If you want your wedding day or corporate event to go above and beyond any expectations that your guests have, then following the latest catering trends will do just that.
Current trends in the catering industry include a greater focus on sustainability and zero-waste, plant-based options, and personalised experiences just to name a few. Understanding these trends and incorporating them into the catering for your event will leave a pleasant taste in your guest’s mouths for a long time into the future.
So, let’s begin with the latest catering trends that will revolutionise your next event.
Interactive Food Stations
Interactive food stations are much more than open-plan kitchens where guests get to see their food being cooked. This new catering trend allows you to enhance their experience by letting them take part in the preparation of their food for a more engaging and personal experience.
It is all about letting them take more control over their food, allowing them to also customise the menu as they like. They might shuck their own shellfish, prepare their own garlic bread with all of the flavours they like, roll their own sushi, or select raw ingredients which are then handed to the chef to cook for them.
Build Your Own Bars
Similar to interactive food stations, incorporating a “Build Your Own” bar into the catering of your event gives guests the opportunity to be creative and have fun with their food. The possibilities are endless since you can create Build Your Own bars for:
- Cookie and cupcake decorations
- Ice cream
- Cotton candy
The list goes on, and to spice things up, you can host a competition where entrants try to build the best looking and most delicious meals they can to be put before a panel of judges.
Late Night Comfort Foods
Almost everybody has their favourite go-to comfort food when they are craving something in the middle of the night, and these are now appearing on catering wish lists. For weddings, this is an opportunity for the couple to use their own comfort foods as inspiration for a catering station that their guests can all enjoy.
Corporate event planners can either take a vote from the guests beforehand, or you can find some inspiration from the following items:
- Sausage rolls
- Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
- Milk and cookies
- Fried chicken
Compared with buffet stations, grazing tables are much more visually appealing and can incorporate delicious drink and food combinations that are all laid out with artistic flair.
As one of the booming trends in the catering industry, the main difference between a grazing table and a buffet is that grazing tables are “tablescapes” that have been expertly arranged for everyone to select their food from.
Common foods include:
- Fresh, seasonally-available fruits
- Shaved meats
- Cheese arrangements
- Crackers, breads, and other nibbles
- Pitchers of drinks that combine well with the food
If a food can be enjoyed as a small portion, then it will be a great option as a cocktail-style option. The great part about cocktail foods is that one portion will not fill guests up, so they are free to sample a much larger variety of flavours that are on offer.
Serving bite-sized portions also avoids messy crumbs and spills that can ruin clothing, which is even more valuable for classy events where everyone has put in that extra effort to look their best.
Shared or Banquet Style
Banquet-style catering offers a flare of elegance to any event where everyone can remain seated around a shared table while they experience excellent service. All of the food is prepared beforehand in the kitchen and brought out to the seated guests who are each served individually.
This style allows all guests to maximise the time they spend in each other’s company while seated around larger tables focusing on socialising while the food is brought out to them. For this, the menu needs to be prepared with the guest’s needs in mind and everyone’s seating arrangements will need to be noted to ensure that no one is served food that they cannot eat.
The way that food is produced and brought to consumers is under more scrutiny than ever and this catering trend is set to continue into the future. Sustainability and environmental friendliness are important when it comes to protecting our planet, and many event goers will appreciate this being considered.
Green catering focuses on how food is produced, how far it has to travel, and how much waste is involved in its preparation. To do this, you can select foods that are locally grown and are fresh to avoid long storage periods.
Vegetarian options should be more common with this type of catering due to the impact the meat industry has on the environment, and you should look at cutting out as much plastic as possible from the preparation process. Focus on using reusable and biodegradable items in preparing and serving for a green catering experience.
Finally, in order to minimise waste, leftovers should either be given away to guests for their trip home or donated to local charities so that nothing goes in the trash.
Planning a modern event that keeps everybody talking for a long time means being aware of the current trends in the catering industry. By following the latest catering trends, you will be able to exceed everyone’s expectations by appealing to their values and expectations when it comes to catering for any event.
The latest trends focus on sustainability and creating a personal experience using food. You might do this by going green, allowing guests to take part in making their own food, or basing some of the menus on the best late-night comfort foods just to name a few items from our list.
If you have any catering ideas that need to be discussed with a professional or you are ready to design your menu for the next event, then contact our experienced team at Navarra Venues. You can also get more valuable tips and see what we are doing by visiting us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.