Serving Iftar to the local community during Ramadan can be a positive and happy experience – in the spirit of giving something back, your efforts will help families enjoy this important occasion. But it also brings its own special challenges. Here are our tips for making sure your staff feel appreciated.
1- Help manage the pressure
Fasting during the day can be difficult for anyone, but this is even tougher for those working in kitchens. Reduced hours for preparation, increased amounts of food to cook day after day, and high expectations from diners often mean that chefs and kitchen staff are too busy to look after themselves. A large percentage of kitchen staff have said they feel under-appreciated, especially during Ramadan.
2- Missing out on family time
We know that another difficulty for kitchen staff who are fasting is having to prepare food for others when they are often far away from home and missing Iftar with their own family. Even non-fasting staff say they feel the pressure of supporting their colleagues who are fasting.
3- Making things easier for your staff during Ramadan
- Diminished concentration due to fasting is normal. To help staff prepare food quickly and easily, focus on dishes that use convenience products. Check out our ideas for healthy hummus made with Knorr Mise en Place Rouge Pesto and Lime Powder Seasoning, soup recipes that use ready-made Knorr powdered stock or concentrated bouillon and samosas filled with Knorr Mashed Potato. Chocolate, toffee and strawberry sauce from Carte d’Or will also make light work of desserts.
- Organize shifts with regular short breaks. Try to give staff the option to go outside and enjoy fresh air and make sure they have time to call home.
- Encourage staff to make healthy choices at Iftar and Suhoor. Wholegrains and slow-release carbohydrates such as whole-wheat pasta and couscous, bulgur wheat, lentils and chickpeas will help provide enough energy for a long period of time.
- Arrange an Iftar for the whole team to enjoy together.
- Remind all team members to show appreciation for each other’s hard work and support.
It is essential that the whole team work together to make every Iftar service a success. For that to happen, it’s important that all staff feel appreciated, supported and proud of their efforts. At UFS we believe this is the best way to Craft an Unforgettable Ramadan for everyone.
Chef Trishanna Persaud, Regional Customer Chef of UFS for the GCC, provides his tips and advice for chefs for you to share with your team:
4- Get enough rest
For a good night’s sleep – at least eight hours if you want to wake feeling recharged – you must first give yourself time to wind down after a shift. This might mean going for a walk, having a cup of tea, reading a book or chatting to a loved one.
5- Be tolerant
If colleagues are making errors or lacking concentration, try to find a reasonable solution. During Ramadan morale can be low and emotions may run high, so keep a positive attitude and encourage your colleagues to ask for help if needed to improve motivation, teamwork and productivity.
6- Maintain quality
When fasting it’s impossible to taste dishes before serving, so products like Knorr Chicken Stock Powder or Knorr Demi-Glace Powder are ideal for quality, consistent results.
7- Time savers from UFS
As well as offering high-quality convenience products that are a great stand-by during busy Ramadan, many of our products are warmer- and chiller-stable. For example, a lovely batch of Knorr Cream of Mushroom Soup can stay in a bain marie for four hours, or a rich tomato sauce can either be made with Knorr Tomato Powder à la minute or cooked in the morning then chilled ready for service.
For more inspirational recipe ideas and buffet planning tips, download our Craft An Unforgettable Ramadan eBook.