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Event Food Trends for 2020: Accommodating Everyone

By Katy Mullet | 3 min read

One of the key food trends in event catering we’ve identified for 2020 is keeping food options inclusive at your events. To keep things simple, we put together a list of the food categories you need to know so you can serve delicious options to everyone. 

Event Food Trends

Food allergies and sensitivities

While not a new trend — allergies and sensitivities have been top of mind for a while. It’s estimated that 32 million Americans have food allergies (FARE). These can range from life-threatening to sensitivities that cause digestive issues. 

Stay safe and ask upfront when you’re planning. It might help to keep track of the most common accommodation requests – like peanut allergies or gluten and dairy sensitivities. Then you can create tailored menus or denote special menu items based on what requests your guests have. 

Takeaway: Your food is already tasty so make sure it’s safe for everyone. Ask about allergies and keep your team informed. If you use Gather, the internal event notes section is a great place to track this information. 

Health-conscious Choices

When it comes to healthy choices, the key is to have options. You don’t have to change your menu for every new diet or ingredient, but you should provide food that can ideally appease everyone.

A great way to accommodate health preferences is with buffet-style meals. Themes like taco bars or Mediterranean food that have multiple types of meat, vegetables, and grains allow guests to make their plates to their liking. It all depends on the kind of event, but providing a variety of vegetable dishes and fresh food that is baked or roasted (re: not fried) will be appreciated by those looking for clean eats. 

Takeaway: You can’t go wrong with fresh food, lots of veggies, and ways that guests can customize plates to their liking. 

Plant-based meat options

Alternative meats saw a meteoric rise in 2019! Even fast-food restaurants are now carrying meatless burgers and other alternatives to red meat.  For example, Impossible Foods has plant-based proteins made with soy that mimic the flavor and smell of meat. It will be up to your venue as to whether there’s enough demand to stock this, but it’s an excellent alternative for vegetarian and vegan eaters without having to create an entirely separate meal. 

Takeaway: Whether you choose to stock plant-based meat or not, make sure you read up on vegan and vegetarian diets and include options to satisfy plant-eaters.

Non-alcoholic drinks 

While lots of events have drinks involved, it’s also great to offer delicious beverages that tailor to those that don’t want to imbibe. Offering a non-alcoholic special or two is an easy way for guests to make their drink choice while still feeling included. 

Takeaway: Keep non-alcoholic drink options on your cocktail menu to let all guests feel welcome to enjoy the atmosphere whether or not they want alcohol. 

Religious standards like Kosher or Halal

Continuing on our trend of being inclusive, it’s also important to be sensitive to religious food standards. Different religions have different food rules ranging from when they eat,  what they eat, and what food can be mixed. 

If any requirements come up in the planning process, make sure to ask lots of questions to understand their request and accommodate them from there. Most importantly, keep your chef and staff on the same page so you can give your guests the best experience possible. 

Takeaway: It’s ok if you don’t know the ins and outs for every religious standard, but make sure to work with your guests to provide food and beverage options they can enjoy. 

Keep everyone on your team on the same page with Gather, the leading event management platform. With the ability to tag team members, create internal notes and auto-generate BEOs, communication is simpler than ever. See Gather for yourself today

Katy Mullet
Content Marketing Manager

I'm the Content Marketing Manager here at Gather. Outside of writing and creating campaigns, I love to try new restaurants here in Atlanta or wherever I'm traveling.

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