We live in challenging times, and many organisations are looking for ways to cut costs. We at Aramark are well aware that healthy and varied food remains the basis for a healthy and happy life. That is why our Mitigation Working Group looks for the perfect balance between the price and quality of our dishes.
The Mitigation Team consists of various experts from Aramark: the culinary manager, the operations manager and their assistants, the chefs, unit managers, and district managers. They meet weekly to brainstorm about the entire food range. The working group’s task is to closely monitor the rise in raw material prices. “For example, at Aramark, we look for alternatives with the emphasis on flavour. Quality, of course, remains the most important criterion. We always choose quality products, so that our chefs can get creative and conjure up delicious dishes,” says Culinary Manager Rosario Butera.
The Mitigation Working Group takes action on two levels. On the one hand, the team looks at whether the range can be adjusted and the number of products for our kitchens reduced. On the other hand, the team selects products that meet our needs according to their price. “An example of this is the frozen vegetables,” says Rosario. “We drew up a list of vegetables that we now buy fresh instead of frozen. We also worked on our pasta range following the increase in the price of wheat. And we also ran campaigns on bread, meat, and fish.”
By keeping track of the cost of the meals served, the team can measure the results. “That way, we can keep price increases in check and still offer quality meals. That way our customers continue to enjoy a varied menu without us having to cut out ingredients.”
Our specialised team draws up reports and the chefs’ menus are checked regularly. The working group works very transparently with the chefs and communicates with everyone for the best result. Cooperation with suppliers is also very important. They brainstorm with us so that our way of working is successful.
Our customers also experience that Aramark’s menus remain varied and tasty despite cost optimisation. The residents of the Sint-Felix residential care centre in Herne have been enjoying Aramark cuisine since 1997. According to General Manager Marc Van Nieuwenhove, the residents are satisfied with their meals. “We cook for about eighty people here every day. Of course, there are always residents who don’t like a certain dish. But the cooks at Aramark manage to adapt and still put a tasty meal on the plate every day,” says Marc.
“Life is clearly becoming more expensive, and we also notice this in our residential care centre. But we aren’t bothered by inflation as far as the kitchen is concerned. The food remains tasty, the portions are still large enough, and we enjoy varied meals, taking our budget into account.”
It is no coincidence that Aramark has been manning the kitchen at the Sint-Felix residential care centre since 1997. Marc Van Nieuwenhove has relied on our knowledge and expertise for almost 25 years. “Aramark is a reliable external partner that we have been able to rely on for years. And if you’re satisfied, you shouldn’t be too quick to change,” Marc says. “After all these years, the Aramark kitchen staff have become part of our team. The cook and his staff are well integrated here. And with every obstacle, Aramark makes the necessary efforts to creatively deal with it and solve it. So we are definitely satisfied with our partnership with Aramark,” says Marc Van Nieuwenhove.