Adding catering trends to your next event, gets more and more important since a meal is not just a meal. Your catering breaks are a perfect moment to bring people together and to make new connections whilst living a culinary experience.
Event catering can be a critical part of the event experience, but possibly also the highlight. Today’s attendees need more than just a predictable meal to keep them interested. The food must look and taste amazing, and be a part of the entire story. The menu should act as part of the decor, entertainment and the overall experience. Here are some catering trends that will help you achieve great success!
1. Necessity for local and healthy
It’s no longer about regional specialties, ‘local’ is taking on a whole new meaning. Foodies often want the education behind what they’re eating. Is it locally sourced? Can they taste the “earth” or the ‘sea’ in each dish? They are increasingly interested in knowing what local farm their meat is sourced from and where their fish is caught. Local estate wines and regional craft beers are also very popular.
People are more and more concerned about their health and the effects of what they are eating. Poké bowls and superfoods are definitely a hype.
2. Increasing demand for sustainable & fair trade
Sustainability is definitely top of mind in terms of catering. This is partly due to the growing attention to our current climate crisis. Venues and catering teams expect increased demand for sustainable and fair trade food. This means that next to local food there is a growing demand in seasonal, unprocessed, organic and fairly traded.
Sustainable catering solutions can help to reduce the carbon footprint of your event while providing guests with tasty and healthy food options. Local and seasonal food is very CO2-friendly but you can do even more: why not ask your caterer to purposely work with imperfect fruits and vegetables, to avoid food waste. Another suggestion to reduce food waste, is to raise awareness amongst your participants with regards to no-shows. Single use plastic has to be eliminated at all times and if at all necessary, replace the items by compostable of reusable ones.
3. Trendy ‘Grab and go’ gourmet food
Seated dinners are still a popular, but the interest in highly convenient walking dinners is growing, since schedules become more and more busy and demanding. Guests appreciate the flexibility of grabbing food on their way to their next session and the possibility to mingle and network with other attendees, rather than being stuck at a table for a long time. It’s important to offer small portioned dishes either on a buffet, on trays or at food stands and it’s very trendy to pare the dishes with drinks.
Have you ever thought of turning ‘fast food’ options into a gourmet experience? Serve your guests a homemade mini burger, a deluxe hotdog or a tasty Asian noodle or rice box and you will see that these option are as delicious, healthy and nutritional as a three course menu but also much more fun for the attendees.
4. Importance of dietary and religious catering requirements
Next to the trend of natural and organic foods, it is important to respect the growing dietary restrictions of your guests. These restrictions are more than a preference and in most cases, have medical reasons.
Offer a varied meal at your events including vegetarian options and don’t forget gluten and lactose free food which is gaining importance. Always inform guests about ingredients which might cause allergies. Another important aspect to take into consideration are religious needs like kosher or halal meals.
Every event registration should include the information about dietary requirements. There’s no greater disappointment for your guests than arriving and finding out they can’t eat anything. It will definitely negatively influence their event experience! Offering the adequate meal option right from the beginning will also reduce waste and eventually even cut down overall catering costs.
5. The power of decor and entertainment
When organizing events, it is always important to increase the wow factor and create immersive experiences . It would be a shame leaving out the catering experience.
Separate food and drink stations are always a good idea. They provide your guests with the necessary choice and create interactivity. Let your guests make their own tortilla’s at the taco bar, offer a customizable champagne cocktail bar or provide an authentic tea station instead of the usual tea bags. There are plenty of creative catering ideas which will help you to surprise your guests.
Don’t forget storytelling through food. The food can tell your guests a story about your company, your event of your future plans. For example serve a delicious Strudel dessert in case your company expands or when your next mission will take place in Austria.
An additional benefit of putting some extra effort into the catering, might be that your event gets extra exposure when you offer ‘instagrammable’ food. People love to share their event experiences, memories and food! Provide them with an easy picture opportunity.
Do you want to offer your guests a top notch catering experience during your next event ?
Contact our BluePoint venues in Antwerp, Brussels and Liège where you can find the ideal settings for your event! All our venues provide onsite catering service which reduces the ecological footprint of your event and provides us with the opportunity to offer a broad variety of catering options. Next to a wide selection of existing catering formulas BluePoint can work out a tailor-made catering proposal for your event.
We will help you to create an unforgettable experience for your guests!