google-site-verification: google70632ab23f226d12.html

Blog


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

17Sep

How has the coronavirus crisis affected Trenchers and the wider economy due to the lack of people working in offices at the moment.

Trenchers have been a company in Birmingham in one guise or another (O'Briens Irish sandwich bars) for 20 years, and i can honestly say we have had many ups and downs.

With the crash of 2008, where we lost half our business literally overnight, to 2018, where we had our busiest year on record, the rollercoaster just keeps sending us wave after wave of real highs and lows.

However, today im sat at my office computer on a Thursday morning in September, wondering where do we go from here?

We have gone from serving upto 500 people and upto 40 corporate customers a day to 12 people today, and let me tell you today is a good day. I have tried so hard to keep motivated, and to come in and go through the usual marketing strategies, i have been in constant communication with as many customers as i can via mail and calls where possible, and going round the as many offices as possible just to see who is in and what can we be doing to serve them.........


There are very few people in the offices at the moment. It has been over six months after the coronavirus and subsequent lockdown, every other part of the economy has been back doing their work, in the way they have been in the past, the roads are busy with people going about their business. However, the one place this has not happened is in the expensive offices, and this is not just a Birmingham thing, the City of London is quite, Manchester offices too.


With the lack of office workers, means no work for the economy that relies on them for their business, not just Trenchers, but look at what is happening in the city around them, Costa, Empty, Pret empty and losing staff all the time, New street station, desolate, and there is the supply chain that follows on behind that economy.

Think about it, we serve an office, but we have suppliers to, The wholesale markets for instance, they were really struggling before the coronavirus struck, now its a ghost town down there.

And how about the printers who supply menus, stationary ect, and the uniform suppliers, They and we are on our knees at the moment and with another lockdown looking very likely, where do we go from here?

I heard a really good quote that i will use here ' it feels like we are just moving deck chairs around on the Titanic'.

What happens to all the expensive office space if most of the workers are doing their jobs from home? There is always construction of new and more and more fancy office space filling the skyline of Birmingham city centre, but what is the point if the workers are going to be encouraged to work from home for a more permanent basis?

What is the point of HS2 if there is no need to get to London in an hour?

The other question i think the office workers, working from home (I know that it is not office workers fault for being asked to work from home) should ask themselves is if i can do this from home, then someone in a different part of the world can do the same and for a lot cheaper wage they me, then at what point does that happen? maybe not this week, or even this year, but it makes perfect sense, companies up and down the land will be leaving our city centres a wasteland of empty office blocks and sending jobs across the globe just to make the shareholders a good profit.


Trenchers has been struggling and i can't see a way out happening anytime soon. I know many businesses have gone bust, and with the reality of life at the moment many people have been made redundant. I really don't want us to follow in the vain, however something has to change and it has to come from the top.

Government needs to be more assertive and force companies to take there staff back to the office, i have been around most of the offices in the city over the past few months, and can attest i have not seen a single instance of a building not having really stringent covid secure measures in place, so why no staff busily working in them? I don't have that answer.


For the sake of Trenchers and the economy serving the offices, i can only implore bosses at these companies to get there staff back and the government to push harder to making this happen.

Thank you to all our customers for the support over the last few months, it truly is a pleasure to serve you.


Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts.


Robert Kincaid


Trenchers catering Director.


 



Read More
10Aug

Trenchers catering in Birmingham is now 99% plastice free.

At Trenchers catering we have been working hard over the last year to try our very best to help the environment and lower our mark on the wonderful planet around us.

It seems silly but we only have one planet, and we would like to contribute to making it as clean and sustainable as possible.

We have looked at many different product to replace our plastic packaging which includes platter bags to cover our catering and part plastic paper cups that are not suitable to be recycled.

From today (11/08/2020) I can confirm that Trenchers have achieved our aim of making all our packaging 99% plastic free, using our great suppliers The walsall box company and environmental packaging.

The walsall box company kindly worked hard to make a sustainable branded card platter box that is not only recyclable but the perfect shape and design for all our catering platter requirements.


The Environmental packaging company has provided me with the counties only really compostable paper cup as well as salad boxes and wooden cutlery, all perfect for the office catering business.catering platter

Read More
10May

Office catering laws for caterers in 2021.


