleted or destroyed. It is the responsibility of individuals and organisations to ensure the data held by us are accurate and up-to-date. Completion of an appropriate form( provided by us) will be taken as an indication that the data contained are accurate. Individuals should notify us of any changes, to enable personnel records to be updated accordingly. It is the responsibility of the Association to act upon notification of changes to data, amending them where relevant.

Not kept longer than necessary

We discourage the retention of data for longer than it is required. All personal data will be deleted or destroyed by us after one year of non membership has elapsed.

Processed in accordance with the individual’s rights         

All individuals that the Association hold data on have the right to:

Be informed upon the request of all the information held about them within 40 days.

Prevent the processing of their data for the purpose of direct marketing.

Compensation if they can show that they have been caused damage by any contravention of the Act.

The removal and correction of any inaccurate data about them.

Secure
Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of data.


All Association computers have a log in system and our Contact Database is password protected, which allow only authorised staff to access personal data. Passwords on all computers are changed frequently. All personal and financial data is kept in a locked filing cabinet and can only be accessed by the Executive officers. When  staff members are using the laptop computers out of the office care should always be taken to ensure that personal data on screen is not visible to strangers.

Not transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area, unless the country has adequate protection for the individual.

Data must not be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area without the explicit consent of the individual.  The Association takes particular care to be aware of this when publishing information on the Internet, which can be accessed from anywhere in the globe. This is because transfer includes placing data on a web site that can be accessed from outside the European Economic Area.

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10May

Trenchers uses alot of bread, and here is our guild to what we use and also a look at the salt in our bread.

The importance of bread to Trenchers Catering, and what makes bread great.

At trenchers we make an awful lot of sandwiches, its part and parcel of being a catering company that specialises in office catering.

Most office catering events and training sessions require a variety of tasty sandwiches, made with a mixture of different breads.

The most common bread we use at Trenchers is just tasty light white bread, in the US they refer to this bread as sandwich bread or a sandwich loaf, making it the most popular bread on the planet.

The number two most used bread at Trenchers Catering is Granary, every other sandwich we produce will be granary were possible.

Granary bread is very distinctive, with a light brown colouring, a nutty taste and texture made with malted wheat flakes that are toasted to perfection. Granary bread is a great source of fibre and is rich in vitamin B1.

The Number three most used bread at Trenchers Catering is The sandwich baguette, this is small than the traditional French Baguettes which can be up to 2 feet long, our baguettes come in just under 10 inches. We use this option on our lunches as a heartier option as this is a more substantial bread. Not much is known about the history of the baguette, however, the baguette was given its name in 1920, so is very much a 20th century creation.

We use a light and tasty white tortilla wrapas our fourth most used bread, tortilla wraps are one of the healthiest breads available, and is great with our tuna mayo salads.

Tortilla in Spanish means small tora, and in Mexico it is called a burrito. A wrap, is a flat bread that completely surrounds the filling and is the rolled, forming the wrap.

We use a lot of ciabatta at Trenchers, and these are again a substantial bread. In Italian ciabatta means ‘Slipper’. The Ciabatta was created to take on the French Baguette, and has become almost as popular in the 21st Century. Ciabatta is an elongated, broad, and flat bread and is baked in many variations, using many different options available including olives and sundried tomatoes, which is my personal favourite.

We normally wrap our ciabattas, and display them slightly differently to our other bread and lunches, as this makes a better specialty option on our menus.

Adding salt to breads is an age old way to add extra flavour to the breads we buy and love, it adds flavour and helps as a natural preservative.  Wiki has a great article on salt, and there is a great article on Himalayan salt taken from Jess Millers website and talks about the amazing mount of health benefits surrounding Himalayan Salts, and some tasty recipes which uses the product.


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