It’s not uncommon nowadays for couples to try and bring a sense of uniqueness to their wedding, whether that be in the dress code, the location or even the colour theme. But cake alternatives are slowly becoming the new wedding “in”, with people switching out the tiers for other sweet treats that can compensate – and this is where doughnuts get the hole in one.
Inviting doughnuts into your wedding can help you cut costs and even make your day that bit extra environmentally friendly. In this guide, we’ll show you how to integrate this delicious dessert into your plan, and why it’ll be so much better than your average cake.
Cake vs Doughnuts: How Do We Measure Them?
Cake: Talking traditionally, there are 3 opportunities for different flavours, each tier representing a different taste. But keep in mind that with each layer comes a certain uniformity – a limitation that can sometimes dampen the thrill of flavour exploration. The struggle to find flavours that complement each other can be overwhelming, and then there’s always the fear of a half-eaten cake if one of the tiers is preferred.
Doughnuts: Doughnuts are the undisputed champions of flavour diversity. They come in a dizzying array that caters to every palate – whether you’re a fan of timeless classics or crave adventurous, unexpected combinations. Having a variety of different tangs can mean all your guests will be able to enjoy something that they like, and it can be immense fun choosing all the options you want to have on show.
Cake: While wedding cakes are often celebrated for their grand presentation, this spectacle can be a double-edged sword. The towering presence of a multi-tiered cake might dominate the aesthetic, potentially overshadowing other elements of your wedding decor. As well as this, elaborate cake designs can sometimes clash with certain themes or styles, limiting your options for presenting something that truly reflects your vision.
Doughnuts: They provide a flexible option for presentations that can effortlessly blend with different wedding styles. Their compact size encourages inventive arrangements that won’t overshadow the general aesthetic. Regardless of whether your theme is rustic or modern, doughnuts can be positioned to enhance your selected decor without becoming the focal point. Displayed on multi-level stands, pegboards, or as individual treats, the presentation of doughnuts offers a more balanced and versatile visual appeal.
Wedding Cakes: Wedding cakes are steeped in tradition, often making them feel a bit commonplace with similar designs and concepts frequently seen. The trick is to break the mould while still meeting the expectations of what a wedding cake should be. While striving for true originality can lead us down paths less travelled, it might not be a hit with all guests and could detract from the festive atmosphere.
Doughnuts: On the flip side, incorporating doughnuts into your wedding adds a unique and exciting twist to your celebration. Choosing a doughnut display immediately sets your wedding apart from others. With a wide variety of flavours and opportunities for creative displays, you can design an experience that truly pops. Doughnuts offer a fresh, memorable angle that will not only tantalise your guests’ taste buds but also create lasting memories.
Wedding Cakes: The charm of a majestic wedding cake often comes with a pretty penny attached. The complexity of the cake design, detailed adornments, and expert craftsmanship needed all play a part in the rising costs. The quest for an eye-catching centrepiece could eat into a significant chunk of your budget, leaving less for other wedding elements. As the expenses pile up, your dream cake might morph into a financial strain that impacts other parts of your celebration.
Doughnuts: Doughnuts excel in their cost-effectiveness, offering a budget-friendly alternative without compromising on flavour or aesthetics. Their smaller size naturally means less cost per serving, freeing up your budget for other important aspects like the venue, attire, or entertainment. Doughnut displays can still be a feast for the eyes, and the money saved can help achieve a more balanced allocation of resources throughout your entire wedding.
Fact: Did you know that in 2021, the average cost of a wedding in the UK escalated from around £15,171 to £16,000?!
Wedding Cakes: As enchanting as they may be, wedding cakes do raise some concerns about sustainability. The intricate decorations often involve materials that aren’t environmentally friendly. Plus, transporting these large, multi-tiered cakes can add to your event’s carbon footprint. Although you can try to use locally sourced and organic ingredients, the environmental impact of wedding cakes can sometimes overshadow their grand appearance.
Doughnuts: Here’s where doughnuts can really shine – they’re a more sustainable dessert choice. Perfect for eco-friendly couples, their smaller size reduces potential food waste. If sourced from local bakeries that prioritise green practices, doughnuts can help lower your wedding’s environmental impact. An added eco-friendly bonus is the variation of flavours in one display, reducing the need for multiple desserts and promoting more efficient, sustainable resource use.
