When you’re planning a networking event, a team building session, an office party, or any other type of corporate event, you need the right food. Wondering what’s trending in the world of corporate catering? Take a look at the ideas gaining popularity for 2019.

Mindful Menus

Whether you plan to do a sit-down dinner, drop-off corporate catering, or grazing on hors d’oeuvres, mindful menus can ensure that you appeal to the palate while also helping to preserve the planet. The perfect option for companies committed to environmentalism, mindful menus tend to feature organic, locally grown fare as well as sustainable meats and seafoods.

In some cases, event planners dig into where the food comes from, and they craft a menu that involves ingredients from local areas.

Comfort Foods

Food should be thoroughly and unabashedly enjoyed, and catering trends related to comfort foods reflect that idea. Comfort foods can include rich and hearty chowders, rib meat falling off the bone, freshly baked rolls, and all kinds of other delightful items.

When you bite into a comfort food, you feel like you’re home, and serving these foods at your corporate event can calm nerves and liven the atmosphere.

Tableside Service

For some corporate events, drop-off service is ideal, but many event planners are trending toward tableside service. Related to the classic presentation of crepes suzette and bananas foster, tableside service has expanded beyond fiery desserts (even though they can still definitely be a treat).

Now, waiters can bring fresh salad carts to tables, tossing the perfect salad right in front of your guests. They can place fresh cut salata into bowls and pour on tomato broth to create a homemade gazpacho right at the table. Or, they can build a lobster ceviche while explaining the ingredients.

There are also mobile Bloody Mary bars, cocktails from tableside carts, nitrogen ice cream stands, caviar carts, and countless other tableside options — regardless of what’s on the cart, tableside preparation gives the server the chance to focus solely on one diner, and the guests get to enjoy an incomparable, individualized, and tasty experience.

Fresh Raw Seafood

Last year, one of the biggest corporate catering trends on the East Coast was the poke craze. This Hawaiian dish featuring raw fish mixed with flavored sauce, popped up at all kinds of events. But for this year, raw fish lovers are gravitating toward crudo and tartare. Typically dressed with oil, citrus juice, and seasonings, crudo can feature salmon, Arctic char, or countless other fish. Tartare can be served in a range of ways — for example, a tartare station with made-to-order rice cakes with tuna and miso or ocean trout with Thai salsa.

When you want to embrace the fish trend but don’t feel comfortable taking a raw angle, classic New England favorites such as boiled lobster with drawn butter are a perfect alternative.

Local Fare

Resonating with the mindful menus concept, local catering menus are a great way to show off your local flavors and traditions to out-of-town clients or traveling employees. Work with a local institution to create a catering menu full of iconic dishes made with locally sourced meats and seafoods. Then, sit back and watch your guests get their hands dirty at a classic New England clambake or enjoy their smiles as they dive into regional delights like fried clams.

Ready to make the next move for your upcoming corporate event? Then, contact us today. At Woodman’s of Essex, we have been a family tradition for over 100 years. We offer clambake and BBQ catering, drop-off corporate catering, full-service catering, custom menus, and more. Let’s talk about how to bring the best catering trends of 2019 to your next event.

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