Chafing Fuel Disposal

Disposing of hazardous chafing fuels (Sternos) is a pain for any caterer. In some states, it is illegal to dispose of these fuels in with normal trash, and the caterer can be fined if they are caught doing so. Per Sterno’s product information, all canned fuel products, “Must not be disposed together with household garbage. Do not allow product to reach sewage system.” How many times does a caterer directly throw away their used Sternos directly in the trash? I would speculate this happens everyday across the entire United States. This practice not only could result in a fine for the caterer, but could cause serious issues for the environment. In the same Sterno documentation, Sterno products classify as, “Water hazard class 1 (German Regulation) (Self-assessment): slightly hazardous for water: Do not allow undiluted product or large quantities of it to reach ground water, water course or sewage system.” I ask, should this not be monitored more often? If the nation’s largest chafing fuel brand directly says “slightly hazardous for water” and everyday thousands of chafing fuels are directly disposed of in the trash, then there needs to be something done to eradicate this issue.

Finally, there is another option for caterers using chafing fuels! EcoHeat warmers are a combination of all natural ingredients that are biodegradable and safe to dispose of directly in the everyday trash. Unlike chafing fuels, the EcoHeat warmers never leak hazardous chemicals into the water system. The EcoHeat warmers are safe to use, safe to work around, and safe to dispose of in a environmentally safe way. NEVER USE A HAZARDOUS CHAFING FUEL AGAIN! Switch to the safer, and more convenient option today! Find out more information today at HeatingWithoutFire.com

The Dangers of Chafing Fuels Part 1/2: Pollution, the Hidden Gases

Carbon dioxide and monoxide have become a large topic issue in the United States in the last decade. Gasoline and Diesel cars produce a large amount of these greenhouse gases, which cause pollution in the air. On average a car emits 411 grams of Carbon Dioxide per mile driven. Though this number seems small, the average driver, in the U.S., drivers 11,400 miles per year. This is 4,685,400 grams of CO2 pollution per person in the United States! This is not anything new though. The United States is one of the most polluted Countries in the World. We know cars can cause pollution problem, but what about the other fuels which we burn?
In a study by the U.S Energy Information Administration in 2017, Diesel fuel and heating oil emit 161.3 pounds of CO2 per million Btu, while propane emits 139.0 pounds of CO2 per million Btu, and natural gas is 117.0 pounds of CO2 per million Btu. These are “cleaner” fuels but still, have a huge impact on the environment. Propane and natural gas are used for household heating and cooking. But, what about other cooking fuel? What about chafing fuels?
Many people do not realize the impact chafing fuels have on our environment. Based on a study of chafing fuels environmental impact done by Carbon Footprint LTD in 2015, each fuel used is about .7 kg of C02 emissions. This is a tiny about for only one fuel, but when each event requires 10-20 fuels, the event is having a massive impact on the environment. With over 166,000 caterers in the United States, using 10-20 fuels per event, and catering about 100 events per year on average, the impact of using chafing fuels is causing more pollution that anyone realizes. 116,864,000 kg of CO2 emissions in total for 1 year of catering. To put it into perspective, that is 280,082,761 miles driven in a gasoline car or 24,686 cars driven for a year. Chafing Fuels are hiding behind the word “green” because they are made with “clean” fuel, but the fuel being burned is impacting the environment in a massive way.
Honestly, there is no other way to put it, all types of burning fuels put off CO2. The CO2 produced is causing our planet a great impact. This added CO2 will impact the weather, the clean water supply, the food supply chain, and geographical changes. CO2 is bad for the environment, but the other Carbon gas, Carbon Monoxide can be life threating. CO is a gas produced from fuels such as gasoline from our cars and trucks, and from chafing fuels. In 1978, a high school student lost his life from the off put has of CO. Even though this was almost 30 years ago, the danger is still here. I want to suggest to everyone, STOP USING CHAFING FUELS! They are killing the environment and they are taking lives of young people. Stop before it is too late.

