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Industry News for June 8, 2024

Hot Off the Presses

Proof of the Pudding, a leader in food service management and catering for prestige sporting events, state-of-the-art convention centers, sports and entertainment arenas and college stadiums, announced it will serve as the exclusive hospitality services provider for the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches, returning to PGA National Resort’s Champion Course, February 2025. Proof of the Pudding will manage food and beverage services for all premium hospitality and concession locations at the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches, the only PGA TOUR event in South Florida.  Proof of the Pudding plans to highlight the area’s extraordinary culinary scene, bringing international visibility to local restaurants and eateries. The company will also invite Palm Beach County’s renowned and emerging chefs to collaborate on menus. Proof of the Pudding’s distinctive menus and hospitality are well known in the region. The company is the exclusive premium hospitality partner for THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. It is also the exclusive premium catering and concessions partner to the Palm Beach International Boat Show, the Miami International Boat Show and the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, the world’s largest. Working alongside the PGA TOUR’s sustainability partner, WM, Proof of the Pudding’s community and environmental efforts include support for local small businesses and nonprofit partners. Sustainability efforts such as reducing food waste, reducing the amount of plastic packaging used in operations and opting for sustainable alternatives such as environmentally friendly plates, cutlery and aluminum cups are mainstays. Proof of the Pudding’s work with food recovery partners ensures fresh meals reach people in need. After just three PGA TOUR events in 2024, by donating its surplus, Proof of the Pudding provided more than 26,000 meals to area residents and saved over 7 million gallons of water. 


Bojangles, historically known as a go-to for gatherings of all kinds – from tailgates to family dinners, celebratory occasions to corporate meetings – now officially offers catering through a new partnership with ezCater, the leading food for work technology company in the United States. Customers across the brand’s footprint will be able to place catering orders from participating restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner to feed the whole crowd with convenient delivery and pick-up options through ezCater. Simply visit to place an order. ezCater’s technology makes it easy for Bojangles’ customers to place their catering orders online. They can simply choose items from the Bojangles menu and schedule a delivery or pickup. There is a $50 delivery minimum, and items are portioned to feed crowds, with descriptions indicating how much food comes with each order. This is Bojangles’ first official venture into catering as a company, though select franchisees have previously offered this convenience. The streamlined move indicates Bojangles’ widespread commitment to making its food accessible for gatherings of all kinds and celebrating fans at every moment. From popular breakfast items like its signature made-from-scratch biscuits and Bo Rounds to staple lunch and dinner items like fried chicken, sandwiches, fixins and Legendary Iced Tea, there’s something for everyone on the catering menu. As summer approaches, Bojangles expects fans to take advantage of this offering for graduations, summer celebrations, family gatherings, weddings and more. 


Tripleseat, the leading sales and event management platform for restaurants, hotels, and unique venues, is excited to announce the acquisition of Merri, a cutting-edge 3D floor plan and event design application for restaurants, hotels, unique venues, and event planners. This strategic acquisition aims to enhance Tripleseat’s robust suite of tools, providing all venues with an all-in-one solution for seamless event planning and management. As the hospitality industry continues to grow and evolve, the need for efficient, technology-driven solutions has never been greater. By integrating Merri's innovative 3D floor plan design capabilities with Tripleseat's comprehensive event management platform, venue owners and event planners can now access a powerful toolset that simplifies the planning process and enhances guest experiences. Tripleseat currently serves over 16,000 restaurants and hotels globally and has managed 34 million events to date. By incorporating Merri’s technology, Tripleseat aims to further solidify its position as the leading event management solution provider in the hospitality industry, ensuring even more efficient and effective event planning processes for its extensive user base. 

