Catering Concepts

Off-premise catering boosts foodservice revenues

Chefs in foodservice operations of all stripes are bringing distinct culinary experiences to their catering customers, offering everything from boxed lunches to deluxe sit-downs.

University of Richmond, Virginia
Catering is a key activity at the University of Richmond, above and beyond the revenue it produces.

“It is very much a support function to the goals the university sets, especially in fundraising, community engagement and donor relations,” says Diane (Dee) Hardy, associate vice president for campus services at the 3,400-student school in central Virginia.

The university has catered everything from local school board meetings to powwows of national and world leaders, Hardy says, including events as large as 9,000 guests.

Spearheading the efforts are director of catering Joe Wolff, a 25-year industry veteran with a background in Wall Street corporations and senior catering chef Tyler Betzhold, CEC, who has experiences in restaurants, country clubs and a stint in Italy, approaching his 20th year in the business.

For customers who want something unique, exciting and budget-friendly, chef-attended Specialty Action Stations may be just the ticket. An example is the Martini Risotto Bar, which offers guests fresh, hot risotto hand-crafted by the chef and served in a martini glass with toppings like shaved parmesan cheese, prosciutto, peas, andouille sausage, bacon and roasted red peppers.

“It not only adds visual appeal for the customer, it also touches all the other senses,” says Wolff. “You get the aroma of the food, the movement of the chef and, of course, a personalized product to taste.”

Adds Hardy, “Delivering the food that way makes it more special for the guests, even though they are not spending a whole lot more.”

University of Richmond Menu Sampler

  • Thai Style Pork Ribs $15 per dozen (Tailgate Menu)
  •  Martini Risotto Bar $3.95 per person, minimum of 50 
    Arborio rice cooked in shallots, white wine, chicken stock, cream and finished with parmesan cheese, served in a martini glass. Your choice of seven toppings.
  • Mini Panini Station $2.75 per person, minimum of 50
    Choice of two: Mini Reuben, Ham & Cheese, Turkey & Cheese or Grilled Cheese. Served with mini gherkins.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
roasted butternut tartine

In a bid to meet customers’ growing interest in plant-based dishes, foodservice vendor Aramark will soon roll out a number of new meatless dishes on the college campuses it serves.

Some of the new plant-centric items it’s taking to colleges this fall include the Greek-inspired Spanakopita Quesadilla, an open-faced sandwich topped with roasted butternut squash and the Sweet Potato Smash sandwich (sweet potato, cranberry sauce and goat cheese on ciabatta bread).

Nearly a third (30%) of the entrees Aramark serves up at colleges are either vegetarian or vegan, the...

Industry News & Opinion

$1.5 million will be used to increase farm-to-school programs in the state.

Sponsored Content
cheese and pretzels

From AFP advanced food products llc

Foodservice operators are tasked with doing more with less—and managing food inventory is no exception.

All foodservice operations want to keep inventory at minimum, and operators are reducing the ingredients needed in their kitchens through strategic and savvy menu building.

There are a few primary reasons for the reduction in ingredients: cost, quality and space. By buying larger quantities, an operator can get better per unit ingredient costs. And by functioning on a limited number of ingredients, the inventory is used faster...

Industry News & Opinion

Bakersfield City School District is expanding the number of schools participating in a program to donate leftover cafeteria food to local shelters, Bakersfield.com reports.

The program, called Waste Hunger, Not Food, began last April in partnership with the county health department. Due to its initial success, the program is expanding from one elementary school to six schools starting this school year.

Under the program, students place unopened milk cartons, whole fresh foods and unopened prepackaged food that they don’t want into three separate bins. The health department...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code