Rewind ten years ago, when guest’s palates were simple and easy to please. Today, with food trends such as oak milk and plant-based alternatives, menu expectations are far more complicated than they ever have been. As a result of these food trends, a caterer’s obligation to offer a killer menu has increased. With all the options that are out there, people are becoming desensitized and harder to impress. Although staying on top of each trend that occurs sounds near impossible and not something you consider a part of your job description, it may be your ticket to creating a sensational experience for your guests.
Below are some trendy and impressive items to help spark some menu inspiration:
Farm to Table Fresh Food
People are more health and environmentally conscious in today’s generation than any before them. Catering an event with fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced ingredients will satisfy this sustainable lifestyle that many people are trying to attain. Not only will a farm-to-table menu impress these health-conscious guests, but it will create an opportunity for beautiful rustic décor. Creating dishes with fresh ingredients will help support and promote local businesses and farms.
Food trucks are now a staple for many restaurants, caterers, and event planners. Using a food truck at an event creates an experience for the guests. The concept is quite exciting for many people, creating a motivation to try the food and check out the truck. Rather than a traditional method of feeding guests, where they sit at an assigned table, using a food truck allows guests to walk around and mingle. Needless to say, although food trucks are an excellent catering option, they are only suitable during certain times of the year due to weather and seasonal restrictions.
Nashville Hot Chicken
People’s tolerance for spice is increasing. From bland comfort foods to culturally diverse foods, the trends have come a long way! There is a large debate amongst many fried chicken connoisseurs, all claiming to make the best and spiciest Nashville chicken. Although this debate is subjective, it’s hard to disappoint with such a tasty food. Regardless of Nashville being in the name, it is being served all over the United States. Catering Nashville hot chicken at an event will take guests by surprise and create a conversation about the quality and experience.
Coinciding with the health-conscious trend, people have taken an interest in everything and anything that is fermented. Fermenting a food not only creates a natural probiotic, but it produces an acidic and unique flavor. Some delicious fermented foods include Kimchi, Miso, and Kombucha. Although this trend is loved by many, anything in the realm of fermentation creates quite an acquired taste. If you’re going to incorporate fermented foods into your menu, it’s important to know your audience.
CBD Infused Foods
CBD or cannabidiol is a part of the hemp plant. Not to be confused with the plant that intoxicates people, CBD is harmless and actually quite beneficial. People incorporate the cannabinoid into foods, smoothies, and even craft beers. This trend has blown up all over the world and looks as though it’s a trend to stay. Although it is not legal in all 50 states yet, be sure to do your research before serving CBD infused foods or drinks at an event. This sought-after trend pushes the limits and will definitely make your event a notable one.
As many would initially think, guests probably prefer foods that are filling and substantial. Contrarily, miniature foods that guests can enjoy while they mingle is what the current craze is. The smaller the food, the cuter it’s perceived. For example, miniature burritos accompanied with tiny churros would not only be a conversation piece, but a good way to keep guests satisfied as they socialize and wander. The important thing to remember if miniature foods are being offered, is to have enough options and servings to ensure the guests aren’t left hungry. While serving fun and interesting foods on your menu is exciting, it’s imperative to keep in mind the guest’s demographics, age, culture, and lifestyle. Creating a balance of creativity, excitement, and edginess while also meeting the criteria of your guests in terms of satisfaction and expectations is what makes a caterer sensational!