 

Trenchers catering in Birmingham will be making all allergen information available on every  platter we deliver moving forward, due to the change in the law which takes effect from 2021, ensuring we meet all standards set by the UK Government.


Thank you to The British Sandwich Association for sending us the below law change and for all the advise.

 


 

COMPLYING WITH THE NEW ALLERGEN LABELLING REGULATIONS

 

 

 

After 1st October 2021, all pre-packaged foods sold in foodservice outlets (that packed the food) will be required by law to be labelled with the name of the product and an ingredients list, with any allergens highlighted. 

 


 

This new legislation brings the foodservice sector closer in line with the requirements for packaged foods sold through retail outlets.

 


 

Allergens

 

 

 







There are currently 14 allergens which are required by law to be listed (see addendum 1).  These are ingredients which have been identified as causing illness, allergic reactions and in some cases severe illness and occasionally death.

 


 

The Regulations

 

 

 

The new regulations amend the Food Information Regulations 2014 (FIR) which requires food businesses to adhere to Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 and ensure that all mandatory food allergen information is accurate, available and easily accessible to their customers.

 


 

Currently foodservice businesses are able to provide this information in a number of ways, including orally on request, but are not required to print it on labels.   From 1st October 2021 all foods that are pre-packed (except those that are loose and packed at the request of the customer) must be labelled with the name of the product and an ingredients list with any allergens highlighted clearly – emphasised, usually in bold lettering.

 


 

What does Prepacked Mean?

 

 

 

Basically, prepacked means any item of food that is put into a pack before it is put on sale, whether it is self-selected by the customer or served across a counter.

 


 

The only exceptions are products that are put into a bag or packaging after being chosen/bought by the customer...

 


 

This brings within the scope of the legislation products such as pre-weight cheeses and meats sold in a delicatessen as well as products like fresh pizzas sold from a deli counter in a supermarket.

 


 


 


 

Liability

 

 

 

Businesses convicted of failing to give allergen information under the new regulations, or providing false information, face the risk of unlimited fines by magistrates as well as potential damages if consumers suffer as a result.  Local Authorities can also serve improvement notices for not listing ingredients correctly.

 


 

Cross Contamination Risks (Voluntary labelling)

 

 

 







Although a particular product recipe may not include a specific allergen, if any of the 14 prescribed allergens are used in the business, there may be a risk that small traces may get into the product accidentally.  

 


 

Because tiny amounts of a food ingredient can cause a reaction in some people who suffer from intolerances (for instance a fragment of peanut or a couple of sesame seeds can be enough) businesses should consider the risks of cross contamination.  This should be done by undertaking a meaningful risk assessment.

 


 

If this risk assessment identifies an issue, it is strongly recommended that all labels  include a meaningful risk statement which any customer will understand specific to the food such as – ‘Please be aware that our businesses uses sesame seeds in preparing food which is not stated as an ingredient on this food.  Please ask for further details’

 

 

 

 Labelling Requirements

 

 

 

The law requires that all mandatory allergen information must be easily visible, clearly legible and not obscured in any way, such as hidden under a fold in the packaging or visually difficult to read due to poor lettering or colour contrast.

 


 






Under the new regulations if a product contains any of the 14 allergens, these must be highlighted clearly in the list of ingredients.    This is generally done by printing the allergens in bold type, in capital letters, in contrasting colours or by underlining them.

 


 

The ingredient list (including any allergens) has to be a minimum font size where x-height is 1.2mm or more.   The only exceptions to this are if the product packaging surface is less than 80cm2, in which case the x-height can be reduced to 0.9mm, and if it is less than 10 cm2 (e.g. a single portion sachet of sauce) in which case the ingredient list can be omitted and provided by other means.

 


 

See Addendum 2 for examples.

 


 

It should be noted that the regulations do not allow alternative allergen statements, such as ‘Contains: wheat, egg and milk’.   The specific allergens must be highlighted within the ingredient list.

 


 

What Information must be provided

 

 

 

The following information must be provided on the label or menu etc.:

 


 

The name of the product – This must provide consumers with an accurate description of the product.

