Your catering business constantly adapts to industry challenges and shifts in consumer demand. Plenty of catering trends emerged in 2022 and continue into 2023, driving innovation and creativity in the catering space. The caterers that stay ahead of the trends find it easier to grow as circumstances change.
Understanding how to increase catering sales is vital for maintaining your catering business’s competitive edge as you plan for the upcoming year. Learn more about the fads changing the game and discover the best ways to increase catering sales.
Catering Trends We Saw in 2022
It’s essential to understand 2022 catering trends as we progress further into 2023. Here are a few trends that rose in popularity in 2022 and the impact they had on catering:
1. Clean and Intuitive Eating
A recent survey found that 52% of Americans follow a diet, ranking clean and mindful eating as the two most popular eating patterns. Caterers responded by offering a range of options that enabled people to enjoy the food they love and feel good about the ingredients. This trend will likely continue into 2023.
2. Fewer Buffets
The COVID-19 pandemic made many people more aware of hygiene, especially at large gatherings. Caterers made an effort to improve hygiene at events by limiting buffets. Many caterers replaced buffet-style options with single-serve portions, which will likely continue in 2023.
Many customers are concerned about the climate crisis and want to support businesses that use sustainable practices. Caterers increased their sustainability by using seasonal and regional ingredients, switching to compostable packaging, and reducing disposables in food prep. We are likely to see sustainable options continue in 2023.
Current Catering Trends
Take a look at some of the current catering trends:
1. Catering to Offices
A Gallup poll reports that the number of people working hybrid or entirely on-site rose during 2022. The return to the office is fueling demand for catering in-office events like holidays, recognition of achievements and free lunches for employees.
Every event is different, and catering should be flexible for each request. Caterers understand that doing away with generic solutions and preset options allows them to serve customers who want a unique experience. Customizable menus and personalized service are highly sought-after.
3. Online Ordering
Online ordering is another trend that’s here to stay. Customers want the flexibility and convenience of placing orders online rather than ordering weeks before an event. Successful caterers make ordering easy for customers and give them control over the process.
Projected Catering Trends
As the industry responds to changes in customer demand and expectations, a few fads are taking over the catering scene. Here are some of the trends projected to increase catering sales in 2023:
1. Comfort Fare
The prevalence of social media has influenced a return to comfort foods that remind customers of simpler times. Nostalgic dishes like burgers, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and milkshakes create an emotional experience that customers connect with. Take advantage of the popularity of quality homestyle food when creating your menu.
2. Climate-Conscious Food
Customers are aware of their lifestyle’s impact on the environment and expect companies to do their part to reduce climate change. Green companies that intentionally minimize their carbon footprint are growing in popularity and number. Caterers that reduce food waste, work with ethical suppliers and use energy-efficient practices will likely receive more business in 2023.
3. Locally Sourced Ingredients
We will also likely see a rise in caterers using locally sourced ingredients in 2023. Customers crave fresh and regional ingredients that support local businesses. Supply chain challenges also contribute to the shift. Caterers that source their ingredients from local farmers and producers embrace their communities and may help reduce supply challenges.
Best Ways to Increase Catering Sales
The trends facing caterers this year indicate a need for new ideas for increasing catering sales. Follow these tips for how to increase sales in your catering business to boost your company’s success in 2023:
1. Create a Business Plan
You need a thorough business plan before you increase catering sales for your company. Your restaurant or catering business needs a big-picture plan complete with business goals, value proposition, target market and specific methods for achieving your objectives. The business plan will guide your catering strategy and your decisions regarding branding, marketing and your menu.
2. Develop a Creative Marketing Strategy
An innovative marketing strategy is one of the best ways to increase catering sales. Print ads have their place, but they may not help you stand out from your competition. Think outside the marketing box to present an authentic and engaging image to your customers.
Here are some marketing strategies for caterers:
- Search engine optimization (SEO): SEOallows companies to drive website traffic using key phrases and useful content.
- Audience targeting: Determine which platforms your target audience uses most, and share photos, videos, tips and business updates there.
- Events: One of the best ways to grow your catering business is by holding a tasting event to introduce the community to your menu options.
3. Ensure a Sanitary Environment
Many potential clients have a heightened awareness of sanitation and hygiene, making it critical to maintain a sanitary environment at catered events. Consider altering food packaging for greater safety during handling, like using single-serve boxed meals or shrink-wrapping certain items. Using personal protective equipment like face masks for wait staff makes customers feel more comfortable.
4. Ensure Quality Food
One of the best strategies for increasing catering sales is ensuring your food is high-quality. Catering clients have a huge selection of companies they could work with for their event, and your food’s quality impacts whether you win a customer. Look for local, high-quality ingredients that will elevate your dishes and wow clients.
5. Style Your Food
We eat first with our eyes. Creative food displays impress customers and their guests, making it more likely a potential client will choose you for their event. These food styling tips make an irresistible impact:
- Use color strategically to highlight aspects of your dish.
- Drizzle sauces over a menu item and top it with a garnish like fruit or herbs to enhance the flavor.
- Display your food in ice cream cones, bento boxes or mini pizza boxes for a unique touch.
6. Build Customer Trust
Increasing catering sales requires getting the word out through your customers. Build trust by being flexible to meet your clients’ unique needs. Understanding your client’s vision and executing it will build trust in your company.
Grow Your Catering Company With Revolving Kitchen
Understanding how to increase restaurant catering sales is critical for growing your business in 2023. Follow the current and predicted catering trends and implement strategies to attract and retain new customers.
At Revolving Kitchen, we provide innovative commercial cloud kitchens that enable caterers, restaurants and food entrepreneurs to quickly establish a high-quality kitchen space for a fraction of the cost of building or leasing kitchen space. Our modern and fully-equipped kitchens feature state-of-the-art equipment and flexible hourly and long-term rental options. You also enjoy a full range of amenities as a member of Revolving Kitchen, including conference rooms, CCTV security, dry storage space and Wi-Fi.
Contact us online today to learn more about our cloud kitchens!