13 Office Catering Trends You Won’t Want to Miss 

    Exploring the innovative changes shaping modern office catering

    13 Catering Trends You Won’t Want to Miss (1)

    As offices adapt to hybrid work models and employees return to the workplace, the demand for catered events is on the rise. From important boardroom meetings to casual team lunches, corporate meals play an important role in fostering connections among colleagues. Food has a unique ability to bring people together, transcending the boundaries of work titles and departments. After all, who doesn't enjoy sharing a meal and engaging in conversation with coworkers?
    Recent data from the USDA sheds light on our love affair with food: in 2022, U.S. consumers spent over 11% of their disposable income on eating out or ordering in—a level not seen since 1991. This tells us that people are craving culinary experiences more than ever, making catering an attractive option for businesses looking to enhance the employee experience.

    Below, we dive into the key catering trends you need to know to keep mealtime at the office interesting. 

    How Catering Helps Employers Stand Out 

    Let's be real here—eating solo at your desk is fine in a pinch, especially when deadlines are looming. But, studies show we're spending way too much time glued to our screens, missing out on those moments of connectivity that drive office culture forward. Offering catered meals provides an opportunity for employees to step away from their desks, mingle with coworkers, and recharge both physically and mentally.

    Picture this: your team is swapping stories and jokes over a shared meal, breaking bread (or salad, if that's their thing) with work buddies. It's a chance to hit pause on the hustle, catch up with colleagues, and maybe even forge some new connections. Who knows, they might just stumble upon your next big idea between bites of pizza or forkfuls of salad.
    Showing that you can provide these experiences makes you competitive.

    1. Centralized Approaches 

    Traditional cafeterias are fading away, making room for centralized catering solutions. Companies are adopting regular catering schedules and offering shelf-stable options to streamline the process, ensuring employees have access to quality meals throughout the week.

    Centralized Approaches

    2. Multi-Use Lounge Areas 

    Office spaces are evolving to incorporate versatile lounge areas, serving as vibrant hubs for dining and collaboration. These spaces foster relaxed dining environments, encouraging organic interactions and team bonding among employees.

    Multi-Use Lounge Areas

    3. Local Restaurant Delivery 

    Embracing the richness of local cuisines, many companies are opting for restaurant delivery services. This not only supports small businesses but also provides employees with an array of fresh and flavorful options to choose from.

    Local Restaurant Delivery

    4. Individual Packaging and Group Ordering 

    To cater to diverse preferences and dietary restrictions, individual packaging and group ordering options are gaining popularity. This allows employees to customize their meals while simplifying the ordering process for administrators.

    Individual Packaging and Group Ordering

    5. Plant-Based Catering 

    Embracing the richness of local cuisines, many companies are opting for restaurant delivery services. This not only supports small businesses but also provides employees with an array of fresh and flavorful options to choose from.

    Plant-Based Catering

    6. Food Trucks and Pop-Up Catering 

    Adding an element of novelty, food trucks and pop-up catering services are making waves in the corporate dining scene. These mobile vendors offer unique culinary experiences and can be a refreshing change from traditional catering options.

    Food Trucks and Pop-Up Catering

    7. Small Plates and Shared Plates  

    Encouraging a communal dining experience, small plates and shared plates are gaining traction in office settings. This allows colleagues to sample a variety of dishes and fosters a sense of camaraderie around the dining table.

    Small Plates and Shared Plates

    8. Global Cuisine Catering 

    In a multicultural workforce, global cuisine catering is a hit among employees craving international flavors. From sushi to tacos, companies are embracing diversity in their culinary offerings to cater to diverse tastes.

    Global Cuisine Catering

    9. Interactive Dining

    Blurring the lines between dining and entertainment, interactive dining experiences are becoming increasingly popular. Whether it's DIY taco bars or live cooking demonstrations, these experiences engage employees and create memorable dining moments.

    Interactive Dining

    10. Food and Beverage Pairing

    Elevating the dining experience, food and beverage pairing events are gaining popularity in office settings. From wine tastings to craft beer pairings, these events offer employees the opportunity to explore new flavor combinations and expand their palate.

    Food and Beverage Pairing

    11. The Use of Technology 

    Leveraging technology, companies are streamlining the catering process with online platforms and mobile apps. From menu selection to payment processing, these tools simplify administration and enhance the overall dining experience.

    The Use of Technology

    12. Personalization and Customization

    Recognizing the importance of catering to individual preferences, companies are offering personalized and customizable meal options. Whether it's allergy-friendly menus or build-your-own bowls, customization is key to ensuring employee satisfaction.

    Personalization and Customization

    13. Pantry & Frozen Meals

    In addition to fresh catering options, companies are stocking pantry and frozen meals for convenience. These shelf-stable options provide employees with quick and easy meal solutions for busy days in the office.

    Pantry & Frozen Meals
    Office catering is about more than just food—it's about creating connections and fostering a sense of community. And in a world where workplace culture is more important than ever, office catering services can play a crucial role in bringing people together. By embracing these trends and staying attuned to the needs and preferences of employees, companies can create dining experiences that not only nourish but also inspire and connect.

    Written by

    Amber Alston

    Crafty makes office food service easy
    Crafty Red Dash


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