So there you have it folks, a breakdown of the battle between wedding cake and doughnuts – and I think it’s clear to see who the winner is! Ultimately, your big day should reflect you and your partner’s personalities, and only you two should make the final call on each element.
But if you’re looking for a sweet, penny saving substitute that you and your guests will adore, contact us to see how we can help to make it happen.
“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”
So begins our introduction to one of our favorite burger joints. The Big Kahuna Burger. We really like this one, thing is, it doesn’t exist. Well, it does, but only in movieland. Quentin Tarantino’s movies to be precise.
This is the burger that Samuel L. Jackson quotes just before he executes a victim in Pulp Fiction.
The chain appears in something like nine of Tarantino’s movies. His old friend Jerry Martinez was responsible for designing the packaging.
Formally known as Jake’s Wayback Burgers, the chain was launched in 1991 in Delaware. Additional locations were opened, until the beginning of franchising started in 2000. By 2013 the chain began an international expansion into 28 other countries.
By 2016 the chain counted 95 locations in the US, with international outlets bringing the total upto 133 stores.
The chain stands out amongst other similar offerings with some of its weird and even controversial offerings.
Bug Powder Milk Shakes
In 2015 the chain offered ‘protein milkshakes’ made using powder derived from crickets. Not as strange an idea as it sounds at first glance, many nutritional experts claim that insects are not only high in protein, but could provide the answer to feeding the world’s population in the future. Their Oreo Mud Pie milkshake contained 24 grams of protein from the blended cricket.
The Royal Silencer
Everyone has an opinion about Prince Harry, you know the one, James Hewitts boy. I haven’t read his biography, but the excerpts I have seen, he seems rather bitter and sad.
Wayback burgers brought a special out to commemorate the release of his book, you know, Heir and the Spare. They sold their usual two patty burger, with an additional ‘spare’ burger added, and remarked that the Royal Family could do worse than sit down with a burger and bury the hatchett.
Thee Mustang Burger
This one is a doozy. I have wrote before about the time a company had to stop selling its 1/3 pound burger, because people thought it was smaller than a 1/4 pounder because obviously 3 is a smaller number than 4.
This time they held a competition for their customers to get the naming rights to a burger special. This time the gentleman who won drove a Mustang car, so he called the burger a Mustang burger.
All good right? Well not exactly. Seems that any burger called Mustang, had to be made from wild mustang horses. Right, it is so obvious. It led to calls for boycotts of the Wayback stores till they mended their evil horse selling ways.
Ultimately it led to the chain withdrawing the name and issuing an apology on Facebook.
The Triple Triple Challange
Their next entry in the Wayback hall of fame, was a special one day challenge. Whoever could eat their triple triple burger the fastest would win the prize pot of $3,300. Just look at it, one commentator wondered if it was possibly a secret plan to curb world population growth.
Kim Kardashian Free Burgers
They offered the celeb free burgers and milk shakes for the duration of her pregnancy. I don’t know if she actually took them up on this, but hey, the offer was there.
Today’s hero of the burger world is one Wilber Hardee, who launched his namesake restaurant in Greenville, North Carolina on 3rd September 1960. He had viewed the first McDonald’s in the area and been impressed by the money it was taking when he clocked up $168 in an hour. As he exclaimed, at 15c a burger that was some sales. He already operated a successful restaurant called ‘Silo’, but wanted a slice of the burger market.
His first years trading was so successful that he looked into expanding. A meeting with James Gardner and Leonard Rawls led to the opening of the first ‘Company’ store in Rocky Mount.
Change Of Ownership
Wilber didn’t stay in charge of the company for long. Selling his share in Hardees Burger Chain to his other two partners in 1961. There are conflicting accounts of how this arose. Wilber claimed that he lost a controlling share of the business in a poker game to his two partners. Realising he no longer had control he sold the remaining stock.
However in a short book he self published in 2000, Wilber told a different story. The other partners evidently plied him with alcohol, getting him drunk enough to begin signing legal papers without understanding what they were, leading to him signing the rights for franchising away to the other men.
However in a later interview he claimed that he had just been basically stupid, and agreed to set up a company where each partner had equal voting rights, leading to the situation where the other two could always out vote him on decisions.
The chain expanded rapidly, not just with the franchising operation, but they also bought two other chains, Sandy’s and Burger Chef. By 1984 it was the fourth largest chain in America, for a brief period surpassing Wendy’s to become the third largest.
