Catering Trends for 2018

The last few years have seen an abundance of outrageous, yet popular catering expressions including complicated canapes, trendy toasts, and deconstructed finger foods. Eggs in every phase of preparation made their way into the spotlight and avocado-everything swung repeatedly in and out of public favor. This year however, look forward to traditional favorites served in conventional ways, plant-based options dominating, and intriguing ways to engage event guests. No gimmicks required, just quality ingredients and excellent technique.

Comfortable Classics

Creative cuisine combos and experimental epicureans may enjoy a break this year as the pendulum swings back toward the basics. Consumer reports reveal that a growing number of people want their food to taste and look familiar. Expect to see a return to simple classics like spaghetti and meatballs, beef stew, and chicken and dumplings. No secret ingredients or surprises required.

Plant Based Preferences

Veg-centricity sees fresh produce, primarily vegetables, as the star of the plate. Veg-centricity, plus vegetarian, vegan, and flexitarian mind-sets require that caterers and restaurateurs meet the demands of their plant-loving patrons. Pay particular attention to an increase in the number of non-vegetarian, plant-focused meals. Umami-rich, savory additions like dashi, bagna cauda, or beef broth create a wider appeal for the dish and make it more crave-able.

Custom-fit food

Special event guests are demonstrating a strong appreciation for high-engagement catering experiences. Rather than exuding a one-style-serves-all attitude, consider creating options or choices to enhance the eating experience. Whether it is cooked to order mini-burgers, crepes, or petite pastas in ready-view with an induction set-up or different versions of kebabs with corresponding sauces, the variety and customizability is certainly adding to soiree satisfaction.

Preponderance of plates

Abundant feedback has surfaced in negative response to alternative tableware. Though the novelty of serving foods on over-sized toys, atop antiques, or in other strange vessels attracts attention, it is decidedly the wrong sort of attention. The desire for plates and glasses is so strong that caterers should resist the temptation for novelty and instead attempt to gain notice with quality rather than quirk.