 
  1. If there is a name prescribed in law this must be used.  In practice this is only likely to apply to sandwiches and food to go products containing certain seafood, fish and meat products as ingredients; or
  2. Where there is no name prescribed in law, a customary name may be used.   This might be a name that has become commonly understood by consumers and established over time such as BLT –bacon, lettuce and tomato); or
  3. Where no customary name exists, a name that is sufficiently descriptive to inform the consumer of the true nature of the food and to enable it to be distinguished from products with which it might otherwise be confused.
 

Most sandwiches and food to go products will fall into category 3 and require a descriptive name. Further guidance on the true names of sandwiches and food to go products is set out in Addendums 3 and 4.

 

 

 

A list of the constituent ingredients, with any allergens highlighted – All the ingredients used in making the product must be listed in descending order by the weight of each at the time the product was made, and they must be shown under a heading ‘Ingredients’.   Because of the manual nature of foodservice businesses, it is generally accepted that some of the quoted quantities will be subject to variation. Businesses are, however, expected to control ingredients proportions as accurately as is reasonably practicable given the size and scale of the business and the available technology.

 


 

In addition:

 


 
  • The name used for an ingredient (excluding brand names) must be the name that would be used for the ingredient if it was being sold in its own right.

  • Where compound ingredients are used (i.e. products comprising a number of different ingredients) the full list of those constituent ingredients must be included.  This can either be done by stating the compound ingredient name followed by (in brackets) its ingredient list or by omitting the compound ingredient name and giving one combined ingredients list. Some compound ingredients can be listed as generic names only (e.g. cheese).

  • There are some exemptions allowed for a few ingredients that are present in amounts of less than 2% of the product as sold. These are:
 

ingredients for which their composition is prescribed in EC Law (i.e. honey, jam)

 

herbs and spices or mixtures of both

 

foods which do not require an ingredients list (e.g. cheese, butter)

 

For these ingredients only the compound food name and any additives or allergens they contain need to be listed.

 


 

What must be highlighted

 

 

 

Care needs to be taken when highlighting the allergens that the correct allergen is highlighted as required under the law.   For example, if a product contains ‘wheatflour’, only the word ‘wheat’ has to be highlighted – so it could appear either as ‘wheatflour’ on the label or ‘wheatflour’.   

 


 

However, if the allergen appears as a single word within an ingredient – such as ‘Skimmed milk concentrate’ only the word ‘milk’ should be highlighted.

 


 

Additional care also needs to be taken where an ingredient is referred to under an alternative name to ensure that any allergens are similarly identified.  For example, ‘gingelly oil (Sesame) or edamame beans (soya).

 


 

Delivered Food

 

 

 

The new rules do not alter the requirements for food that is sold remotely, such as via deliveries.  In this case, if the order is placed remotely, such as via a website or telephone, the information about allergens must be provided at the point of purchase as well as being available at the moment of delivery.

 


 

In the case of websites, customers should be provided with ingredients including allergen information at the point they make the decision and before payment is made.    In this case the only information that needs to be provided is the list of allergens as there is no requirement for an ingredient list for foods sold by distant selling.

 


 

Where orders are placed over the telephone, those taking the orders should have information about allergens they can refer to and should ask every customer if they have any intolerances and inform them of any allergens that the product they are ordering may contain.

 


 

In both the above cases, if there is any risk of cross contamination, this should also be made clear to customers.

 


 

In addition, the regulations also require that information about ingredients and allergens must also be available at moment of delivery.  This can be done by labelling the product, on a menu that is delivered with the product, verbally by those making the deliveries or by providing a telephone number on the packaging that customers can call for the information.

 


 

In all the above cases, care must be taken to ensure that the information provided is accurate and the allergen information must be clearly linked to the individual product it relates to.

 


 

Platters, Buffets and Lunch Boxes Etc.

 

 

 

Where multiple varieties of product are supplied, such as platters of sandwiches and cakes etc., the same information about ingredients and allergens must be provided in a way that ensures that the information is visible to those consuming the products.   For example, this might be done on a display card, in the case of a buffet, or a menu listing the products and their constituent ingredients/allergens.   However, the allergen information must be provided for each food item (dish) and not a as generic statement.

 


 

Again, any cross-contamination risks should be highlighted.

