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Catering Trends of 2014 and a Year of Industry Growth

May 13, 2014

Customers want their events to be memorable and unique, and they expect their caterers to help them realize this objective. There are some popular developments emerging in catering, and as a food service specialist you’ll want to stay current with these exciting new catering trends.

Customers want their events to be memorable and unique, and they expect their caterers to help them realize this objective. From weddings to bat mitzvahs, your ability to reinvent a classic and present it in a fun, new way could determine whether or not you’ll be making those matzo balls and mini quiche.

There are some popular developments emerging in catering, and as a food service specialist you’ll want to stay current with these exciting new catering trends.

1. Food Stations
At some events, party planners may want assigned seating; however, we’re seeing a trend toward multi-food station events. By opting out of formal seating arrangements and creating food “stations” for guests to visit, caterers are creating casual, upbeat atmospheres and getting guests out of their chairs and up on their feet.

When guests tour various food stations to grab their favorite dish, they’re likely to run into other guests and engage in conversations. It’s a great way to spark social activity at an event.

You can spend between $1,500 and $2,000 for each food station and you’ll need several scattered throughout the venue.

2. Food Miniatures
Food miniatures are a modern, fresh catering trend that has trickled down from the restaurant industry (think tapas and mini-desserts). 

 

While many people are counting calories, they might enjoy a delicious taste of spinach quiche, but not necessarily an entire serving. In addition, guests will appreciate the convenience of the miniature version of your catering classics. Foods that don’t require utensils are great at parties where guests are encouraged to move about the venue.

 

Catering an event with food miniatures requires miniature dishes, and extra serving ware. Fortunately, you can pick up around 280 mini dishes for under $70. Still, with miniatures providing smaller portions, you will want to stock so you have enough dishes to serve every guest multiple times during one event.

3. Vending Carts
If you’re catering an event with dancing, games, or other physical activities, you may find that guests want to snack even after the main course has been served. Offer this service by investing in a mobile vending cart.

A vending cart is meant to simulate street carts that are popular in urban areas. Typically, they’ll serve hot dogs, cheese steak sandwiches, and hot pretzels, but as a caterer, you can serve a selection of foods that complement the event’s theme.
 

A vending cart will cost between from $2,500 to $5,000 depending on its features.

 

Industry Growth

Carl Sacks, a catering consultant at Catersource, notes, “In 2014, growth signals are clear as we confirm business expansion, new growth in emerging markets, and more catering operations opening for business. We predict that the catering industry will retain its position as the fastest growing foodservice sector.” Based on Sack’s assessment, 2014 is the year to invest in your catering business.

 

Stay current with these catering trends in 2014 to differentiate you from your competitors; a relatively small investment can help your business stand out, and create memorable events that exceed customer expectations.

 

   

       

       

   

   

       

 

 
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