While potatoes are just one of a multitude of ingredients used by caterers every day, they are certainly one of the most popular and, as a result, can be a significant source of waste. Just reviewing the type of potatoes you specify could cut waste dramatically and increase profits at the same time.
By the time a caterer has peeled and removed any defects from an order of fresh potatoes to make chips they may have lost up to 50% of their original product, according to our estimates. On a 750kg order, that is the equivalent of 35-40 cases of chips and a potentially huge loss of profit.
Not only is this a waste of potato, it is also a waste of resources as the energy, water and transportation used to get that potato from seed to the caterer is also squandered. The good news is that a lot of this waste is easily avoidable.
Using frozen potato products means caterers can avoid a lot of these issues. The key advantage is that you get what you pay for - if you order 10 cases that is what you'll receive.
Estimating stock requirements can be tricky when using fresh potatoes so overstocking can occur, which in turn leads to more waste, but longer storage times mean this is not an issue for frozen.
Delivering consistent portion size can also be a problem but with frozen chips caterers can control portion size by cooking the exact amount they require.
Whatever products you use in your kitchen, a responsible sourcing policy is key to keeping waste under control throughout the supply chain so make sure all your suppliers have a considered waste reduction programme in place, where relevant.
Donna Rowbottom, Marketing Manager, McCain Foods