 


 






Non Prepackaged Foods

 

 

 

The above rules also apply to non-prepacked foods, such as meals served in a café or canteen, although in this case the information can be provided “in a manner that is easily accessible’ to the consumer, including orally.   This means it can be provided on a display card or menu positioned close to the food items or consumers can be signposted to where it can be found, such as ‘ask a member of staff’.

 


 

Signposting must be clearly visible and legible but where it is located is not specified. It could, therefore, be highlighted on menus, chalkboards, order tickets, labels etc.

 


 

In the case of non-prepackaged food, there is no requirement to provide a full ingredient list, but allergen information must be highlighted.   So, a chicken tikka sandwich served on a buffet could simply be labelled ‘Chicken Tikka (contains milk, nuts (almonds)’

 

Where businesses decide to provide allergen information orally, they are responsible for ensuring that the staff are suitably trained and that the information they provide is accurate. 

 


 

The best policy is to have the full ingredient list in written format, with allergens highlighted, on a chart or recipe sheet which can be handed to customers if they ask about allergens.   This is particularly important if a member of staff or customer does not speak English as their first language.

 


 

 

 

Catering and Sampling

 

 

 

Allergen information must also be provided where food is given away for sampling purposes or provided for an event, such as a lunch for a meeting or conference.

 


 

In this case, it is treated as loose foods and the information can be provided either in writing or by signposting (see above).

 

 

 

Obligation on Suppliers

 

 

 

The regulations place an obligation both on the suppliers of ingredients and on the food business operator to make sure that accurate information on allergens and ingredients is passed on to consumers.

 


 

Just as foodservice operators must ensure their customers have the information, so suppliers are obliged to provide accurate ingredients and allergen information to the food businesses they supply.

 


 

However, under the regulations, the businesses buying the ingredients are also held responsible for ensuring that they get this information from the suppliers.   In other words, not knowing is not a defence.

 


 

Identifying Allergens in Supplied Ingredients

 

 

 

Foodservice operators should be able to rely on the labelling used on products supplied to them to identify the ingredients and allergens they need to declare.   However, care should be taken to ensure that suppliers do provide this information.

 


 

Particular care needs to be taken, however, to ensure that ingredient declarations are updated if the business changes suppliers or uses a substitute brand.

 


 

Equipment Needed

 

 

 

In order to label products, businesses will generally need a computer with a labelling programme and a printer.   Alternatively, ready printed labels can be purchased but be aware that this gives no flexibility for making amendments if an ingredient changes.

 


 

As ingredient labelling is a legal requirement, it is also important to consider the risks of equipment breaking down, so it is worth thinking about a computer support service and/or having back-up equipment available rather than risking letting customers down if there is a breakdown.

 


 

A number of software solutions are available that will provide systems that will do most of the work for you but take care that they are tried and tested systems by getting references from other users.

 


 

 

 

Useful Guidance and Free Training

 

 

 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published guidance on allergen labelling which can be found at https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-guidance-for-food-businesses

 


 

The FSA  has also published a helpful checklist for food businesses on handling allergens https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-checklist-for-food-businesses   

 


 

It is also offering free on-line training for businesses operators and staff at https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergy-training-for-food-businesses

 


 


 


 


 
 

 

 

ADDENDUM 1: 

 

 

 

ALLERGENS THAT MUST BE DECLARED

 


 

1. Cereals containing gluten (i.e. wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut or their hybridised strains); except for

 

(a) wheat-based glucose syrups, including dextrose#

 

(b) wheat-based maltodextrins#

 

(c) glucose syrups based on barley

 

(d) cereals used for making distillates or ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin for spirit drinks and other alcoholic beverages.

 

Note:  It is the specific name of the cereal (e.g. Rye) that must be highlighted.  Businesses can also voluntarily include reference to gluten (containing gluten) but this should not be highlighted.

 

2. Crustaceans and products thereof (e.g. prawns, crabs, lobster, crayfish etc.)

 

Note:  The regulations do not specify the names of specific crustaceans, so the rules apply to all crustaceans.    These should be declared as, for example, prawns (crustaceans).

 

3. Eggs and products thereof

 

Note:  Where eggs are used as a constituent ingredient, such as in mayonnaise, they must be declared as ‘mayonnaise (eggs).