How to Improve Inconsistent Heat on Chafing Dishes

Burns, hot spots, crusty cheese, and dry meats- all of these issues can be attributed to inconsistent heat on your catering line. Using products like chafing fuels can definately provide you with a hot dish, but sometimes it’s more of a hassle than it is good.
Some dishes can be sensitive to excessive heats such as; cheeses, pastas, and sauces. If these see to much heat, they will crust and become unpleasant for your guests. Meats will dry out with too much heat, become chewy, and lose their flavor.
This problem can be tough to handle for a busy caterer. The last thing you want is for the delicious for you have prepped to get ruined due to poor presentation.
The guys over at HeatingWithoutFire.com are providing a solution that can deliver just the perfect amount of heating without worry of charring foods due to too much heat.
The simple system they have designed requires no water, and can be retrofitted to fit inside your standard chafing pans. Get rid of the old style chafers and switch to the EcoHeat food warmers today! The safer, more consistent way to keep food warm!!

Graduation Parties: The Month Long Catering Frenzy

It is estimated, 3.5 million high school students and 3.7 million college students will graduate in 2017. Many of these graduates will host a graduation party in the months of May and June. Each party will have a hundred or more friends and family attend the party, and expect to have some sort of food to eat. The food can range from pizza to barbeque. Every weekend from mid-May to mid-June is filled with party after party. With the demand for hundreds to eat, many parties will be catered by a catering company.
Graduation parties kick off the unofficial catering season. Caterers love these type of events because it gives them the opportunity to grab additional business from the party goers. Great food translates into more business in the future. One successful graduation party can lead to 2-5 additional events down the road. I would suggest all caterers advertise and even run specials for these types of events. Be sure to impress the party goers with great food and great service!
I would also suggest boosting advertising at the event by combining the use of the EcoHeat warmers with the fully customizable EcoHeat skirts with your business logo on the skirt. The EcoHeat warmers will provide the perfect heat, while the EcoHeat skirts advertise who is providing the amazing food the party goers are eating!
The EcoHeat warmers combine a fire free heat, easy setup, and easy cleanup. The EcoHeat warmers are the perfect heating source for any type of event, indoor and outdoors! For the first time ever, caterers can now put a skirt on their chafing dishes! Before now, the fire heating sources would catch the skirt on fire, but with the EcoHeat warmers, a skirt is the perfect chafing dish companion! If you are currently not using the EcoHeat system, find out more information at HeatingWithoutFire.com.

Advertising at your Event

How many times have you catered an event, and the party-goers have no idea who made the food? This is an issue for many caterers across the country. Without spending thousands for speciality napkins, and banners to hang by the food, no one will know who made the food they are eating! Advertising at an event can be the difference in a thriving business and a business that is barely getting by. A caterer can be the best caterer in the world, but if people do not know about the business, then the business has no chance to be successful.
How can you gain the notoriety your business deserves?
It all starts with identifying your target audience. Yes, a caterer can do events for all types of target audiences, but may I suggest finding the audience which is best suited for your business and grow from there? This will give you the opportunity to gain a large market share for the intended target audience. Once you are comfortable with the amount of market share in your initial target audience, expand to others which your current target audience are associated with. This allows for word of mouth marketing as well as event marketing.
Event marketing can be costly, or it used to be. Before now, caterers had to purchases speciality napkins and plate to advertise. These have been good, but honestly who looks at the napkin before the wipe their hands all over it, not many. As a caterer who uses the EcoHeat system, you can advertise right on every chafing dish at the event. Everyone looks at the food before the event starts while going through the food line, and after to see if it is clear to go back for seconds. This is a cost-effective way to get your name and logo directly in front of your target audience. Not only are these great advertising tools, they dress up the dish, and are reusable! The EcoHeat skirts are a great resource to have in your corner, but combined with the EcoHeat warmer you will impress ever guest at the event.
I live by this simple equation: great food + happy guest = more business down the road
Not only reorders from past customers but orders from past guest!

