Spice up your menu while saving money
We took a call in the office today that inspired me to write this post. The call was from a woman that is planning her company’s end of summer staff appreciation party. Apparently, they have had a BBQ for the past few years and she wants to shake things up a bit this year (if you’re a regular reader of this site, you know that I am a BIG fan of interesting, tasty, non-boring, non-predictable menus). Bravo to her! She was pretty sure her colleagues would be game to try something new but her concern was the budget. The reason they had done a BBQ for the past few years was due to budget. She has a little more money to play with this year, but not much more.
She and I had a great conversation about how you can “hide” the fact that your menu only consists of less expensive meats and vegetables by having a theme or a specialty meal. If you’re serving cool sounding and tasty food, no one will notice that you aren’t serving the most expensive cuts. In years past, they had BBQ’d prime rib burgers and ribs because the company did not want to serve basic burgers (they wanted their staff to feel appreciated, after all). This year, she wanted an authentic Caribbean outdoor meal. So I suggested that she select items like jerk chicken (which is cooked on a grill) and coconut curry London broil. Both of these meats are less expensive than the meats that they has served in past years but no one will notice because they will be too focused on the new and exciting flavors on the table. Even better, selecting these less expensive options will free up money that can be used to purchase more menu items!