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Planning the menu

Various factors must be taken into account:

• Type of establishment - there will be considerable variation, for example, in menus for five star hotels and restaurants, school meals, heavy manual workers' canteens or hospitals.

• Type of customer - especially for private parties, for a 21st birthday party, senior citizens' conference, football players after an international, visiting overseas students on a mayor's banquet; all need personal consideration.

• Religious rules if applicable (kosher catering or a Muslim occasion) - lack of knowledge or understanding can easily lead to innocently giving offence.

• Meat or non-meat preferences - the number of non-meat eaters is steadily increasing so this becomes more important.

• Time of the year:

* the prevailing temperature should be considered as certain dishes suitable for cold weather may not be acceptable in mid-summer;


* foods in season are usually in good supply and more reasonable in price;

* special dishes on certain days (Shrove Tuesday, Christmas, Hogmanay).

• Time of day - breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, high tea, dinner, supper, snack or

special function.

• Price range - unless fair prices are charged (so that customers are satisfied thai: they have received good value for money) repeat business may not occur and die caterer may go out of business.

• Number of courses - varies according to all prior considerations.

• Correct sequence of courses - important if the menu is to achieve a good balaurr

• Appropriate language - always use language customers can understand.

• No repetition of wines - if using wine in the cooking of more than one course* ensure that a different type is used.

• Sensible nutritional balance - if a selection of dishes with varying nutritional contents are offered then customers can make their own choices.

• No repetition of commodities - never repeat basic ingredients such as mushrooms, tomatoes, peas, bacon, on one menu; if a basic ingredient is used one course it should not reappear in any other course on the same menu.

• No repetition of flavours - if using strong seasoning like onion, garlic or hobssuch as thyme, sage or bay leaf, do not repeat in more than one course.

• No repetition of colours - colour of food is important to give appetite appeal, but avoid repetition of colour, e.g.:

Celery soup Tomato soup

Fricassee of chicken Goulash of veal

Buttered turnips, creamed potatoes Vichy carrots, Marquise potatoes

Meringue and vanilla ice-cream Peach Melba

• Texture of courses - ensure variation is given (food should not be all soft or all

crisp, but balanced).

• Sauces - if different sauces are served on one menu, the foundation ingredient

оf each sauce should vary, for example, reduced, stock, demi-glace, veloute, cream,
butter thickened, yogurt, quark.

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