1997 saw the chain being acquired by CKE restaurants. Standing for Carl Karcher Enterprises, owners of the famous Carl’s Jr. chain, this created a group of 3828 stores in 40 states and 10 countries.
The chain however was struggling, problems with the menu, service and quality control meant sales were declining. 2003 saw a new management team planning a turnaround, and a massive sales campaign, coupled with the reinstatement of charbroiling (Wilber Hardees secret weapon) which had been abandoned years earlier. New menu items such as the thick burger saw an upturn in the groups fortunes.
Since then the group has grown to over 5000 locations worldwide.
The current chain pretty much replicates the Carl’s Jr. menu, just with different names. Their flagship offering being the Monster Burger. With two 1/3 lb patties (though knowing Americans they might be better calling them 3/9 lb patties).
Wilber Rides Again
Not one to rest on his laurels, Wilber launched another burger chain, called Little Mint. The name referring to the fact that he considered burger joints should be little, and the chain was going to make him a mint. Though not reaching the heights of Hardees Burger Chain over the next seven years he grew the chain to 50 locations.
When the company went public his shareholding made him worth $2 million dollars’.
Sadly by 1971 competition and other adverse factors meant the chain started to struggle and after falling out with the other board members he eventually sold out for $90,000.
Ever a tryer Wilber opened three ‘Hot Dog Cities’ and a seafood restaurant over the next couple of years. None lasted more than a couple of years, and eventually he was forced to sell his house, eventually filing for bankruptcy.
His low point came when he planned to kill himself by driving his car into a tree. happily his nerve failed and he never carried the plan through.
Beef & Shakes Burger Chain
1978 saw him raising the capital to start ‘Beef & Shakes’ expanding to three outlets, before selling two and rebranding the remaining one Biscuit & Chicken, before eventually settling on the name Biscuit Town.
This was to be his final success, he franchised a couple of stores, before his wife died suddenly. Despondent he sold the chain to his old outfit of Little Mint.
you would have thought that was the end of his story, but he used the money to open three Burger Castle stores. Sadly these failed, and though he opened another five ventures over the next few years, his final one at the age of 75, none of them were successful.
It was reported that Wilber was always bitter about the lack of recognition in the group. Though it carried his name, the company recognised Rawls as its founder. And the second store was considered the start of the brand, not Wilber’s original.
This changed when Carl Karcher took over. He honoured Wilber as the founder of the hardees Burger Chain, naming it’s most prestigious franchising award after him.
Sadly he died in 2008 from a heart attack, just short of his 90th birthday.
Having just ordered a couple of new vans (not electric vans, the old fashioned kind), I got to thinking about the approaching date of 2030, when the government ban on ICE vehicles comes into effect. What would this mean for our business and fleet of vehicles.
My own personal car is pretty much a plaything. I occasionally take it for a blast around the local countryside. Go to an occasional meeting, and perhaps to social functions. Some years it does a couple thousand mile, so this could easily be replaced with an electric alternative.
Vans, The Mainstay Of Our Business
But what about the part of our fleet that actually works for a living. We use a fleet of mid range vans, mainly from the PSA group (Citroen, Fiat, Vauxhall etc). So I took a look at how suitable these would be. The truth is, not very. They have a maximum towing capacity of 1000kg. Whilst our lightest catering unit is 1600kg. So they are off the list.
The only van we could find that would tow our units, is the Ford E Transit which is rated for 2000kg.
Ford very conveniently provide a range calculator. So I duly types in a typical scenario. Winter temperature, all season tyres, 75% load.
What I got back was the screen below;
Turns out that the maximum range at this set up is 82 miles. Not a lot of use on our regular trips to Edinburgh which is around 240 miles. So basically 2-3 charges needed en route.
BUT WAIT. A bit if investigation and it turns out that the advertised range, doesn’t actually work in the real world. Seems that around 80% of the claimed figure is more realistic. So that cuts us to 65.6 miles. (I will be generous and round it up to 66 miles). So that’s 3-4 charges needed en route.
BUT WAIT AGAIN. This calculator doesn’t allow you to factor in the fact that you are towing. A bit more digging and most sources claim that towing cuts the range in half. So we are now down to 33 miles. That puts us on 7-8 charges needed. Or would be if you could run the van down to empty before recharging, which isn’t really practical. So most chargers quote their charging time as being from 15%. So that lets me use 85% of the capacity. Or gives me 28 miles of travel before needing a recharge, which would push us towards the 8 charges needed.
