Creative Catering
Anyone who has attended a lengthy business meeting knows the importance of high-quality food and refreshments to the success of any event. Designing unique menus that invigorate the palate is no longer a welcomed surprise in meetings, but an expected privilege.

Hotel chains and independent caterers recognize that people have become more educated about their food. These well-versed, global consumers are challenging caterers to be more experimental in their selections. Caterers are now offering more ethnic diversity in menus and are creating more eye-popping arrangements. Multi-national menus are crucial to today’s diverse population.

Dining has truly become an art form in recent years. Benchmark Hospitality International, which manages 30 award-winning hotels, resorts, conference centers and condominium resorts throughout the United States and in Japan, defines 5 dining trends that are becoming a requirement for menus across the globe. The top 5 dining and catering trends include:
  1. Dessert Downsizing. A Tapas-style dessert menu is becoming increasingly more popular as dining patrons become more health conscious.
  2. Latin American Cuisine. Latin flavors and the incorporation of fruits, vegetables, meat and fish indigenous to the Caribbean, Central and South America with American sensibility is where cooking is headed.
  3. Naturally Grown. Today's consumers and restaurants are demanding food that is grown organically and harvested locally.
  4. Memory Inspired Dishes. Seasonal cooking that reflects the chef’s experiences as a child is a trend that many fine dining establishments are embracing.
  5. Food and Beverage. The popularity of premium beverages merged with fresh ingredients that might otherwise flavor a meal's starters and entrées - and the specialty drink menu have ushered in a return to the classic days when the cocktail was king.

Meeting attendees have become much more interested in the roots of dining than “food gimmicks.” Caterers have learned that exquisite flavors combined with traditional simplicity are an addictive combination. Caterers design menus that provide creative twists to conventional cuisine. 

The first step to choosing a caterer is to develop a clear cut budget. Determining cost expectations will directly affect the menu and tone of the meeting or special event. It is essential to develop a budget that is realistic to the type of event. Once the budget has been finalized, a meeting space and menu can be confirmed.

The most important thing to communicate when choosing a caterer is the type of experience desired. It is essential to establish if the tone of the meeting calls for a rustic, southern-style dinner or a formal closing dinner. Clearly conveying the meeting needs will help ensure that the event goes off without a hitch.

Special events require special needs and the catering community is poised to please. Catering companies provide services for just about every event imaginable. From birthday parties and church socials to lavish corporate gatherings and office luncheons, catering companies do everything from food delivery to full event planning.

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