How much choice should customers expect
The public tastes have changed in the last few years and whilst the burger and hot dog vans still take the lions share of the business other alternatives are now expected and there is no excuse for not providing it.
NCASS have over 50 categories of caterers as members. From Indian and Chinese to Egyptian, Moroccan, chocolate fountains and everything in between, a quick search on the NCASS web site will prove the point.
Of course this always has to be tempered with the anticipated attendance, there is little point in putting 10 units on an event with an attendance of 2000, in fact it is immoral and could even be in breach of your catering agreement
As a guideline we feel the following is a fair representation of units of different types of events (see attachment)
Finding Good Quality Caterers
Finding the best is not always easy, but NCASS have done their best to make it so, there are several ways:
Searching the NCASS web site
1)Most people are now familiar with searching on web sites; you can search the NCASS database of over 1500 members FREE of charge as often as you like by either type of food offering, by location or by company name
2) By filling in a work opportunity on the web site; once approved, usually within an hour or two, the details are sent out by text message to all the caterers in the area
3) By using the NCASS Annual Industry guide which lists all our members by type by area and by name, you can get a free copy by calling the NCASS offices
Contracting a Caterer
This is an old issue which comes up time and again, many event organisers do not issue a bona fide contract when booking caterers, this leads to many unnecessary legal claims which could be very easily avoided.
NCASS offers FREE of charge a sample contract which can be emailed to any organiser on request.
By using this as a draft any organiser can at least set out the basic parameters of the deal between himself and the caterer or stall holder
Food Safety legislation in the UK will change from 1st January 2006. This will have an effect on event organisers employing caterers and mobile bars to cover their events.
The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2005 will apply to all food businesses. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have their own variations bur are expected to follow along the same lines as far as caterers and mobile bars are concerned.
As part of the event organisers due diligence, the they must ensure that all caterers on their events are trading lawfully, otherwise they might well be implicated if there was a food hygiene incident that lead to legal proceedings being brought against the caterer.
What ALL caterers should have before trading
We live in an increasingly litigious world and there is no shortage of legal firms who handle legal actions on a no win no fee basis so any organiser is a potential target for a claim by a member a visitor to their event.
Here is a simple checklist to ensure that caterers comply with the law before they turn up at your event:
A HACCP system (documented food hygiene management system)
Food handler training certificates for every person working on the catering unit or stall
Gas safety certificate (by a CORGI approved contractor)
Electrical safety certificate
Liability insurance (normally £5m public, £5m products and £10m employers liability)
Confirmation that the food business is registered with the environment health office in the area in which the caterer operates from or where the units are kept
A health & safety policy document
A copy of all these documents should be obtained before the contract is signed and kept on record for a period of 5 yrs.
If the caterer cannot supply the above then they should not be employed as you may well become liable for any potential legal action resulting from their negligence
Use NCASS members – 3 good reasons
1. All NCASS members have, as part of their membership a HACCP system that complies with the regulations.
2. All NCASS members have free use of our online hygiene training system and our certificates have a photograph of the trainee laminated into them to prevent fraud, and if they have a Level 2 in mobile catering they are also trained in all aspects of the HACCP principles and safe use of LPG and generators.
3. All the above documents can be verified on line and electronic copies sent by email directly from the NCASS site by the caterer
For further information call NCASS on 0121 603 2524.