Price fac­tor

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ECOWATCH -

US­ING dis­pos­able ware, biodegrad­able or other­wise, has its ad­van­tages, if you ask those who are in the cater­ing in­dus­try.

“I need to de­ploy much more man­power if the func­tion has to use re­us­able plates, cups and cut­lery. It is usual for guests to leave them all over the place, and the caterer will also have to ab­sorb some break­ages along the way,’’ said Norsyal­iza Mo­hamad, as­sis­tant man­ager of Arena Events & Ser­vices.

An­other op­er­a­tor said that man­power re­quire­ments can vary by up to 40% at a large func­tion when re­us­able plates and cut­lery are used. “And it is not enough to bring just 1,000 plates when you are cater­ing for 1,000. You need to bring at least 2,000 plates as peo­ple are known to leave half-empty plates all over, and will not hes­i­tate to grab a fresh plate. Us­ing dis­pos­ables is much eas­ier as they are light and re­quire no wash­ing or col­lec­tion,’’ said a cook from Creative Cater­ing.

When Sariya Ya­tim, owner of Da­pur Emas Cater­ing, of­fered to use table­ware made of tapi­oca, her cus­tomers were not in­ter­ested as they did not want to pay for the price dif­fer­ence com­pared to foam plates. “But gen­er­ally, most of my clients do not re­quest for dis­pos­able table­ware as the per­cep­tion is that the event will not ap­pear classy if dis­pos­able uten­sils are used,’’ she said.

A poly­styrene clamshell can be as cheap as 7.5 sen each, or even less for larger or­ders, while a biodegrad­able op­tion eas­ily costs four times as much.

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