Hmm, how long is a charge going to take. Well, best I can find is that it takes as little as 34 minutes to charge it to 80% capacity. So that means 34 minutes gives us 80% of 28 mile range which is 22.4 miles.
Now we are up to needing 10 recharges en route to Edinburgh.
But then we are only running the charge down to 15% before recharging, so basically 65% of the 28 miles or 18.2 miles. Or 13 charges.
At 34 minutes per charge that’s 442 minutes, or a little over seven hours of charging time needed, presuming the chargers are available without a wait at each location we need them.
We have just added 14 hours to our days work. Three members of staff on overtime at £20 per hour adds £840 to the days wage bill. Which means the job isn’t financially viable, which means those members of staff are out of a job.
But there is more. The Edinburgh job which we used to allow 5 hours driving each way and 4 hours to do the job, 14 in total. Is now 28 hours. So the van, equipment and staff wouldn’t be back in time fo the next days work. So now we need double the number of vans, catering units and equipment to do the same level of work.
Oh and in all of the above calculations, I have assumed that the air is perfectly still. Add in a 22 mile per hour headwind and those figure will look generous. It is estimated that a headwind of this speed cuts 20% from the range of a Tesla. So cut 20% from our range and we end up with 14.5 miles, or 16 charges or a bit over 9 hours charging time each way! That is basing the calculation on a Tesla, which aerodynamically speaking is super slippy compared to a house brick shaped Transit van, oh, and if you are unlucky enough to travel on a day with freezing temperatures, then your range drops another 10%.
At this rate, we will be lucky if the van manages to reach the end of our drive before needing a recharge.
In short, the Westminster based geniuses have no idea of how things work in the real world. The fact that a housewife doing 50 miles a week for her shopping can happily live with electric cars, does not translate to keeping the country running on a business basis.
A Cunning Plan
So, what can we do. Well the initial plan is to order double our normal fleet for delivery in 2029. This will get us a few years before we are forced into electric. The other option we are looking at is following the lead of an enterprising American guy, who added a generator to his Tesla, that bypassed the interlock to allow him to charge the car whilst he was driving it. A decent sized diesel generator in the back of each van might just give us a usable range, a bit like the electric diesel hybrid system Dr Porsche proposed for the German Tiger tank in WW2.
When the Diamond Reo truck manufacturer went into liquidation. Four young engineers left and set up a business of their own. Mortgaging their houses and borrowing what they could they formed Spartan Chassis to manufacture specialist vehicles such as fire pump trucks and military vehicles.
Within thirty years the fledgling company had become a leading builder of custom chassis.
Custom Fire Apparatus
On the fire truck front they tend to build incomplete chassis for other manufacturers to add the body and equipment. Companies such as Kovatch Mobile Equipment take the Spartan chassis, cab and driveline, and add all the extra parts to produce the finished product.
They ted to leave the Spartan works looking like the truc above.
And come out of the second works looking more like the above.
One thing about the American fire trucks is that they look sexy. Acres of diamond plate decoration, big air horns, air raid type sirens and V6 or V8 engines, whats not to like?
New Food Truck
Why, you might ask are we waffling on about American fire trucks sexy or otherwise? Simples, we have just acquired a 1982 Spartan Monarch pumper to turn into a fire engine food truck. Watch this space for more details of John W. Sanders II. (That’s the name of the truck, named after a sadly deceased young firefighter.)
Here is a little look at the new truck. A full post will be up shortly.
We are continually tinkering with services and ingredients. That’s the reason that where we once offered doughnuts in sugar, we now do a full range of toppings such as Biscoff, Orea, melted chocolate etc.
Since lockdown, burgers have become a big part of our workload. We tried a number of different options before settling on a range of pre made patties. These have had great reviews everywhere we have been, and for some of the larger jobs where we have served upto 4000 guests they have been the only option realistically.
Enter The Smash
We have however always hankered at adding smash burgers to our lineup. For smaller events such as weddings or private parties these would be fine. Instead of pre formed patties we would be using loosely packed minced beef. To take it to the ultimate we could use a mincing machine and use joints of beef, can’t get much fresher than that.
But what, I hear you ask is a smash burger. Well, it is quite simple to make. You take a loose ball of minced beef. Not packed too tight or it doesn’t work the same. You plop it down on a super hot heating surface. Then smash it flat with a weighted iron. Oh, and you need beef with a pretty high fat content, around 20%.
