The Catering industry comprises of businesses such as food, beverages and other services availed by large population, often for their special events. The catering industry ranges from small private events to large events involving the provision of food & drink, tableware, bed linen, service, waiters & staff, and other aspects of the event. Catering is mainly categorized into on-premises catering and off-premises catering. On-premise catering refers to food prepared & served in one place for a group of people. Additionally, the off-premise catering serves food at distant location away from the supplier’s food production facility.
Catering service generally provide food for large scale meetings, conferences, parties, and other events. These services can also be extended to the provision of meals for institutions such as schools, universities and corporate offices. They have their own kitchen staff in-house or have hired an outside source to procure the food.
Catering services market is majorly driven by the FDA’s strict rules and regulations to monitor or control the quality and standards of the food served, increasing the global food safety and demand for outsourcing catering services to a trusted source. Additionally, rise in demand for ready-to-eat outdoor food & accessibility across the globe is another major driven factor for this market. Apart from this, high cost of maintaining consistency may impact the market. Moreover, rise in demand from schools, offices, cafeterias, colleges, restaurants and increase in number of fast food companies, who are accepting catering & food service in order to enhance their presence are leading opportunities for market. Furthermore, growth in popularity of healthy & hygienic food for the consumers and high adoption owing to better packaging, catering and food service are key trends for global catering market. In addition, hygiene of food items by using a large labor force is a major challenge for the market.
The Catering market is evolving as some corporate offices use catering as a tool to attract and retain talent. Various companies are showcasing their dining services as an attraction by offering an additional employee benefit, rather than just a meal to attract & retain the talent. Companies are also providing customized menus & dining experiences to the employees at a subsidized rate, which is becoming the norm for attracting & retaining top talent through increased satisfaction and sophistication. This holistic dining experience also encourages employees to dine together and develop a sense of belonging to the company. As a result, many themed restaurants and excellent restaurants have emerged on campus.
Due to growing health awareness around the world, Catering services include healthy eating options such as organic food, a balanced vegan diet and healthy snacks. Fresh local produce is in high demand for vegetables, fruits and meat products, which further enhances the Catering market. Processed and frozen foods are avoided due to growing quality and safety concerns. The increasing penetration of mobile-based payment solutions offers customers the convenience of making payments via online wallets without having to carry cash with them, while reducing the time taken for payments at the counter, which further strengthens the growth of the market for catering services.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications