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Catering Trends Surge: A Boost for Restaurant Owners and Suppliers

Almost four years later, the foodservice industry is still witnessing shifts in consumer behavior post-COVID. As more people opt for catering options as they return to the office, a surge in catering sales presents a lucrative opportunity for restaurants and food service suppliers. As a leading provider of rice products, Riceland Foods recognizes the importance of catering in the evolving landscape of the restaurant industry and emphasizes the versatility of rice as an ideal option for a variety of catering menus. 

According to industry reports from The InternationalCaterers Association and Nuphoriq, catering sales experienced a dramatic increase in 2023 as workplaces gradually reopened and employees returned to in-person work environments.[1] With businesses hosting meetings, conferences, and events, there has been a growing demand for catering services to accommodate these gatherings. This trend is expected to continue as more companies transition away from remote work arrangements and prioritize in-person interactions.


Opportunities for Restaurant Owners and Operators

For restaurant owners and operators, catering presents an additional revenue stream and an opportunity to diversify their offerings beyond traditional dine-in service. By capitalizing on the increased demand for catering, restaurants can expand their customer base, strengthen brand loyalty, and maximize profitability.

Catering allows restaurants to showcase their culinary expertise and creativity, offering customizable menus tailored to their clients' preferences and dietary needs. Restaurants can also create efficient catering options with build-your-own bar options for events, such as rice bowls, tacos, and salads. Catering options can be as economical as taking popular menu items and offering them in a family-style dining option or as diverse as creating personalized options focused on specific occasions.


Riceland Foods: Elevating Catering Menus with Rice

As restaurants explore catering options to meet the growing demand, Riceland Foods offers a range of high-quality rice products perfect for catering menus. With its versatility and ability to complement a wide variety of cuisines, rice serves as an essential ingredient for creating flavorful and satisfying dishes for any occasion.

Whether savory rice bowls, aromatic pilafs, or creamy risottos, Riceland's premium rice varieties provide the perfect canvas for culinary creativity. Moreover, rice is a cost-effective and sustainable option, making it an attractive choice for restaurants looking to enhance their catering offerings while maximizing profitability and minimizing waste.


Collaboration Opportunities for Foodservice Suppliers andVendors

In addition to restaurant owners and operators, the surge in catering presents collaboration opportunities for foodservice suppliers and vendors. Suppliers can strengthen customer relationships and drive sales by partnering with restaurants to provide essential ingredients and supplies for catering events. Riceland rice products can be tailored to the needs of catering operations, ensuring that suppliers have access to high-quality ingredients to meet the demands of their clients.


As offices reopen and catering sales continue to soar, restaurant and foodservice suppliers have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this trend and drive growth in the foodservice industry. By leveraging versatile ingredients like rice from Riceland Foods, restaurants can elevate their catering menus and meet the evolving needs of their customers. At the same time, suppliers can forge valuable partnerships and expand their market presence. With strategic planning and collaboration, the current catering boom holds promise for all stakeholders in foodservice.

[1] “CateringIndustry Stats (2023–24).” Nuphoriq, January 20, 2024.