At PartySlate, we are always looking for creative ways to take events to the next level. We watch new event ideas come and go every year, and this year we are spotting the hottest catering trends that are to come in 2023. We also reached out to some of the top caterers around the country to get their predictions of what will be trending going into the new year.
One of our favorite approaches to catering is an increased focus on sustainability and supporting local businesses. Below, we have dedicated a section to highlighting some of the best catering companies that take this sustainability mission to heart. From growing all of their own vegetables in an on-site greenhouse to sourcing ingredients solely from local suppliers, you’ll find the best caterers with the freshest produce — and ideas.
BTWC Co. Culinary Concepts elaborates by saying, “Party hosts, and guests, are becoming more health-conscious and want to hire a caterer they can trust to serve clean food that will make them feel good. The party doesn’t necessarily end at the end of the night. When you wake up in the morning, you can feel the difference in eating clean food.”
Keep reading to discover even more of our favorite catering trends to take over 2023. You’ll be the first of your friends to host the most delectable party of the year.
See How Paramount Events Promotes Sustainability & Supports Local Businesses
1. Sustainably-Sourced Is Best
PartySlate is proud to endorse caterers that practice and promote sustainability. Leaving this world a better place than we found it is a mission near and dear to these caterers’ hearts. Read on to find their insight on catering trends that are making a difference.
Delivering Experiences notes, “Food should be dynamic, creative, and inspiring. Sustainability is a very important trend in our industry that will continue in 2023. Using locally-sourced ingredients, reducing food waste, and moving to a greener service are ways to inspire guests through food.”
Deborah Miller Catering & Events comments on this topic, saying, “Clients want to see sustainability through every step of their event. Guests want to know that each ingredient in a dish is sustainable, that there is a focus on sustainability in a company’s culture, and that the dishes they’ve come to love can be made without undue impact on the environment. A focus on local producers for every step of the catering process is pivotal in achieving this trend, as well.”
Della Terra catered this delicious farm-to-table event hosted inside of a plant nursery.
They note, “Catering featuring fresh, local ingredients means that the food at your event will be better tasting, but also better for you and for the environment. Local sourcing also introduces guests who may be traveling from out-of-town to the local flavors of your region, providing a truly unique and delicious dining experience.”
An Intimate Setting
This company’s commitment to sustainable catering has us in awe. Big Delicious Planet served only the freshest, in-season vegetables for this Chicago wedding.
2. Support Local Every Chance You Get
In addition to sustainable ingredients, locally-sourced ingredients are just as important to hosts and guests alike. Wine Meats Cheese says, “Post-shutdown, our clients have taken a keen interest in where their beverages come from as well as the stories behind the wineries, breweries, and distilleries that we purvey. We see this support as providing more and more artisans the opportunity to share their craft with us and the events we serve.”
A Local Beer Garden Pop-Up
Bubbles & Brews Massachusetts hosted a beer garden pop-up event where they served refreshments from a local brewery, supporting the community and promoting a small business.
Live Music & Delectable Bites
Paramount Events catered this stunning Chicago rooftop wedding, serving crudités and hummus cups filled with herbs grown in their greenhouse and vegetables sourced from local farms.
3. Mushroom-Infused Menus Are In
We’ve seen cauliflower, kale, and chickpeas elevate from accompaniment to main dish. Now, mushrooms are the tasty new alternative. Beyond being one of our favorite new catering trends, mushrooms are being incorporated into every aspect of the party. Check out mushroom décor in our article on wedding and party trends of 2023 for even more inspiration.
A Refreshing Dinner Party
Catering by Design hosted and catered this stunning corporate dinner party filled with delicious bites and a delectable wild mushroom flatbread.
A Mushroom-Forward Menu
Thomas Preti Events to Savor served a mushroom-filled menu, complete with mushroom-stuffed ravioli and mushroom décor around the serving stations at PartySlate’s most recent New York gathering.
Mushrooms for Dessert
Table Catering Co. provided hors d’oeuvres and dessert in whimsical mushroom shapes for this spring-time affair.
Food Set Aglow
These glow-in-the-dark mushroom cups from Relish Catering & Hospitality were the ultimate Instagramable moment at this awe-inspiring corporate event for Samsung.
4. Open-Fire Cooking Is All the Rage
Party hosts are wanting to create an immersive environment for their guests. Open-fire cooking is the perfect way to accomplish this. This preparation style not only draws intrigue from passerby, it showcases the chefs’ talents and hard work. Find a few of our favorite examples from top caterers below.
An Al Fresco Affair
Bartleby & Sage notes, “Open-fire cooking is dramatic. It takes our guests back to a primal sense of what sharing a meal means: warmth, kinship, and awe. The smell of the wood-fire, the spectacle of the dancing flames — this is experience catering at its farm-to-table best.”