The Future of Catering

Since the beginning of time, fire has been the standard for heat. We have used fire to heat our homes, our bodies, and our food. As we have developed new technologies, we have moved away from using a fire to heat our homes and our bodies for many different reason, including safety and efficiency. Catering is still using the age old flame to keep the food warm while serving.
Caterers are still using a flame to keep their food warm while serving the food to their guest. When other industries has evolved, catering has been stuck using the dangerous fire based heat. There have been attempts to heat with electric dishes or electric chafers, but the majority of caterers are still using the fire based chafing fuels. For the first time, there is a safe chafing fuel alternative. It is a fire free and electric free heating source called the EcoHeat warmer.
For 50 plus years, there has not been a viable challenger to the current way of food heating, but with the EcoHeat warmers there is! Steam heating can cause foods to become soggy, and can even heat the food too much causing the food to burn on the bottom of the dish. These cause the food to not taste the way the food was intended to taste like. When the food suffers, the customer suffers, and the caterer suffers. With the EcoHeat warmers, everyone leaves the event with smiling faces!
Lastly, the catering industry has been a dangerous working environment for many years. The employees deal with fire and boiling water, combined with the fast pace associated with events. This combination can literally be life threatening. It cannot be understated how the catering industry needs to find a new way to heat the food. With the EcoHeat warmers, employees are safe from dangerous fire and boiling water. STOP putting your employees in a dangerous working environment, switch to the EcoHeat warmers today!
Remember to choose the EcoHeat warmers when deciding what heating sources to use at your next event. The EcoHeat warmers are the safest, and most convenient heating source on the market.

Catering Meets Gluten Free

Gluten free dieters have become a norm in the United States and across the world. This is because there has been an increase in knowledge about Celiac's Disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Many of the people who are part of those two groups have suffered for years before they were able to pinpoint their issues were do to the non-gluten free diet. Celiac's Disease effects about 1 in 100 of the worldwide population, according to celiac.org. Though 3 million Americans have Celiac, the only treatment is a 100% gluten free diet. For many years the only option was to do hours of research to find a grocery who sold gluten free items. Now most groceries have brought on gluten free options. Restaurants have begun servicing gluten free options for these cases, but the catering industry is lacking these necessary options. I would suggest every caterer to have gluten free options for every event they serve. There many only be a few people who suffer from Celiac at the event, but it could be the difference in being hired to cater events for the guest in the future. When a caterer decides to offer a gluten free menu, they have to go all in. People who suffer from any sort of gluten sensitivity often find the gluten free options, but still have discomfort after. This is mainly do to a gluten contamination of the gluten free ingredients. It may not be a contamination at the local caterer, but rather at the factory level. Be sure to buy gluten free ingredients from a reputable gluten free providers. The additional cost will easily be made up in the long run by the additional business from your new gluten free clients. For a start, these are good gluten free items to build a menu around: * Unseasoned chicken breast * Ground turkey * Fish * One ingredient species * Simple Vegetables These ingredients, combined with the quality gluten free items from established gluten free provides will build the necessary comfort level with the customers. Branch out a bit, and build your gluten free menu items today, and reap the benefits later!

5 Reasons to NEVER use a Chafing fuel EVER AGAIN

1. Fire
     Fire has been the go to heating source for caterers since the introduction of chafing fuels in the early 1900’s. Fire is a hassle to work with and a hassle to be around. Also, every caterer has had a near accident or worst, been involved in a chafing fuel accident.
     Additionally, caterers have to monitor the temperature of their, monitor whether the fuel has burnt out, and monitor the water level to ensure there is still water in the pan. All of these can cause issues at an event.
2. Fumes
     Based on two different chafing fuel manufacturer’s data sheets, their fuels should only be used in “well ventilated” areas. If the user does not use in a “well ventilated” area nasal and/or respiratory irritation will occur.  Another manufacturer’s data sheeting reads “Harmful if inhaled”. Everyone who has been at a catered event has inhaled the fumes from a chafing fuel, we are all just a breath away from a harmful situation.
3. Environmental impact
     Every year millions of chafing fuels are thrown away. Many time with some gel or liquid still inside the container. The leftovers leak into the soil, and depending on where the      containers end up, it could get into our drinking water, our food, and/or the air we breath. These could all lead to poisonings from the hazardous chemicals used to heat the food.
4. Dangerous working environment
     Working in the food service industry is more dangerous than many people believe it to. There are slippery spots all over the working environment, thus workers wear slip resistant shoes.             
     But the most dangerous aspect is the fires. Not for cooking food, but rather the open flames keeping the food warm. These flames are unnecessary, unsafe, and make for the most dangerous working environment. These flame heaters should be replaced by safer, fire free heating sources.
 
