Sadly we hear the plea for help in the title of this post on a regular basis. Usually someone has had a service booked for quite a while and then been let down the night before. I would love to say that we are able to step in and help them out, but the sad fact is that the one thing they all have in common is that they have decided to place a booking with someone charging ridiculously low fees.
The last case of this we provided a quote for candy floss, only to be told that the existing supplier (the one who had let them down) had being going to do the job for £30. That’s right thirty pounds, I mean really, how does anyone run a legitimate business, requiring equipment to be invested in, insurance, tax and other fees paid, stock purchased, maintenance performed, fuel for transport purchased, along with a vehicle for said transport, and then a profit expected to be made, all from a charge of £30?
Unfortunately we know that we will receive plenty of more of these enquiries before the year is out.
The next of our new lines for 2018 is the relaunch of our crepe service, Delicious soft french crepes, topped with fresh fruit, cream, and various sauces and toppings.
Crepe is a French word derived from the Latin, crispus meaning curled. Originating in the Breton region of France, between the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the South.
Making crepes has evolved from being cooked on large cast iron plates heated over a wood fire, to modern hot plates that are now gas or electric heated.
We celebrate pancake day, or Shrove Tuesday, usually around the second week in February, the French have their “Pancake Day”, on 2nd February, during a holiday known as Fete de la Chandeleur, Fete de la Lumiere, or jour des crepes, during which it is traditional to hold a coin in your writing hand and a crepe pan in the other, and flip the crepe into the air. Your family will be prosperous if you manage to catch the crepe in the pan.
Popular throughout Europe, the dessert has numerous names, inlcuding crespella (Italy), palacsintas (Hungary), blintzes (Jewish) plattars (Scandanavia), blini (Russia) and the Greek kreps.
We are at that time of the year when we start launching some of the new lines we have in place for the coming season, the first of these is Poffertjes, which are mini Dutch pancakes, drizzled in butter and syrup and topped with a sauce, Nuttella being our firm favourite.
This is the first of a raft of new catering options for the upcoming year.
We recently spent 3 days at the National Wedding Exhibition in Birmingham’s N.E.C. There was an unbelievable variety of offerings, everything from getting your teeth whitened to having someone write your best man’s speech and coach you how to deliver it!
We were exhibiting on the stand of an agent we work for regularly, and in my occasional break I would wander around looking for ideas, to be honest there wasn’t much we weren’t already doing, but one idea I came across I really likes, this was from Cancer Research U.K. and was a way of providing little wedding favours, in the form of colourful and quirky lapel badges, which included a donation to the charity, you then had little cards with the favours attached and a note saying that a donation had been made in your name to the charity, much better than some trinket that would probably get tossed away.
We have a number of quite regular clients, which we like because as well as a steady income stream, familiarity makes the job easier. One such gig is the Caramello party nights at the Rock City night spot in Nottingham. A nice 3 hour job, albeit unsociable hours.
The staff are always remarking on how busy it is, so we took advantage of our sister companies kit and borrowed a Go Pro time lapse camera to see what our candy floss operator actually does.
The video shows 2 things, just how hectic it is, and that a Go Pro camera battery doesn’t
Another new line we are launching for 2016 are Vapour Shots, alcoholic drinks are delivered under high pressure into a specially sealed container. When the lid is popped, a portion of the drink instantly vapourises, and the result is sucked up through a straw, delivering an instant alcoholic buzz. A stunning new concept in drinks, perfect for student events, military balls and general fun and games throughout the known universe.
Travelling the length and breadth of the country we come across some really quirky venues, I well remember the looks I received in London when I asked people on the street for directions to the “House Of Correction”, turned out to be the former underground cells for Clarkenwell prison, but sounded very much like I was looking for a brothel!
We have just supplied frozen cocktails and hot dogs to a party at the Biscuit Factory in Edinburgh, this was, as the name suggests, a former biscuit factory for the firm of Crawfords, now part of the United Biscuits Group
, it has been purchased and turned into an arts house type events venue, on the ground floor there is even a set of stills, I thought at first the arty types were perhaps producing moonshine, but turns out to be a proper pukka operation called Edinburgh Gin
Anyway, the venue was an interesting one, though rather chilly, due in part to there being no heating, and a number of missing window panes. We were operating a couple of Victorian style carts, which fit in with the event perfectly. On the 3rd floor where we were operating, the centerpiece attraction was parts of a 1960’s Morris Mini Deluxe car hanging from the ceiling, well the seats were sat on the floor, but the bonnet, boot and 2 doors were hanging from the ceiling, I could have done with the drivers seat to replace the one that was stolen from our classic mini cooper, but there weren’t really any chances to smuggle it out.
We have offered a range of different catering carts for quite a while now, including Victorian style, modern contemporary, Winter Alpine mini huts, event wild west style chuck wagon. However we have now decided to update and broaden the range we offer, we have commissioned a number of new themed carts which will be launched over the coming weeks, we are also adapting a number of our vehicles for catering use.
Imagine you could have your coffee served from an authentic Indian tuk tuk, or what about pretzels served from the back of Del Boy Trotters three wheeled van? Our aim is to offer the most complete choice of catering carts in the industry.
To celebrate surviving another ridiculously busy December, we have decided to get our entire team fit. To this end we have bought a number of FitBit trackers, along with automatic scales and food tracking software to keep track of every-bodies progress. Some of us have even joined a local gym, the MD (yours truly) being one of them.
I have to say that the fitibit Eco system is turning out to be quite impressive, the food tracking app makes it easy to monitor the calories your taking in, and the nutritional information it lists makes it really easy to see what foods are best to eat at any particular time of the day. To be honest one of the biggest surprises has been just how nice some of the good foods are, after a December long diet of McDonald s your taste buds eventually become numb, and eating fresh fruit and vegetables seems to reawaken them.
The gym has even began to become a little easier, the first days visit left most of us unable to walk properly, much left lift anything, but now it has become quite invigorating, in fact getting up at 6 to hit the gym for 6.30 has meant that we are seeing earlier starts in the office and getting more done.
We offer a wide range of different catering options, including many desserts. For some reason different offerings seem to be especially popular some years. 2015 was fairly quiet for our Kulfi Cart offering, yet 2014 was especially busy, and 2016 is already busier than 2015 was.
Kulfi, for those who have never encountered it, is a version of ice cream that originated in the Indian sub continent. Unlike Western ice cream, kulfi is not whipped to introduce air into the mixture, so it tends to be a much more solid and dense mixture, which takes much longer to melt.
Reputedly it was invented in the 1500’s in the Mughal Empire, dense evaporated milk was already a popular dessert, when it was mixed with additional flavours, packed into metal cones and immersed into slurry ice resulting in Kulfi.
Traditionally in India kulfi is sold by vendors called Kulfiwallers who serve it on a leaf or frozen on a stick.