The Role of Technology in Modern Event Catering

by Akshayaa Rani M, 08 November 2023
by Akshayaa Rani M,  08 November 2023
The Role of Technology in Modern Event Catering

Event catering plays a vital role in the overall experience of any gathering, be it a wedding, corporate conference, or charity gala. The expectations of today's guests extend far beyond traditional dining experiences.

In this article, we will explore the transformative impact of technology in modern event catering, from pre-event planning to enhancing the guest experience.

1. Pre-Event Planning and Menu Selection

Data-Driven Menu Planning:Modern event catering leverages technology to customise menus based on guest preferences. A study by Technomic found that 66% of consumers are more likely to visit a restaurant that personalised its menu to their dietary preferences (Technomic, 2020).

Software and Apps: Tools like CaterZen and Social Tables allow caterers to streamline menu planning and design while providing data-backed insights into what dishes are likely to be a hit at the event.

2. Smart Ordering and Inventory Management

Streamlining Food Orders:Technology facilitates efficient communication between caterers and suppliers, ensuring timely and accurate orders. For example, FreshDirect, an online grocery delivery service, employs AI to predict customer demand and streamline their orders (FreshDirect, 2021). The technology of 3PL integrations facilitates efficient communication between caterers and suppliers, ensuring timely and accurate orders.

Inventory Management: Smart inventory management reduces waste and costs. Apps like MarketMan assist catering companies in managing inventory effectively, ensuring no ingredient goes to waste.

3. Food Preparation and Presentation

Automation: Modern kitchens are equipped with technology, from smart ovens to robotic sous chefs. The Spyce Kitchen in Boston, for instance, uses robotic woks to prepare customised meals efficiently (Spyce, 2021).

3D Printing: The use of 3D printing and food design software is transforming food presentation. The Food Ink pop-up restaurant in London featured 3D-printed dishes that were not only visually appealing but also delicious (Food Ink, 2021).

4. Catering Staff Coordination and Communication

Mobile Apps: Catering staff now use mobile apps for real-time communication, improving coordination. Apps like Deputy help with shift management, communication, and employee performance tracking (Deputy, 2021).

Wearable Technology:Wearable devices like smartwatches help catering staff receive instant alerts and instructions, ensuring seamless service at large events.

Bonus Advice: On the note of staff, check out our ultimate guide to hiring and managing volunteers at your event.

5. Guest Experience Enhancement

Food Technology via Unsplash .png
Food Technology via Unsplash

Interactive Dining: The role of technology in enhancing guest experiences is evident through interactive dining. Concepts like Inamo, a restaurant in London, use tabletop projection technology to allow guests to change the tablecloth, order food and even play games (Inamo, 2021).

Event caterers are increasingly utilizing digital menu software to enhance guest experiences and streamline operations, enabling the creation of interactive and customizable menus that conveniently accommodate dietary preferences and allergy restrictions.

Smart Serving Techniques: Waitstaff equipped with handheld tablets ensure quicker order processing and provide in-depth information about menu items.

P.S.On this note, you’ll want to read out top creative ideas for adding unique touches to your private dining experience.

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6. Dietary and Allergy Accommodations

Digital Platforms: Event catering uses digital platforms for guest preferences and dietary restrictions. RSVPify, for example, allows event organisers to collect meal preferences and allergy information, ensuring all guests are catered to (RSVPify, 2021).

Tailored Dining Options: Events like the Taste of London Festival use technology to provide tailored dining options for attendees, considering various dietary requirements (Taste of London, 2021).

7. Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Practices

Data-Driven Sustainability: The use of technology to track food consumption patterns enables caterers to reduce food waste. The Real Junk Food Project employs data analytics to redistribute surplus food to prevent wastage (The Real Junk Food Project, 2021).

Eco-Friendly Catering: Catering services, such as Green Kitchen, are dedicated to eco-friendly practices, offering sustainable menu options and zero-waste catering (Green Kitchen, 2021).

8. Feedback and Data Collection

Digital Surveys: Gathering feedback through digital surveys and apps is a common practice. Apps like SurveyMonkey are used to collect guest opinions on the quality of food and service (SurveyMonkey, 2021).

Data-Driven Refinements: Events like the World Economic Forum actively gather attendee feedback and use the data to refine catering services, ensuring continuous improvement (World Economic Forum, 2021).

N.B. Check out these 5 ways AI can streamline event planning processes to learn how you can automate these tasks.

9. Challenges and Future Trends

Challenges in Adoption:Common challenges in adopting catering technology include high initial costs, staff training, and resistance to change. Overcoming these hurdles is essential for successful implementation.

Future Trends:The future of event catering is marked by AI-driven meal personalisation, the use of robotics in kitchen operations, and immersive dining experiences. The adoption of virtual reality and augmented reality in catering is on the horizon.

Wrapping up

The role of technology in modern event catering is not a mere trend but a transformation that enhances the entire catering process, from planning to service. To excel in event catering, embracing technology is not an option but a necessity.

Technology is reshaping the industry, providing opportunities for efficiency, personalisation, sustainability, and unforgettable guest experiences. As technology continues to evolve, caterers should stay ahead of the curve to meet the growing expectations of event attendees.

And finally, always remember, you can book your entire event in one place, with Eventflare!

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