 

4. Fish, except for

 

(a) fish gelatine used as a carrier for vitamin or carotenoid preparations

 

(b) fish gelatine or isinglass used as a fining agent in beer and wine

 

Note:  As the regulations do not specify the names of specific fish, the rules apply to all species of fish.    These should be declared as, for example, salmon (fish).

 

5. Peanuts and products thereof

 

Note:  Often referred to as groundnuts (not to be confused with ground/powdered nuts such as almonds) or monkey nuts, the term peanuts must be used in relation to all products in this category, including both refined and unrefined peanut oil.

 

6. Soybeans and products thereof, except for:

 

(a) fully refined soya bean oil and fat#

 

(b) natural mixed tocopherols (E306), natural D-alpha tocopherol, natural D-alpha tocopherol acetate, natural D-alpha tocopherol succinate from soya bean sources

 

(c) vegetable oils derived from phytosterol esters from soya bean sources

 

(d) plant sterol ester produced from vegetable oil sterols from soya bean sources.

 

Note:  Care needs to be taken to declare soya in relation to products such as tofu and edamame which are derivatives  of soya.   These should be declared as ‘tofu (soya)’ of ‘edamame (soya)’

 

7. Milk and products thereof (including lactose); except for

 

(a) whey used for making distillates or ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin for spirit drinks and other alcoholic beverages

 

(b) lactitol

 

Note:  In terms of the regulations, the term ‘milk’ applies to all types of milk whether from cow, goat, buffalo etc.   However, because consumers recognise milk products such as cheese, butter and cream, these ingredients do not have to have an ingredients list so long as no other ingredients have been added to them other than lactic acid, food enzymes, microbiological cultures and (in the case of cheese) salt.  Under the rules these milk products can be highlighted in their own right (e.g. butter).   However, it is generally considered good practice to treat these like any other allergen and highlight the milk – e.g. ‘butter (milk)’

 

8. Nuts, namely almonds (Amygdalus communis L.), hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), walnuts (Juglans regia), cashews (Anacardium occidentale), pecan nuts (Carya illinoisis (Wangenh) K.Koch), brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa), pistachio nuts (Pistacia vera), macadamia or Queensland nuts (Macadamia ternifolia)

 

Note:  Whether nuts are a core ingredient or a constituent part of another ingredient, they must listed and the type of nut emphasised (e.g. almonds or ‘flavourings (almond).

 

9. Celery and products thereof (includes celeriac, celery spice, celery seeds etc.)

 

Note: This requirement includes all parts and forms of the celery plant, including items such as celery salt and celery oil. 

 

10. Mustard and products thereof

 

Note: The regulations do not name any particular types of mustard and, therefore, must be applied to all types.

 

11. Sesame seeds and products thereof

 

Note: The regulations do not name any particular types of sesame seed and care must be taken to include derived products, such as tahini – e.g. tabhini (sesame).

 

12. Sulphur dioxide and sulphites (at concentrations of more than 10 mg/kg or 10mg/litre expressed as SO²)

 

13. Lupin and products thereof

 

14. Molluscs and products thereof (includes mussels, oysters, whelks, scallops etc.)

 

# The exception only applies to products derived from these products in so far as the process they have undergone is not likely to increase the level of allergenicity assessed by the European Food Safety Authority for the relevant product from which they originated.

 


 

ADDENDUM 2

 


 

HOW TO MEASURE X-HEIGHT

 

 

 


 

The regulations require that the font size used to list ingredients on a label must have an x-height of at least 1.2mm.  The only exceptions to this are if the product packaging surface is less than 80cm2, in which case the x-height can be reduced to 0.9mm, and if it is less than 10 cm2 (e.g. a single portion sachet of sauce) in which case the ingredient list can be omitted and provided by other means.

 


 

The x-height is the difference between the top and bottom of a lower-case x in whatever typeface you are using.

 

 

 


 

 

The following are a few examples of 1.2mm x-heights in different fonts.

