We’ve all heard the expression, “any excuse to party,” and nothing could be more true in 2022. After all, we had two years of social distancing, isolating, working remotely, and generally trying to avoid people, family, and friends as much as possible. But now, with Covid virtually in the rear-view mirror, people are finding innovative ways to celebrate anything and everything.
While some of the things we learned to rely on during the pandemic — handheld bites, single-serve presentations, elevated disposable tableware, and dishes – will continue, the emphasis in 2022 and into 2023 will continue to focus on fun, fellowship, and of course, food. As social creatures, we crave human interaction, and that trend is being requested loudly and clearly by just about everyone hosting a catered event this year and the next.
Safety is Still a Concern
Don’t expect sanitizing stations or self-serve options to go away any time soon. Many top caterers expect that trend to stay with us for a long time. At Messina’s Catering and Events, food safety has always been at the forefront of every catered event we manage, but even more so from preparation to presentation. (elcapitalino) Others are seeing it, too. BizBash reports that many corporate events are becoming more intimate, with more intricate events for smaller groups, departments, and divisions within the organization.
But you prioritize safety without sacrificing the overall experience. That may mean fewer guests at individual tables and more inventive serving ideas. Creative displays, branded foods and tableware, and a preference for small “tapas” style plates rather than gourmand-worthy plated meals. Bento-style boxes will continue to be preferred over large, shared hors d’oeuvre stations, and pre-packaged food items will continue to appear on catering menus.
Innovative Spins on Classic Comfort Foods
At Messina’s, we’ve had a penchant for unique twists of perennial favorites for more than six decades, so this is a trend we can easily get behind. We’ve long been known for serving some of New Orleans’ most coveted comfort foods in small bite portions on our catering menus, such as warm miniature muffuletta sandwiches, crawfish cones, oyster brochettes, crawfish beignets, oyster shooters, and tomato soup shooters topped with grilled cheese triangles, for example. Just about any comfort food your heart desires can be miniaturized and served in creative ways, including everything from mac and cheese to tacos.
Specialty Drinks Continue to Impress
The allure of specialty drinks is two-fold; first, it’s a great way to save some money on your catering budget, and second, it’s a wonderful way to pair a drink with the theme of the party or the reason for the celebration. In the next 12 months, we expect to see some of the most requested drink requests, like Martinis and Manhattans, continue to be served, but with twists such as unique flavor combinations and over-the-top garnishes. Rum and tequila are also making a comeback in a big way and lend themselves to all kinds of signature drink combinations. (theclickreader) These drinks can be prepared in large quantities and poured upon request, which also cuts down the wait time for guests waiting for cocktails.
Look also for trends toward curated non-alcoholic options, such as CBD-infused beverages or juices and drinks infused with herbs. Bottled cocktails loaded with flavor but not sugar or booze are also trending.
Undercelebrated milestones are also a big draw for catered events in 2022 and 2023. Think Galentine’s Day celebration for all the personal and professional besties in a woman’s life or a party celebrating someone’s new empty nest status. Likewise, bon voyage parties for traveling adventurers, promotion parties for colleagues and family, and even kitsch holidays like national donut day are perfect reasons to throw a memorable bash. Why not a TGIF party or a May the 4th Be with You celebration? Everything’s game in the coming year.
We Can Help You Plan the Perfect, Unexpected Get-Together
Put our 60 years of New Orleans Catering experience to work for you and let us help craft a trendy yet novel party theme that your guests will remember long after the decadent food, drink, and experiences they enjoyed. To learn more, visit MessinasCatering.com to learn more.