The Improving Economy and Its Impact on Caterers
Hallelujah! The economy has improved immensely, and it’s time to dust off those same boring menus and have some fun again!
What does this mean in the off-premise catering domain of the creative events world? We’re finding the client has moved away from feeding their guests for the least impact on their budget and instead are investing more funds to make the event a unique live experience.
Our clients are giving creative license to our culinary, design and operations teams to craft new menus and display concepts that step beyond the plate. The events we are catering now are planned for an adventurous palate and exploratory spirit, which we thank, in part, to the food television channels but also to the increased spending confidence. Our clients are privy to the gastronomic world and have the desire to be unique and modern … and are willing to pay for it!
Caterers continue to bring a form of entertainment to the party, and we’re seeing a growing trend toward engaging interactive stations that are centered around quality ingredients and the theatrics of display. It’s not just about the food any longer—clients are concerned about how the food looks, what the guest experience is going to be, and how the stations will be adorned to make them special.
To exceed our client’s expectations, we have to raise the bar and continually take into account how our menu selections will be displayed in addition to how they will be prepared. Our event decor division has been able to invest time and resources to create custom-designed display elements, and increased inventory of furniture, lighting and draping materials to complement our catered events. Our culinary team creates new station concepts, and it’s matched by an even more exciting custom display with unique serving vessels.
We’re still seeing events booking short term, but we’re seeing a vast improvement on this. Dates are already closing for the December holiday season, which we haven’t been able to do this early in the season since 2007. The event size is getting larger, and the money spent per guest much more robust.
It’s been busy, it’s exciting and it’s a refreshing change from the typical buffet dinner. I'm looking forward to a long and happy ride, and I’m crossing my fingers the trend keeps going toward bigger and better events.