A New Twist on an “Open-Concept Kitchen”
Unique Culinary Collective told us about a recent corporate event they catered, saying, “The client wanted their food and beverage experience to be the entertainment for the evening. Our operations and culinary team accepted the challenge and built a full guest-facing kitchen behind an 18-foot-station display.
“Featuring wood fire grills and ovens, charcoal spit, and more, freshly made gyros, kibbeh, and hummus were plated right in front of the guests. A feast of the eyes and senses allowed guests to interact with our chefs, learning about the craft. This unexpected approach to catering peels back the veil and gives guests the opportunity to see the inner-workings of the culinary team.”
5. Sweet Treats Go Vegan
Considering your guests dietary needs and choices is a way of taking care of them; it shows them that they are important to you. Catering by Design offers insight into this trend by saying, “its all about an increase in dietary, vegetarian, and vegan-focused options.”
They go on to say, “It’s no secret that we as a society have begun to reduce meat consumption in the past few years. We have seen a huge increase in requests for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and other less-traditional menu options. Clients want full menus, food stations, and desserts that can accommodate a variety of dietary and allergy needs. Using fresh, local ingredients, we are able to create unforgettable menus that hit every dietary need.”
Ice Cream Is for Everyone
PartySlate’s first-ever corporate summit in Chicago was two days full of team bonding and vegan treats catered by Dipsy Desserts.
A Vegan’s Dream Come True
Not only was the wedding cake at this chic garden wedding deliciously vegan, but The Beverly Hills Hotel’s acclaimed Chef Sebastien Guillemin prepared all of the reception snacks, such as milkshakes and soft pretzels, to be vegan.
6. Childhood Classics Are Here to Stay
We have seen childhood treats come back in style in many elegant ways. Marcia Selden Catering & Events compares catering trends to fashion trends, saying, “Much like fashion, trends come back in and out of style. We have begun embracing the nostalgia of comfort food with a twist, elevating the fan favorites with fun and clever presentations.”
Kuma’s Corner notes, “Comfort food reminds clients of happy moments from home and their childhood. With so much constant change, we’re all holding on to a bit of the past. Choosing food that is associated with good memories of childhood and incorporating those flavors into your wedding is one way to do that.”
A Grand Event Serving Childhood Memories
Design Cuisine catered this remarkable corporate event at Special Events at Union Station, providing the most nostalgic of flavors with hotdogs three ways.
A Childhood Favorite
Pop tarts will forever remind us of our childhood, and Naborly Provisions agrees. They served these sweet, frosted pockets at a pop-up installation event in Dallas, Texas.
Bridal Shower Brunch
This waffle bar, courtesy of Truffleberry, brought us right back to Saturday mornings in the kitchen as a child.
Sliders with a Twist
presents “Slingers,” their signature turkey burger sliders. This spin on a childhood classic is the perfect health-conscious alternative that is here to stay.
7. Mocktail Shooters & Shots Are In
We have seen mocktails rise to the top of bar menus in recent years. This year, we are predicting mocktail shooters and shots as a fun twist on this trend. With our focus turned to health and wellness, guests and hosts are opting for a non-alcoholic option.
Contemporary Catering and Event Production believes, “Exciting nonalcoholic beverages will have a big impact on events this coming year.” They go on to note, “There has certainly been a big push for promoting health and wellness. This is unique as it allows people to focus on human connection — the reason we party in the first place.”
Mocktail Shots Are the Life of the Party
PartySlate celebrated the “Spirit of D.C.” with the help of Sequoia serving up some tasty mocktail shooters and shots to get the party started.
8. Walls of Fame Get a Moment to Shine
We all know party-goers love a unique serving station. Footers Catering speaks of this trend, saying, “Vertical food stations are an unexpected and fun way catch your guests’ attention. They are fully customizable and add depth and height to a display. They can be interactive between Chef and guests, allowing for a more personal dining experience. Unique vessels elevate the presentation and allow guests to enjoy delicious food and conversation at the same time.”
Gaurav Anand says, “The majority of clients and guests are attracted by the presentation and appearance of food displays more than the taste — one eats with the eyes first.”
Food For Thought put together this strawberry mojito wall where guests could grab a drink or pour themselves a fresh glass when they needed a refill.
Soup Shots for All
In addition to the strawberry mojitos, courtesy of Food For Thought, this soup shooters wall was another unique and interactive element at this event.
A Stunning Bat Mitzvah, Inside & Out
Contemporary Catering and Event Production believes food should be “both instagrammable and delicious.”
They note, “In an industry that naturally has so much waste, whether food or packaging, taking the step to do our part in helping the environment is truly special.”
