5 Food & Beverage Trends You Should Know

November 1, 2021

It has been more than 18 months of change for the meetings and events industry. In part, food and beverage had to quickly switch gears in its approach as well. What’s changed in the world of catering and hotel foodservice since the outbreak? F&B trends are shifting, and it is important to be open to reworking with the trends.

Hear directly from the F&B professionals themselves about trends they are seeing in the industry that meeting professionals should be aware of. In this blog, you will hear direct insight from Heidi Andermack, Founder of Chowgirls Catering, and Devin Burns, VP of Rooms and F&B at Omni Hotels and Resorts.

Check out these 5 Food and Beverage Trends that F&B professionals want you to know:

More Local Purchasing

Local purchasing is on the rise for F&B because of its benefits of being environmentally friendly and the quality of food. This idea of local purchasing is known as farm to table, a social movement where restaurants source their ingredients from local farms. According to Restaurant, 62 percent of respondents said that the option of locally sourced food would make them choose one restaurant over another.

 

Devin Burns, Vice President of OMNI Hotels & Resorts:

“More local. Local purchasing, local farmers, farmer to menu in the banquet space. I think we have always done a pretty good job of that in the restaurant space, so moving the needle on how do we do that in the banquet and catering space for larger groups? Different styles of menus and service in that regard.”

 

Getting Away from Buffet

It is no surprise that the buffet-style option for food and beverage is being reconsidered after the COVID-19 outbreak. Many now are thinking outside the box for the safety of attendees. Now, this doesn’t mean the buffet style will go away, but there are other creative options to consider when planning. It is about what will best suit your next meeting, what is best for your meeting goals, and what will your attendees be comfortable with.

 

Devin Burns, Vice President of OMNI Hotels & Resorts:

“How can we do plated or served? How can we do food stations or action stations? Get more creative in that space.”

 

Individualized Packages

Due to the pandemic, many F&B professionals needed to quickly find a new way to present their food in a fun and safe way. Turning big buffets or elaborate cheese boards into individualized packages for virtual meetings or more intimate gatherings. These creative ways of thinking and flexibility in presenting food will continue to be a trend even if buffets and elaborate cheese boards return.

 

Heidi Andermack, Co-Founder of Chowgirls: 

“Care packages or snack packs. One thing we had to figure out is how to do virtual meetings with catering. We did a number of events during the pandemic and still doing more of them where we’re sending individual or smaller meals perhaps with some champagne or whatever. Sending it to different locations or a business will pick them all up and will distribute them to all of their guests. Everybody can be part of an event together, sharing the same food, but they’re in their own spaces. That is something I think we will continue to see in various ways.”

 

Mixology at the Bar

Having well-trained mixologists and bartenders that can create fun experiences is the future. A mixologist and bartender are slightly different but complement each other in creating these experiences. A mixologist is an individual with a passion for combining elixirs and creating extraordinary cocktails, whereas a bartender is an individual with a passion for making great drinks and creating well-balanced experiences (Bartender& Restaurant, 2011). It has been seen in restaurants but bringing it into the banquet space will be a focus moving forward.

 

Devin Burns, Vice President of OMNI Hotels & Resorts:

“I would say more mixology at the bar. Not just a single spirit cocktail such as a vodka soda or gin and tonic. Obviously, those exist, and people still order those, but how do we provide freshly muddled fruit and what you otherwise might think that you would only get at a higher finesse lobby bar for example. How can we do that in the banquet space?”

 

Creative Ways to Manage Food Waste

Did you know? If 25% of the food currently being lost or wasted globally was saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million people around the world. (Earth.org, 2021) Moving forward many F&B professionals are re-evaluating food quantity and presentations to minimize food waste. Within the F&B industry, it is acknowledged that they have been guilty of way too much food waste in the past. Finding creative ways to manage food waste is a trend that will continue to accelerate.

 

Heidi Andermack, Co-Founder of Chowgirls: 

“This concept of food waste. We started with that by composting our food waste. Then, that evolved into donating leftover food and then, we went to this next level during the pandemic of food rescue. We were saving food from restaurants to make emergency meals. We have to take it further.”

 

Dive deeper into the Food & Beverage side of meetings & events. Learn what’s on the Food & Beverage horizon for successful meetings and events including costs, trends, and what has changed. Heidi Andermack and Devin Burns join Caytie Pohlen-LaClare, Founder and President of The LaClare Group, at Meetings Moving Forward Episode 2: F&B Deep Dive, a free on-demand online conversational webinar.

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