15 Steps To Avoid Food Wastage At WeddingsFood Radhika Sharma
The reason why South Asian Weddings are always in the headlines is because of the extravaganza in everything they do. Pick any element of their wedding and you will see everything is outnumbered, be it venue, decor, entertainment, outfits, or lip-smacking food. The most important part of their wedding is the food and their way to show hospitality could hardly be ignored by anyone. The tastes and endless variety they serve at a wedding are really delicious, but more food is also equal to more food wastage.
Source: Slice of Life Pictures
The idea of serving a variety of cuisines is amazing but the making of food in such an enormous quantity results in more wastage. The guests can not have everything at once, or everything in huge quantities. They generally like to taste most of the dishes but in smaller quantities.
Food wastage has tremendous economic, social, and environmental consequences, but it is preventable. Being responsible individuals we should consider ways to minimize food wastage at an event like a wedding. Here are some great ideas that can help everyone not only to waste money but also avoid the wastage of food.
Ways to Avoid Food Wastage at Weddings
We have hardly met anyone who doesn't enjoy good food at a wedding, but keeping in mind the value of food, we should seek these valuable ways to save them from getting wasted.
1. Choose the right serve ware or crockery
Whenever we plan for the wedding, we take every decision so consciously and precisely that we avoid taking risks to hamper the way we want everything to be. From decor to table cloth or runners or crockery we choose the best from everything. But yeah, sometimes we might not care for the size of the serve ware we chose. The bigger the size, the more the possibility of wasting food. Hence, we would love to appreciate your decision if you select the right or exact size of crockery for your wedding and the type of food you want to serve. This can help you in saving costs as well as food and is the first step to saving nature.
2. Select the menu wisely
Every community and culture has its own specific cuisines and dishes with distinctive flavors. The joy of a wedding makes us choose more than required. We love to place more stalls to serve the variety to the guests by neglecting the fact that guests cannot eat everything or all at one time. Even the smallest measures such as optimal calculation of quantities or using smaller plates and smaller portions are not only economical but also have a great ecological impact.
3. Choose a professional caterer
The sole of every wedding is the food that the guests truly want to appreciate and enjoy after all the dancing and fun. Finding and choosing a professional caterer for the wedding can help you save lots of bucks and the wastage of food because they know how much food and the raw material is required for that particular count of guests. An experienced caterer will know how to budget the amount of food based on your requirements.
4. Can ask guests to RSVP
When you host a wedding, the guest list can unexpectedly get out of hand. To get an accurate count of guests to feed, ask them to confirm their attendance, and adjust your order with your caterer accordingly so you can manage the quantity of food accordingly.
5. Contact the NGOs
Another option is to donate your leftovers to someone in need, rather than putting them into the bin. There are many NGOs and organizations that care for the leftover food at the wedding. You can contact them before the wedding day and inform them to collect after the celebrations are done.
6. Instruct the servers to serve
The wedding is a grand affair, especially for South Asians, but one thing that's appreciated the most in a wedding is good food. And if you can ask your servers to serve the food to your guests while they are seated, that will come in very handy, especially for the kids and elderly people. While serving, the servers can make sure to serve the right amount quantity asked by the guests to avoid any wastage.
7. Ask your caterer to supply takeaway boxes for guests
Too much food? Let your guests takeaway. We know not everything cooked can be packed for the guests or there are chances they might not feel comfortable carrying the leftovers, but there is one way to make it happen. Solid food items, desserts, or drink cans can be given to them after the party in recyclable take-away boxes for guests. Kids would love to take the cakes or muffins, or doughnuts as gifts, and elders can enjoy the snacks and drinks. With the right packing, it will be a great idea.
8. Choose a venue carefully
The venue is a crucial and most important part of your wedding. The right venue according to the number of guests can help you in a better way to avoid wastage. There are a few venues that don't allow the food to be wasted and they sometimes help/suggest to the host about the appropriate quantity of food they should be preparing. They have a better idea of it as it's something they come across daily.
9. Be more careful with food preparation planning
We know that you are already busy with tens of different things but make sure to tell the caterer to make everything in the right quantity and keep the wastage of food at the bare minimum. As bride and groom, you won't be able to handle each and everything, it's better if you can delegate this duty to one of your cousins or friends.
10. Rethink The Buffet
Buffets are one of the largest sources of food waste at weddings. If you are planning on doing the buffet at your wedding, we strongly suggest not to as people will also unnecessarily add the food items that they don't want to eat or pick a certain item in the excess quantity that ends up being wasted later on.
Relatively simple solutions go a long way to reducing this waste.
11. Can provide food to hotel staff and caterers
In case your venue is on the outskirts or there is no contact with the NGOs, consider distributing the food among the servers or hotel staff. Chat to your caterers about offering leftovers to their staff or any particularly hungry suppliers.
12. Have a special section for kids
We came across many weddings where they have a fun zone for kids where they can enjoy games and be entertained throughout the ceremonies. Considering if you have many guests as kids, having a special food menu for them could prove to be a great option like having food in small quantities, no distinctive or added flavors in food, less spicy, etcetera. This will help you with food wastage.
13. Can display the boards of no wastage near dining areas or tables
We are part of a world with already existing environmental issues where creating further trash or wastage is a sign of being unresponsible. You can make and place colorful board signs saying - ‘save food’ or ‘avoid food wastage’ near the dining area or tables so that the guests can be conscious while filling up their plates. There is no harm in reminding them of what they already know when it is for everyone's good.
14. Serve in smaller quantities to avoid wastage
The servers of the party could be informed prior about serving in smaller quantities to avoid any wastage of food. Be it kids, elders, or adults, serving in the right ratio will be very helpful in dealing with waste.
15. Cook to Order
Another great catering style is food trucks, which we think can work great for all types of weddings. It will be really beneficial as this type of food can easily be made to order and anything that's not used can be re-purposed.
A wedding is one of the most memorable days of your life, and you want everything to go planned and as smoothly as possible. You want everyone to have a gala time and make this a memorable experience for everyone. While taking care of the checklist, you also have to make sure that you are very mindful while planning your dream wedding. You must think one step ahead for our environment and society's wellness. Try and opt for eco-friendly means and minimize the wastage of food as much as you can. We hope the pointers mentioned away can make a big difference in organizing a waste-free wedding.
Photo Sourced & Edited By: Neha Garg Ahuja