9. Tea Gets Boozy
Last year, we predicted tea stations as one of the hottest catering trends of 2022. This year, we are loving tea in a different form. Bubbles & Brews Massachusetts speaks of a trend being served up at their restaurant, Mecha Noodle Bar, located in Brookline, Massachusetts. Come partake in this tasty Boozy Boba trend that you won’t find anywhere other than their establishments, they say.
Deborah Miller Catering & Events also comments on this hot new trend, saying, “Boozy Boba is a new drink trend that is borrowing on the popularity of the Espresso Martini, but taking it in a new direction. Clients are increasingly seeking something less sweet and more complex that blends everyday life, yet the excitement of a cocktail.”
Boba, But Make it Boozy
Bubbles & Brews Massachusetts serves up this boozy boba tea at their restaurant in Brookline: Mecha Noodle Bar.
A Barn Wedding With a Bubbly Bar
This event, catered by ONTHEMARC Events, featured a bubbly bar offering beer, prosecco, and kombucha.
10. Caviar Makes a Comeback
Caviar is coming back in a big way. Once touted as a delicacy only accessible to some, caterers are showcasing it as a must-taste delicious dish. Find some of our favorite caterers serving caviar at their events below, plus see how Sterling Caviar is encouraging everyone to dive into this catering trend.
A Full Moon Calls for Caviar
This full moon dinner party, hosted at Canyon Ranch Woodside, served colorful dishes of caviar for everyone to enjoy.
Celebrating the Sprit of Washington D.C.
Sterling Caviar reminded guests at PartySlate’s gorgeous corporate event in Washington D.C. that caviar is an elevated dish that everyone should enjoy.
11. Move Over Champagne, Non-Traditional Towers Are In
We all love a classic Champagne tower, but top caterers are predicting a shift. “While Champagne towers were all the rage this summer, 2023 party hosts are going to look for something a bit more personal. Espresso Martini towers are going to be the new go-to, for brides, grooms, and party hosts alike,” says Dolce & Gelato Catering Inc.
Craft Cartel Cocktail Catering notes that with cocktail towers, “The emphasis is being focused on elements that provide a creative spin on the classics and areas that make the experience more fun and entertaining.”
Not Your Typical Tower
This epic infusion tower, by Abigail Kirsch Catering, filtered the specialty cocktail through various citrus flavors to dispense the perfect sip.
Abigail Kirsch comments on this cocktail tower trend, saying, “Cocktail towers allow guests to enjoy something special beyond just a standard cocktail.”
Let the Rosé Flow
This creative rosé tower was a show stopper at this stunning wedding hosted at The Colony Palm Beach.
12. Napkins & Menus Become One in the Same
This is one of the sleekest catering trends that we have seen. Printing your menu on guests’ napkins not only saves space on the table, but saves paper as well. Try graceful calligraphy, as pictured below, or any menu style that fits your event’s theme.
Under the Olive Trees
24 Carrots Catering and Events always has their finger on the pulse of new trends. They wowed us with these stunning calligraphy menus printed on cloth napkins.
13. Give Guests a Cultural Culinary Experience
At PartySlate, we are honored to showcase age-old traditions of all cultures — be it cultural wedding ceremonies, receptions, or celebrations of other milestones. My House Events comments, saying, “I think something unique is that people are really wanting to highlight the cultures they are from, and focus on specific foods that represent their backgrounds. Customization is key. A lot of people share Latino heritage and are excited to provide guests with nostalgic food that reminds them of what made them.”
Food First Events & Catering Co. says, “We get asked all the time to create unique fusion menus that incorporate our couples’ multicultural backgrounds into their wedding or party menus. We love when we are asked to create fusion menus with bold flavors because it allows us to show off our chefs’ true talents of developing delicious and unique flavors that make guests and couples feel like they are getting a true culinary experience at their event. Our goal is to hear, ‘This is the best wedding food we have ever had.'”
An Elegant Rooftop Reception
Mantra – Indian Garden served authentic Indian cuisine in cocktail hour-friendly, bite-size pieces. Mango Habanero Paneer Tika bites were the star of the show.
An Eye-Catching Ceremony With Memorable Bites
Gaurav Anand dishes out some of the bride and groom’s favorite traditional South Asian bites to honor their heritage and culture.
We adore this Moana-themed birthday party where Sensory Delights Catering served delicious Polynesian food spreads.
People Also Ask…
How can I make my event stand out from others?
The best part of any party is the cuisine. Find a top caterer near you who can incorporate some of the latest trends in catering that your friends haven’t seen (or tasted) yet. There are some classic catering elements that never go out of style, and some that evolve into something even better.
For example, the Champagne tower has been a beloved trend at weddings and special events for years. Now, caterers and hosts are moving towards alternative towers. Rosé, espresso martinis, and Aperol Spritz towers are all the rage these days. You’re sure to excite your guests with an alternative tower filled with your cocktail of choice.