Catering trends are always changing and never stagnant, which makes working in the catering industry both exciting and sometimes maybe a little overwhelming for us. The pressure to not only keep up with trends but to also remain ahead of the curve can be difficult. Luckily, 2019 brought about a slew of new twists on old catering trends, keeping us inspired and ready to tackle event season!
Storytelling with food
We know that eating local and organic has seen an increase in popularity in recent years, but we’ll be taking it a step further with focusing on a dish’s background and how it came to be. Regardless of whether it’s meat-free or sourced from grass-fed animals local to the event’s area, we’ll see more clients start thinking about storytelling with their food and incorporating native ingredients.
For example, a couple may want to bring a sentimental feeling to the menu by bringing in a signature dish that they had on their first date or spicing it up with unexpected flavors to surprise their guests. We’ll see more of an emphasis on the importance of sharing the food’s origin, and even going as far as to hand-pick the ingredients from the event site.
Going back to our childhood roots
Nostalgic items are frequently pulling at our heartstrings, so we’ll see an uptick in catering trends which use childhood favorites in both food and beverage to surprise guests. Think playful, creative, and unexpected!
Garnishes like cotton candy and rock candy can be paired with adult beverages and used as quirky add-ons to the dessert display. Better yet, we’ll see clients wanting to take advantage of the late-night snack trend and opt for milk and cookies to jog the imagination. These touches are especially great for those that want to carry the party on into the night.
A new way to look at the dessert
Wedding cakes will never totally be eliminated from weddings, but there are plenty of ways to mix things up regarding presentation and display. Dessert tables will become particularly more prominent, with clients opting for more of a ‘spread’ rather than a single option. The deconstructed cake is very popular, with slices showcasing a variety of layers, flavors, and textures for guests to pick from. In the same vein, the offerings can extend to gluten-free and even include a delicious topping bar!
A celebratory champagne toast no longer has to be limited to a pour-and-pass, but rather be treated as more of a station for guests to photograph and self-serve. Gatsby-inspired towers can add some glamour and surprise attendees with an extravagant presentation.
The key to a successful event is guest interaction and participation, and there’s no question that taking even the simplest of catering trends to the next level in presentation or concept can make an ordinary event extraordinary!
Clint Elkins is the VP of Sales of SB Value, a group purchasing program designed toreduce catering, kitchen and food-service costs by leveraging the collective buying power of thousands of companies.
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