People on the Move

Everline Resort & Spa, a spacious year-round mountain resort in North Lake Tahoe, announces Matt Hale as Executive Chef. Hale returns to the property after working in multiple culinary positions at the resort nearly 20 years ago. In his position, Hale will oversee the resort’s food operations, from managing the curation of menus at the on-site restaurants to managing banquet operations for meetings and events. With more than 25 years of experience working in the hospitality and culinary industry, Hale realized his love for food while growing up on a small farm in Sierraville, California. Throughout his childhood, his parents taught him how to grow vegetables and fruit trees, as well as how to can for the winter. He would also regularly visit his mom while she was working in restaurants and would always find ways to help, from assisting the chef to bussing tables.  Hale followed his passion and attended South Lake Tahoe Community College where he received his degree in culinary arts. Following his graduation in 2003, Hale worked at multiple South Lake Tahoe restaurants including Mendocino, a popular fine dining Italian restaurant. In 2006, he moved to the Truckee area and began working as the Sous Chef at Six Peaks Grille at Everline, then named Resort at Squaw Creek. He quickly progressed his career at the resort with multiple promotions to Banquet Chef and then to Executive Sous Chef. Following his time at Everline, Hale moved to Skamania Lodge, in the scenic Columbia River Gorge, where he worked as Executive Chef for more than six years. He then moved back to the Lake Tahoe area where he held the role of Executive Chef at the Tahoe Donner Association.  


Zafferano America, the manufacturer of award-winning cordless lighting, handmade tableware, and colored glassware, is pleased to announce the hiring of Gabriella Vivaldi as Director of Marketing, effective immediately. Vivaldi, a bilingual dual citizen of the United States and Italy, has led marketing and communications efforts for established Italian furniture brands and material manufacturers for nearly two decades. In her new role, Vivaldi will oversee and implement North American marketing strategies for both the brand and its New York City Showroom (121 Varick Street). Vivaldi will also manage strategic partnerships and organize events both on- and off-site while working directly with Zafferano SRL, of Quinto di Treviso, Italy, to ensure strategic alignment across the international family of Zafferano companies. 

Products on the Market 

Better Earth, a leader in certified compostable foodservice packaging solutions, has unveiled its latest innovation: the Touch-Free Arrow Cutlery Dispenser paired with the Better Earth Arrow Cutlery Collection. They are now available for fast-casual restaurants, cafeterias, food courts, and any food service business looking to enhance sustainability and hygiene. 

Key features include: 

  • BPI-certified compostable CPLA cutlery that meets ASTM D-6400 standards for compostability. 
  • Designed for zero-waste programs and compliance with single-use plastic bans. 
  • Handle-first delivery system reduces contamination risks and ensures customer safety. 
  • Versatile design allows dispensing of forks, knives, and spoons separately or together. 
  • Easy-to-refill system with step-by-step instructions directly on compostable cutlery bags. 
  • Compact design holds up to 300 units of cutlery, minimizing refill frequency. 

Vitamix® Commercial is expanding its line of back-of-house commercial blenders with today’s launch of the new Immersi-Prep™ 14, a medium-capacity immersion blender that will bring additional power, precision, and convenience to professional kitchens. The Immersi-Prep 14 is an ultra-efficient machine with an innovative design that produces faster, more consistent blends of salad dressings, soups, sauces, creamy whipped potatoes, batters, and more. As a medium-capacity machine, it comes with a 14-inch stainless-steel shaft that can blend up to 17 gallons. In addition, the Immersi-Prep introduces innovative, ergonomic features that will bring relief and convenience to hardworking professional chefs. The lightweight machine is designed for optimal hand positions and grip points that accommodate differently sized operators and various positions during use, whether the pot is on a table, a stove, or the floor. The Immersi-Prep provides a smooth, easy experience, with simple-to-use, lighted buttons and a continuous-run function that, as a safety measure, can be turned off with the touch of any button.  The Immersi-Prep achieves exceptional results because of several design features, including a powerful, 2.3 HP motor and a thoughtfully designed bell guard, which surrounds the blades. The bell is shaped so it can function as a mini container, efficiently processing a small quantity of ingredients before cycling through the next batch. The result is quicker, more consistent blends (i.e., blends that are the same throughout). Finally, the Immersi-Prep is highly durable, with Vitamix® quality running throughout the machine, from the high-grade stainless steel of the shaft and blades to the robust motor and distinctive bell guard. 



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