What happens is that the heat and the pressure combine causing the amino acids and sugars in proteins to react. This forms a deep, caramelised, rich crust, which takes the taste to new heights. The higher fat content melts in the burger stopping in from drying out and adding to the taste.
you can generally tell a smash burger from the uneven shape and height of the burger. Pre processed patties tend to be a uniform size and shape.
The second Friday (or Frie Day) in July is national French Fries Day. Where? you might ask, good old America, where no doubt they think they invented them despite the name.
Introduced into Ireland in 1589 by Sir Walter Raleigh, the humble potato spread to become a staple crop in many lands. Hopefully in the great cosmic distribution of Karma, this may alleviate the deaths caused by his other introduction ‘tobacco’. Perhaps we might have been better smoking potatoes and eating tobacco!
French Fries Aren’t Just Potatoes
Fries can also be made with ;
- Sweet potatoes
- Jicama Fries
- Parsnips sliver fries
- Baked carrot fries
- Parmesan-Crusted Asparagus fries
so even without Sir Walter we would still have had fries of some sort.
The good ole Americans consume 4.5 Billion pounds of fries, that works out at about 30 lb each. That’s a helluva lot of fries per person.
Whichever way you like your French fries, add some condiments and there is something for everyone.
Happy Fries Day!
A bit of a misnomer this one, as Kenny Rogers Roasters actually sold wood fired rotisserie chickens, rather than burgers. But hey, I am a Kenny Rogers fan so what can i say.
The famous country musician teamed up with John Y. Brown Jr., a former KFC C.E.O. Having been the governor of Kentucky, Brown decided to return to the restaurant business, and got together with Rogers in 1991 to open the first location in Coral Springs, Florida,. Their selling point was that rotisserie chicken was a healthier option to regular fried chicken with a tagline of “less fat…less salt…less calories” .
They gradually expanded the menu to include Turkey, ribs and numerous side dishes. Growing to around 350 locations in the US, Canada, Asia and the Middle East by 1995. In 91 ‘Cluckers’ a minor chain of chicken restaurants sued them for allegedly copying its menus and recipes. They dealt with this by buying a majority stake in the chain.
The original team of Brown and Rogers expanded the chain to some 425 stores, before selling out to Malaysia-based Berjaya Group in 1996. They announced plans to open in the UK, even going so far as to purchase land, but in the end nothing came of it.
Decline And Change Of Ownership
by 1996 they had reached an annual turnover of $300 million. By 1998 they were in chapter 11 bankruptcy. As not only other chains had added similar products, but many supermarkets and other stores offered rotisserie chicken. Nathan’s Famous Inc, bought the chain out of bankruptcy for $1.25 million, and within a short space of time they had been reduced to some 90 outlets, 40 in the USA.
In 2008 ownership changed again when they were sold to Roasters Asia Pacific (Cayman) Limited, the Asian franchise owner. This proved a good move, as the chain continued to flourish in the Asian market and grew to over 140 stores by 2011.
A Scandinavian feel to this weeks Burger joint. Oh, and a pretty unique name. Bastard Burgers. I wonder how long before a parents organisation are picketing it to stop the kids being corrupted.
Throwing its hat into the ring in Luleå in Sweden in 2016, this is a relative baby in the burger world. The chain has seen rapid growth and now numbers some 70 outlets across Scandinavia, and one in New York City.
The recipe is similar to other high end burger joints. In NY they use meat from Pat LaFrieda a celebrated high end Butcher. In Sweden the meat comes from farms in Norrbotten, and is freshly ground each day. The dips are all made in house and the bread baked fresh daily. They are also proponents of the ‘smash’ technique. Taking a ball of meat and smashing it flat on the hot griddle. This causes something called the Milliard reaction, which locks the flavour into the meat and adds a lovely caramelized browning to the meat..
They are also big on vegan, with the chain promoting two signature burgers each month, one Vegan and the other meat. A collaboration with Gustav Johansson a celebrity food blogger, and vegetarian chef, has seen him create the vegan offerings for the past twelve months.
The outlets are a sort of mix of graffiti culture, street foedy, pop theme fusion. Hip Hop music and great burgers, what’s not to like.
The New York store has a tie up with a local brewery, the Bronx Brewers. Offering their range of beers in house, whilst Bronx offer Bastard Burgers on their menu. The two businesses look a pretty good match culture wise, and this chain is going to be one to watch.
Oh, and in case you are wondering, Bastard is not a swear word in Sweden!