Hospitality and Catering News, in association with Nisbets, the specialist catering equipment supplier, has recently undertaken a survey of 823 caterers in the UK.
Despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit, the survey highlighted a high level of business confidence with 42 per cent of those surveyed stating that they are ‘very positive’ about the year ahead. An additional 22 per cent stated that they are ‘slightly positive’ about business in the coming year with only 0.5 per cent claiming to be ‘very negative’ about future prospects.
The survey also identified three main ways in which caterers could remain innovative to ensure a positive future, especially in the wedding and event sectors:
- Food preparation and service
Only 14 per cent of those surveyed stated that they typically served food in a seated dining environment with 86 per cent claiming to deliver more bespoke catering requests to meet specific client needs, not in-line with traditional serving options within the industry.
To stand out from the crowd, caterers may need to think outside the box in terms of how food is prepared and served to guests, away from the normal seated arrangements.
- Making sure you’re noticed
Social media has become the first port of call for many consumers when making catering purchasing decisions. For caterers to keep ahead of the competition, a strong social media presence will be required.
Social has permeated every level of the industry. In comparison, less than 1 per cent of respondents had used more traditional forms of advertising, such as magazines, newspapers and other printed methods.
- Food trends for 2017
As well as food preparation and service, the types of foods that will become popular within the catering industry are also changing. Key considerations include healthy eating options, ethically friendly food, locally sourced products and more traditional home-cooked style menus that appeal to a sense of individuality. Caterers offering customised options will perform better than those offering only generic menus.
The report concludes that catering businesses who make their brand personal and accessible online will stay ahead of the curve.
You can read the full article here.