From Seeds to Celebration

By Sara Perez Webber

When Betsy Nicholas was planning her wedding to Jason Hough, she knew she wanted the reception to reflect her life’s work. Nicholas is the executive director of Waterkeepers Chesapeake, a coalition of nonprofit organizations that works to protect the waters of the Chesapeake region from pollution, as well as the founder of Fair Farms Maryland, a group that works toward a sustainable food system.

“Since healthy food and sustainable practices are such an important part of my life and my career, I felt that they should also be part of my wedding and sought to work with like-minded vendors,” she says.

So Nicholas contacted College Park, Md.-based Catering By Seasons, the full-service catering arm of La Prima Food Group, a company she knew through Fair Farms Maryland. “I was contacted back by the owner, Dave Evans, with an enthusiastic response,” says Nicholas. “He expressed his strong commitment to the values we share in using farming as a way to nourish the body, land and waterways. He provided the inspiration to have the food grown specifically for the wedding at local Maryland farms, and I loved the idea.” Continue reading »

Insider’s Insight: Marketing to Millennials

By Lauren Randolph

Are you aware that, according to global wedding market research firm Splendid Insights, 90 percent of marriages these days are between millennial couples? No matter what part of the wedding industry you are involved in, you are surrounded by millennials every day.

Millennials so far outnumber Gen Xers and Baby Boomers that if you are not focusing how you sell, market and promote your business specifically to millennials, you may be missing out on a huge chunk of business.

Continue reading »

All Aboard

From hors d’oeuvres to desserts, cheese is picking up steam on catering menus

By Deanne Moskowitz

At a debutante party catered by Joel Catering and Special Events in New Orleans, cheese was a big mover. Four themed carts, effectively uber-stations, delivered cheese and drink assortments to a cheese-hungry crowd of nearly 1,000, reports Sarah Hall, company president. But Joel Catering isn’t the only place where cheese is on a roll. Continue reading »

Oh, What Fun!

December events that added extra holiday sparkle to make spirits bright

By Sara Perez Webber

Events that take place during the holiday season have an extra bit of revelry built in—whether they’re celebrating the holidays or another happy occasion that happens to coincide with the season. The following events took full advantage of their calendar date, warming guests with good food, festive décor and much merriment. Continue reading »

How to: Think Like an Event Planner

By Jonathan Morse, CEO and founder of Tripleseat

Eleven tips to help improve your sales and service

Event planners, service teams and sales teams need each other: You can’t plan events without having any clients, and you can’t get clients without offering top-notch services and events. However, miscommunications and misunderstandings between services and sales and event planners can lead to mistakes. Sales staff may be making promises that can’t be fulfilled on the service side. Or the service team may not be communicating the depth and breadth of what they provide to clients. How can you make sure your people are on the same page? Continue reading »

Hot Pots!

The Asian culinary fire keeps spreading, with Korean and Hawaiian influences fanning the flames

By Deanne Moskowitz

The fastest-growing ethnic population in the United States between the years 2010 and 2015 was Asian, according to United States Census data, so it’s not surprising that Asian influences are strong on catering menus. But credit for the evolving manifestations of the trend, and its expression in Westernized and fusion dishes goes to—you guessed it—the millennials, both the first-generation American offspring of immigrants and young people with unrelated ancestry. Continue reading »

State of Affairs

A profile of three off-premise caterers, who share the trends they’re seeing, the growth they’re planning, and their outlook on the business

By Sara Perez Webber

How’s business in the off-premise catering world? That’s the question we posed to three catering companies of varying sizes, in different areas of the country. Their answers are encouraging, as each company grows and expands into new segments. One common thread? All note consumers’ increasing demand for unusual, personalized events—a demand that off-premise caterers are uniquely qualified to meet. Continue reading »

How to Save Casual Dining

Events and catering can diversify a restaurant’s revenue stream, helping it to survive in a difficult market

By Alex Lassiter, Co-Founder of Gather

Following the worst year for restaurant sales since the Great Recession (according to restaurant analyst TDn2K), the “polished” casual dining segment is inching closer toward extinction. Last August, Ruby Tuesday announced plans to shut down 95 of its locations, while the Boston-based chain Cosi filed for bankruptcy less than two months later. Continue reading »

Smokin’ HOT

How three caterers who specialize in barbecue meet the growing demand for this down-home cuisine

By Sara Perez Webber

“Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” —Anthony Bourdain

Perhaps because it’s associated with large, fun-filled gatherings—or maybe just because it’s so darn tasty—consumers continue to go hog-wild for barbecue-style cuisine. Three caterers who specialize in barbecue tell us about their menus, their customers and how they’re satisfying a need for good, old-fashioned comfort food. Continue reading »

Alfresco Events

Fresh air, sunshine, moonlight—and, yes, even some rain—helped set the stage for these outdoor affairs

By Sara Perez Webber

The pros at Someone’s in the Kitchen (SITK) in Tarzana, Calif., didn’t let rain spoil the fun for a 70-year-old entrepreneur’s Cirque du Soleil-themed birthday party.
The event took place in July 2015 “when the weather is perfect in Southern California,” notes Cheryl Fish, vice president of SITK Design Services. Continue reading »