We entertain like you entertain, with a heartfelt passion for making sure that each of our guests has a great time and with enough delicious food for everyone. In catering, we can’t plan to have just enough, instead a great caterer must prepare more than enough, to make sure that even if one item is a big hit with guests, there is still plenty to go around. In this effort, our chefs and culinary team produce an amazing amount of food, by hand each and every day.
I often get the question, “So what happens to all that food?” As the one responsible for the Kahn’s Catering Environmental Commitment, I care very much about the reduction in food waste. Sadly, not everyone cares as much. There are statistics that say that each year 30-40% of all food is wasted, much of it being disposed of and not even composted except in the most forward-thinking cities.
So if it is not eaten, what happens to that food?
First, and foremost is food safety, nothing that has ever been served can be re-served, and it must be stored, transported and handled according to food-safety regulations. It may seem like a waste, especially when there may be hundreds of pounds of food remaining after a buffet that might go in the trash, but even food recovery organizations such as Second Helpings that meet the needs of the hungry in Indianapolis put food safety first and will not accept served items, or improperly handled items.
Prepared, unserved items, such as salads, pasta, etc., may be used as part of the employee meal we serve. All of our employees company-wide are entitled to a free meal when working. We are a company that prides itself in our cuisine, and sharing that with our team is a natural part of our approach to service and being a “good host”. To share a meal with our team is something that connects us to one another and is a welcomed benefit.
Unserved and prepared vegetables and meats are often used as ingredients to prepare our freshly made soups. This often means that our soups are prepared with amazing quality ingredients. Extra unserved beef tenderloin may become a beef stew, roasted whole pork shoulder may become a white bean pork chili with cilantro, or fresh vegetables may become a hearty garden vegetable soup.
Lastly, if unserved items cannot be used in these ways, we collect, package and freeze the items for donation to Second Helpings. Second Helpings works to rescue food each and every day, and prepares meals for up to 3,500 people each day, supporting a number of community organizations serving the hungry. Learn more about Second Helpings here.
In 2015, Kahn’s Catering continues its commitment to increasing the amount of food we recover. We believe that it is the right thing to do for many reasons: to honor the work and resources that go into growing and raising the ingredients; as a way to show respect for the work our chefs put in to preparing the food; as a way to reduce the amount of waste going into the trash; as a way to feed our growing family of employees; and most importantly, to help meet one of the most basic needs of all people – sustenance. No one should ever go hungry in a country of such plenty. As a company committed to great food and service, it’s our duty to do our part.