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Caterers Found Staffing to Be #1 Challenge in 2018

The ICA recently put together a recap of the annual survey we send out to member caterers and more members continue to participate in the survey each year! The results depicted some of the biggest struggles and opportunities that professionals across the catering industry faced throughout 2018. It also included a forecast for 2019, in which 96.75% of caterers surveyed anticipated business to be on the rise.

Even with high caterer confidence about 2019, the catering world ran into a few challenges related to competition from oversaturated food business markets, marketing and advertising, developing standard procedures and structures for a growing company, traffic conditions, crime, generating revenue during off seasons, facility space, and labor costs.

The majority of surveyed caterers found staffing to be the biggest challenge for their business last year. Roughly 48 percent of them report obstacles around hiring new, high-quality staff and high turnover. Specific challenges ranged from finding seasonal staff or quality part-time staff to losing potential candidates to restaurants and compensating enough for work-life balance for employees.

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In regards to recruitment, caterers reported the following sources they utilize to connect with new hires: word of mouth, social media ads, staffing agencies, job posting websites, career fairs, local colleges and hospitality colleges.

It’s important to explore all avenues and resources when you’re looking for and retaining quality talent. The ICA is one such industry resource that can help. Members have access to the ICA’s online learning lab and webinars like “How to Set, Catch and Release Interns from Your Company.” Enjoy full access to all available webinars led by well-known industry experts as well as a whole library of materials that discuss everything from venues to marketing to operations.

To stay on top of all the latest catering trends or gain access to all these catering resources, visit

International Caterers Association

For motivated caterers, International Caterers Association is a resource that provides Education, encourages peer to peer Relationships and Inspires creativity while embracing all segments of the catering industry. For more information, visit