Sunday, 18 September 2011

A Review of Katie's Caterers

(A quick note on the formal style used here - I have posted this on a few review sites, and I also intend to write it up in an email to the company).

I recently attended a training course which was catered by Katie's Catering.  I confirmed my dietary needs as a vegan more than a month in advance.

The training course was six days long, over three weekends.  For the first four days, the "vegan" option sent was a ham salad, which, obviously, I was unable to consume.  Katie's Catering was unavailable to contact by the time we had realised the error on Saturday lunchtime, both weekends, and had already left the same food for Sunday.

The final weekend, they did send an actual vegan meal - the same salad with the ham removed.  This is not a fair amount of food for an adult to get through a seven-hour day on, particularly when everyone else was offered tuna sandwiches, ham sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, pork pies, salad, and crisps.

There were also several complaints from vegetarian diners, as the food was not clearly labelled, and was mixed together.

There were several, extremely simple, things that Katie's Caterers could have done to make this experience better.  Simply separating and labelling the food would have been an excellent start. 

As for the vegan option itself, a very simple improvement would be to offer one sandwich made up solely of cucumber and salad, items which were all used within the food offered.  Also, a packet of ready salted crisps could have been kept back, rather than mixed with the others, since, when they are all mixed, it is impossible to tell which crisps contain whey powder or other non-vegan ingredients.  This was also a problem for vegetarian diners, as it was impossible to tell which crisps contained rennet or flavouring made from animal ingredients.

An even better choice would have involved one tray being made up of houmous and salad sandwiches, which could have been offered to all diners, and clearly marked as vegan, rather than making a totally separate option.

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