It’s no secret that the events industry is continually growing and evolving, and even though it’s early days we are already seeing that 2019 will be no different. In order to succeed and maintain an edge over the competition it’s now more important than ever for event planners and caterers to be on top of emerging hospitality and catering trends, and to provide clients with a memorable experience they’ll be excited to tell their friends about; earning you those all-important referrals.
So, what trends are we forecasting for 2019? Let’s take a look.
Health and Wellness
As customers become more health-conscious (2019 has been dubbed the ‘Year of the Vegan’), event planners must also adapt and ensure a focus on health and wellbeing when coordinating and catering a function. This means providing healthy food options for all dietary requirements, including vegan and vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose intolerant, nut allergies and the like. You may also want to look at incorporating healthy ‘brain foods’ such as blueberries and dark chocolate into your menu as part of a focus on mindfulness, which ties in nicely with the concept of overall wellness.
Along with an increased shift towards healthy living, we are also seeing a huge focus on the environment and sustainability. Single-use plastic is most definitely in the media spotlight at the moment, so seeking sustainable alternatives is a sure-fire way to impress your clients. There is also a higher demand from customers for sustainable produce, which means sourcing local, seasonal ingredients requiring with little-to-no packaging, and moving away from highly processed foods.
Food and Design
These days a stock-standard menu served traditionally over three courses isn’t deemed to be particularly exciting, and customers are looking for new ways to wow their guests. To meet these changing needs, we are seeing event caterers bring food and design together with more imagination than ever before. This can mean anything from utilising specialist catering equipment to create show-stopping dessert buffets complete with lighting and multi-tiered levels; to setting up artistic ‘ice bars’ using ice sculpture as a means to display and serve chilled menu items such as freshly shucked oysters. The sky really is the limit when it comes to food and design in 2019.
A great way to get event attendees talking is to encourage interaction through food. This is a hospitality trend that has been on the rise since early 2018, and there’s no sign of a decline in 2019. Some interactive food ideas include having your head chef engage directly with guests, teaching them how to professionally plate and style their food before they sit down to eat, or even having guests prepare their own dish from a deconstructed selection of ingredients set out in a help-yourself display. A crepe or waffle station is a classic example of this, but we are also seeing new ideas pop up, such a DIY bruschetta bar.
Colour and Texture
Just as food trends tend to change annually, so does the Pantone colour of the year. For 2019 the colour is a bright coral tone referred to as 16-1546 Living Coral, and savvy event planners will find a way to incorporate this in both their menu and venue styling.
Signature Dishes and Cocktails
Having a signature dish or cocktail created especially for your event is certainly nothing new, but it is a trend that will continue to grow in popularity throughout 2019. Choose something that will complement your theme and get your guests talking. For weddings we are seeing a trend towards personalised cocktails served in decorative glassware using the bride and groom’s favourite liquors, casual catering ideas such as food trucks, and cheese ‘cakes’ in place of the traditional wedding cake.
So, there you have it, and by the looks of things 2019 is set to be a demanding year for event planners and caterers. As our customers increasingly request out-of-the-box ideas, we must work harder than ever to impress them using attention to detail and imagination if we want repeat business and referrals. Stay on top of these trends and strive to deliver a unique experience for each and every client, and we’re sure you’re in for a very successful year.
Name: Paul Ormerod
Role: Nisbets – General Manager
Bio: Paul Ormerod is the Managing Director of Nisbets Australia & NZ and is passionate about helping hospitality businesses succeed by providing a one stop shop that makes catering equipment simple.