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Wedding Catering Trends That Follow COVID Guidelines

Wedding Catering Trends That Follow COVID Guidelines

Wedding Catering Trends That Follow COVID Guidelines

By Brian Finn | Marketing Advisor, Unique Venues

Remember when planning a wedding allowed for limitless creativity and the opportunity to dazzle guests with the latest trends in catering? The soon-to-be couple gorging on endless samples in search of the perfect menu? Of course you don’t! As the world changed seven months (or was it years?) ago so did traditional wedding planning, particularly when it now comes to food service on the big day.

The catering industry brimmed with optimism kicking off the new decade with a host of exciting trends and was delighted to usher out some staples of year’s past. But as COVID-19 rocked so many facets of life, so too did it drastically effect the catering industry throughout the United States and Canada where weddings account for 50% of its revenue. So what can be done once the vows are exchanged and the guests are ready to eat? Let’s examine a handful of trends that were on the horizon for 2020 and how they can be reshaped under current guidelines.

Before we dive into the trends, let’s first take a look at what experts believe when it comes to food and food safety. As event venues institute safety protocols, one measure is to conduct temperature checks on all employees and outside food service workers while also requiring the use of masks at all times. According to the CDC as of June 25, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with COVID-19. The virus that causes COVID-19 cannot grow on food and has not been found in drinking water. While this is comforting news, the days of traditional self-serve buffets or a family style meal service is out for the foreseeable future due to the spread of the virus mostly occurring from person to person proximity and transfer from high touch surfaces like shared serving tools.

One of the biggest trends of 2019 were stations. From specialty cocktails to appetizers to desserts, the unmanned station was a hit as it brought people together and allowed for coloring outside the box. Stations can remain an option, but will now require an attendant at each location. The cocktails can be pre-poured ready to grab, and the other food stops pre-plated and handed to guests to keep the line moving allowing for social distance. Coffee and water service stations should be removed all together in favor of tableside service.

Another favorite that will be shelved in 2020 and beyond are grazing boards. Beautiful tables that also acted as part of the decor full of charcuterie spreads and other appetizers will be turned back to the more traditional passed hors d’oeuvres from the wait staff.

Ditching the tried and true tower wedding cake, trendsetters were moving toward décor cakes, which are small cakes placed on guest tables during the reception. Given their communal nature, it’s back to pre-plated and served dessert once the newlyweds cut their cake. Another fun alternative are dessert boxes that have been custom branded for the event. This gives guests not in the mood for something sweet the option to bring dessert home in a memorable way.

While the perfect made for Instagram wedding might not be an option as we navigate our new normal, there remain an abundant of creative ways for couples and their caterers to still present and deliver a high-end food and beverage service. The most important thing to keep in mind is to present your reception in a thoughtful way that allows your guests to not only stay safe, but feel safe while celebrating your big day.

Your unique decision deserves a unique space. Be sure to check out our selection of non-traditional wedding venues in your area.
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