5. Cost more money
     The last reason to never use a chafing fuel again is the cost. The cost of a chafing fuel is between $.75-2.00 per fuel. Some people will pay less and some more. But the hidden cost of using chafing fuels is staggering. The setup time for a caterer take between 30 minutes to 1 hour. Each dish take between 30-45 minutes, which requires at least 1 or 2 employees to setup. This setup cost the company valuable time before the event. The next hidden cost is cost of insurance. Open flames require the company to be covered at a higher level. Every employee deal with the chafing fuels has the potential to get burnt by the flame and even injured by the steam when replacing a dish. The last hidden cost is the time it takes to clean up after the event is over. The employees have to wait for the chafing fuels to cool down (approx. 10 minutes), find a place to dump the hot water out, and finally pack up the dishes. The total time for this could be up to an hour. 
by Logan Hayford
 

Tips for Planning the Perfect Reception!

Millions of people get married throughout the world every year. Most weddings are followed by a huge celebration with food, drink, gifts, and load of fun. In the United States this is usually referred to as the wedding reception. Wedding receptions can either make or break the day of the wedding, and I can guarantee without prior planning it will break the wedding day.
First off, you must pick a reception venue. This is the first important step in planning the perfect reception. Some wedding venues offer a place to wed and a place to party. Others will not have a place to hold the reception, this is when searching for the perfect venue comes into the planning process. I suggest starting your search on the Knot. The Knot is a great source to find all the venues in your area.
Things to keep in mind when picking the venue:
  • Who is allowed to cater in this venue?
  • What is the capacity of the venue?
    • Will you come close to reaching the max capacity of the venue?
  • How far from the wedding ceremony is the venue?
  • Will there be a bar service provided, or an extra fee?
Next, you need to decide if the reception will serve a meal, appetizers, and/or drinks. Guest will become impatient if the reception does not have either appetizers or drinks while they wait for the wedding party to arrive from after ceremony pictures. Many wedding receptions have ended before they started, because the guest did not wait for the wedding party to arrive. When choosing the food, ensure the caterer will provide a safe experience for all the guest. Most caterers will use the dangerous fire heating sources which can lead to dangerous situations for your guest. Be sure to ask your caterer to use the EcoHeat warmers.
Next, you need to take into account is timing. Wedding are typically in the mid afternoon on Saturdays. This allows for a wide range of time for the reception to take place. It is common to allow about an hour for the wedding party to take pictures following the ceremony. The picture time puts the reception into the supper time range. Many guest will expect for the reception to serve a meal if it is not made clear there will be no food. Depending on choices made for food and drinks the ceremony can go on into the late night hours. Sometimes even after the bride and groom have left the reception.
Sometimes food and drinks are not enough to keep the guest busy. In this case, the DJ is very important. DJs are another make or break part of the wedding. When choosing a DJ you get what you pay for. A good DJ will play songs to get different age groups on the dance floor, then play songs to keep them there. Everyone knows the songs which get people dancing, and the songs which send a certain age group back to their seats. One of my favorite traditions is the "Years married dance". This gets everyone up out of their seats (who are married) and keeps them around the dance floor to see who has been married the longest.
Weddings can be the best day of a couple's life together. Make sure when planning to take the venue, food and beverage options, timing of the event, and especially your DJ into account when planning for your wedding reception. Remember to keep you wedding safe from the dangerous fire fuels by ensuring your caterer chooses to use the EcoHeat warmers!
by: Logan Hayford

Improving the Life Span of your Catering Equipment

Every catering company is weary of the necessary investment they must make in their catering equipment. This equipment can range from something as useful as food displays to miscellaneous items such as decorative center pieces. However, one item that is vital to a catering event is a chafing dish. All caterers understand the pains of keeping your nice new pans shining after using them a couple times. Burn marks from using your chafing fuels, water marks inside the pans and residues of burnt food on the food pans. Chafing fuels can be the source of all these problems. Using fire to heat is not only dangerous for guests, but is hard on your equipment. Some options you may have for dressing up your catering line would be; Try using the EcoHeat warmers to help with these pains. EcoHeat warmers deliver just the right amount of heat to keep your foods perfect for your guests without harming your expensive chafing pans. You won't have any worry about burning the pans which means no burn marks on the outside, and no burnt crusty food on the inside. EcoHeat warmers also don't require water, so you won't have to worry about dirty water build up leaving marks on any of your pans. Check out HeatingWithoutFire.com to find out more about how to revolutionize the way you are serving at your events. by Austin Hale