Seasonal cooking in the hospitality industry: tips, tricks, and benefits

Feb 20, 2024 | Food waste tips

In the hospitality industry, taste and experience go hand in hand. We can now add a third element to that equation: sustainability. Guests are increasingly valuing sustainability – also in the hospitality sector. When planning a night out, they scrutinize your menu. And rightly so.

Want to promote sustainability in your professional kitchen? One way to do this is by cooking seasonally. In other words: using ingredients that are at their peak in terms of flavor and freshness. In this blog, you’ll discover the benefits of seasonal cooking and we’ll share some tips and tricks with you!

4 Benefits of Seasonal Cooking

There are numerous benefits to seasonal cooking. It’s an endless list. To save you from reading until tomorrow, we’ve highlighted the most important ones for you. Shall we?

Quality and Flavor

An ingredient in season is at its peak in terms of freshness, flavor, and nutritional value. Such seasonal products are just a bit crunchier, juicier, and also more colorful. This directly translates to the dishes you serve. Both you and your guests can taste the difference.

An additional benefit: these seasonal products are also abundantly available. And you’ll notice that in the price. By cooking seasonally, you also save money on the purchase of ingredients. And that’s a nice bonus.

Just Be Sustainable

Using ingredients that are locally produced in the right season reduces the need for long-distance transport. This way, products don’t have to fly halfway around the globe to end up in your restaurant. And – you guessed it – that’s better for the environment. It reduces your ecological footprint.

It also supports the local economy. Seasonal fruits and vegetables come from our own country. By purchasing these local products, you support our farmers and entrepreneurs. Another form of sustainability!

Creative, Ecological Cooking 

The range of seasonal products is somewhat limited. Naturally. Not everything can peak at the same time. Seasonal cooking can therefore boost your creativity. You have to think about how to best utilize these ingredients to create exciting, innovative, and especially delicious dishes.

Seasonal cooking keeps not only your mind but also your menu fresh. It also encourages your guests to come back more often. They are very receptive to seasonal menus.

Reduce Food Waste

Are you taking the smart road? Then you probably waste less food in your professional kitchen. Choose ingredients that can be used in various ways, for example. You’ll need to buy less and thus reduce the chance of spoilage. This doesn’t just save waste but also money.

Give your colleagues the freedom to adjust dishes. And let them use products that need to be consumed first. Then, naturally, less food will end up in the trash.

The benefits are clear. Now for some first aid in menu planning. In the image below, you can see at a glance which products are in season:

Dishes for Spring and Summer

In need of some extra inspiration? We’re sharing a few hospitality tips with you:

  • Got leftover vegetables and fruits? Grill them. They taste wonderful in a fresh salad, and the possibilities are endless.
  • Leftover pasta or rice can also be used in cold salads. Flavorful, filling, and easy to customize. Ideal for lunch or as a side dish during dinner.
  • Wraps taste even better during the warmer seasons. Take advantage of it. Fill the wraps with leftover chicken or fish and herbs. A bit of cheese on top and your Mexican meal can go straight onto the specials board.

Combine the freshness of green asparagus with the sweetness of fresh strawberries, straight from the field. Add some goat cheese and nuts for extra flavor and crunch.

Dishes for Autumn and Winter

Even in autumn and winter, you can work with local, seasonal products. A few suggestions:

  • Use leftover vegetables such as corn, tomato, and red cabbage in tasty quiches. You can vary endlessly and surprise your guests with a new version each time.
  • Got apples that are damaged or overripe? Use them for applesauce.
  • Make vegetable chips from parsnip, carrot, or kale. You can offer these during lunch or dinner as an extra snack. These crunchy vegetables are also fun and tasty as a garnish.
  • Want to create a winter feeling? Do so by making vegetable cakes from pumpkin, carrot, and eggplant. Mix with warm spices like cinnamon and clove for the ultimate comfort meal.

Want to make your professional kitchen even more sustainable?

And combat food waste? You do it with Orbi, our fully automated food waste monitor. It registers in half a second what you throw away, how much you throw away, and why. This helps balance quantities, optimize stock, and plan more efficiently. It not only results in less waste but also significant cost savings.

Contact us to discuss the possibilities!


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