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Catersource 2021 Sneak Peek: We’re on the Road to Recovery

To say that the International Caterers Association (ICA) is excited for 2021 Catersource Conference & Tradeshow is an understatement. It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for since we stepped off the show floor into a pandemic in early 2020, and it’s a beacon of light and hope for the positivity we know is coming in the remainder of 2021. 

Join friends, peers, and colleagues at the ICA Inspiration Zone at Catersource 2021. Shown from left to right: Paula Kreuzberg (ICA Executive Director) and ICA board member Suzi McMerty Shands of Mintahoe Catering & Events

So, let’s learn together and celebrate this new chapter, shall we? Here’s a little preview of what you can expect from ICA at Catersource Conference & Tradeshow in 2021 and beyond.

Sessions to set yourself up for success during this year of revival

At the International Caterers Association, our goal is to provide peer-to-peer education that shares critical knowledge and inspiration that allows our industry to flourish, working together to succeed! Each of our sessions will be led by industry veterans who have navigated the storms of the last year successfully, coming out stronger on the other side ready for recovery. 

Rebuilding a Sales Team: Strategies for Building Strong Teams in Times of Transition

Our teams are the backbone of our success in the catering industry. Learn how you can rebuild and motivate your most essential assets after a challenging year for greater success moving forward. 

Rebound with Frank and Jen 

What if your rebound is even stronger than your previous reality? With expert tips from industry veterans with 25+ years of hands-on sales and operational management experience in the off-premise catering world, your company can set itself up for the next chapter.

What’s Your CreativeSuperpower? 

Creativity is what sets good caterers and great caterers apart. How are you reimagining your culinary experiences to delight your guests in this new era of making memories?

Smart Selling - The Six Daily Tasks That Create High-Performance Sales 

Sales are what keep our businesses afloat. But are your sales teams operating at the highest levels possible? Learn how to turn motivation into momentum to deliver profit during this time of recovery and transformation.

Trendsetting Food Stations in Our New Normal

While events may be coming back, they won’t look like they did before. Learn how to reimagine food stations that embrace creative culinary experiences that spark joy while keeping attendees safe and healthy!

Which session are you most excited for? Visit the Catersource Schedule Builder to add these ICA sessions to your conference schedule.

ICA industry surveys & education available year-round

To ensure we’re always providing education that is meaningful for catering industry leaders, the International Caterers Association utilizes member survey feedback to develop monthly webinars, networking opportunities, publications, and a variety of resources that provide value, helping our industry overcome common challenges and remain innovative. 

Catersource Conference & Tradeshow  is a great opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and peers, like these ICA chefs. 

The ICA also shares this survey data with members to help other caterers with benchmarking and provide insights into how caterers are doing things within their company. One such example of survey data was about tastings and how they are handled during this time—if they are executed, when they occur (pre- or post-contract) and if people charge for them. 

How are you handling tastings at this time?

  • The company is not having tastings: 12.20%
  • The company is having tastings: 75.61%
  • The company is hosting virtual tastings: 2.44%
  • The company is charging for tastings: 29.27%
  • The company allows more than 2 people in an in-person tasting: 48.78%
  • The company requires a signed contractfor a tasting: 9.76%

Over the course of 2021, our members have shared they’re hoping to hear more about trending topics such as how to boost sales and create accurate business projections with limited resources post-COVID, tools for hiring and profitability as we return to business, how to handle menu design and tastings in a new era of events, and marketing strategies to help increase demand in new markets. 

A recent survey revealed that ICA chefs are most interested in the following topics for future education; you are sure to see these topics come to life this year. 

What topic(s) would be helpful in future ICA Executive Chef Roundtable webinars?

  • Walking through catering kitchens and sharing organizational tips: 63.41%
  • Logistics: 60.98%
  • Creating limited menus: 36.59%
  • Launching new menus: 31.71%
  • Food costing & purchasing: 29.27%

All this and more will be covered by the ICA and Catersource throughout the year to help our industry get back on its feet.  


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