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It's OUT: The F&B Trends We are Tucking Away....For Now

Event professionals place a lot of focus this time of year on what the next big trends will be, but equally (and sometimes more) exciting is what is finally OUT. There isn’t a seasoned pro who hasn’t giggled, at least secretly, as she stored the burlap and lace away in the back of the storage closet for its inevitable return.

So, which food and beverage trends will we say goodbye to in 2019?

Photo courtesy Apollo Fotografie –

Family style service & plated meals

Huge passed platters and formal pre-plated dishes will disappear as more and more guests opt for the flexibility and interaction of stations or buffets. Especially with the increase in food allergy awareness, the ability to select ones meal is prized and appreciated by most guests. Interactive omelet, pasta and taco stations complete with a variety of sauces and toppings will help keep guests engaged and prevent buffet boredom. These chef-manned setups also provide the freshest possible portions, which guests appreciate tremendously.

Single-theme menus

Menus with a single focus or theme will give way to more diverse selections that reflect a couple’s cultural background. Each item or station may incorporate a different food influence, like a Korean BBQ station and an Indian Vegetarian Station. Chefs will bring a variety of elements into a single cohesive and very personalized menu for each event, while still allowing guests flexible options.

Photo courtesy Courtney Stockton Photography –

Bold wines

Heavier wines will take a backseat to rose again this year. Most guests prefer it, and it pairs nicely with most courses, including cocktail hour appetizers and entrees. Strict rules for wines in general are gone for 2019 as clients focus more on what tastes good. Couples will continue to emphasize locally-produced wine and beer from regional wineries and breweries.

Contemporary cocktails

In cocktails, what was once out is actually now in. Traditional drinks like Old Fashioned’s, Manhattans and Bee’s Knees are all the rage again. Instead of custom combos with silly names, the old favorites are taking over, especially with fresh ingredients, handcrafted syrups, and unusual garnishes.

Bland barware

Couples will forego the static, traditional beverage service and instead go all-out with bar setups and interactive guest experiences. Glassware will be more unique and on-trend than we have previously seen, and overall more cost-effective as the trend towards intimate weddings continues.

The donut wall

Self-service towers of donuts will slip into oblivion in 2019. We’ll replace them with “deconstructed desserts” like frozen bananas dipped in chocolate and served with toppings instead of banana splits.

We are as excited to say a fond farewell to past trends as we are to welcome new ones this new year. It will certainly be interesting to see what else unfolds on the food and beverage scene in 2019.

Heather Jones

Catering Sales Director

Heather Jones is the Catering Sales Director for Wente Vineyards, a family-owned property that is home to a winery and vineyards, a golf course, restaurant, and a handful of unique facilities for hosting weddings and special events.