 


 

Arial: 6.5 point

 

Arial Black: 6.5 point

 

Calibri: 7.5 point

 

Cooper Black: 7 point

 

Courier New: 8 point

 

Tahoma: 6.5 point

 

Times New Roman: 7.5 point

 


 


 
 

 

 

ADDENDUM 3:

 

FOOD NAMES

 

1. General Principles

 

Bread: From the nature of their preparation and presentation, the consumer is usually visually able to determine when white wheat flour bread has been used in sandwiches and food to go products and, where this is so, it is not generally necessary to specify this type of bread in the name of a sandwich. However, for other types of bread where the nature of the bread is not visually clear and can easily be confused, the type of bread and/or the species of grain used should be included in the full name (e.g. malted brown bread, oatmeal bread etc.).

 

NOTE: “Wholemeal” and “Wheat germ” have specific meanings as defined in the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998. 

 

Compositional Standards: Certain ingredients have legal compositional standards set out in other legislation, such as the Products Containing Meat etc. Regulations 2014. Where there is a compositional standard, there are often reserved descriptions for products meeting a specified composition. In these circumstances, the reserved description/name should be used as part of the name of the sandwich. Examples of such ingredients include many meat products, such as corned beef, sausages and burgers as well as cheeses, such as Cheddar and Gloucester. It should be noted that these names may only be used for products meeting these compositional standards.

 

Protected Names: Some names have a protected status under PDO/PGI/TSG legislation which can cover origin, method of production and composition. The protected name may only be used where a product meets all the conditions of the protection and must be used as the name. PDO relates to protected designations of origin; PGI relates to protected geographical indications; and TSF relates to traditional speciality guaranteed.

 

Name of the Food: There is no requirement for the name of the sandwich to reiterate the ingredients list but the name should accurately describe the product and inform the consumer about the key value or characterising ingredients. As a general rule the way in which ingredients are named by ingredient suppliers will act as a guide to how the sandwich itself should be described.

 

Ingredient Names: These should not be changed or enhanced. For example:

 
  • brown bread should not be described as “wholemeal”
  • margarine and other fat spreads should not be described as “butter”
  • cheese substitutes should not be described as “cheese”
  • processed cheese should not be described as “cheese”
  • cured pork shoulder should not be described as “ham”
  • chicken roll should not be described as “chicken”
  • ham containing added water should not be described as “dry cured”.
 

Processes: Best Practice Guidance

 

Where an ingredient has been subject to a characterising treatment or process care needs to be taken to indicate this accurately and in a manner which cannot mislead. For example:

 
  • steam cooked and flash roasted meats should be described accurately (e.g. cooked and roasted beef) and not be simply described as “roast”;
  • reformed ham must be described must not be described as “traditional”;
  • ham, chicken or turkey containing added water, hydrolysed proteins and starch etc. must be described as such (e.g. processed ham, reformed ham) and not simply as ‘ham’, ‘chicken’ or ‘turkey’;
  • ingredients treated with smoke solution/smoke flavour should be described as ‘smoke flavoured’ and not simply as being “smoked” without further qualification.
 
 

 

 

ADDENDUM 4: 

 

SUMMARY OF DEFRA/FSA ADVICE ON THE LABELLING OF SANDWICHES AND FOOD TO GO PRODUCTS CONTAINING MEAT INGREDIENTS

 

For both prepacked and non-prepacked sandwiches and food to go products, apart from where sandwiches and food to go products are made and sold at catering establishments, a true nature name of the food is legally required.

 

It is good practice for the true nature name of the food to be stated next to the fancy name. This is consistent with the FSA Clear Food Labelling Guidelines.

 

Where the true nature name of the food is not placed next to the fancy name, or is not sufficiently prominent to be easily seen, then best practice is for the fancy name to be more informative to provide sufficient information for consumers to make a reasoned choice.

 

It is considered good practice for catering establishments to be similarly explicit on any menus, tickets or notice boards.

 

It is a legal requirement to make the following clear on labels:

 
  • Contains added water - where water amounts to over 5% of a product that has the appearance of a cut, joint, slice, portion or carcase of meat or a cut, joint, slice, portion, fillet or of a whole fishery product (e.g. “ham with added water”).
  • Contains proteins of animal origin from a different animal species to that of the meat (e.g. “chicken with pork protein”, “ham with milk protein”).
  • State when meat is reformed (e.g. “reformed ham”, “chicken roll”, “processed ham”).
 
 

 

 

References:

  









Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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:

• 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 

 


 

Read More
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

Read More
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.

 

Read More
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.

Read More
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

Read More
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.


Read More
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

Read More