Catersource Releases Third Annual State of the Industry Feature Identifying Key Areas of Focus for Caterers in 2018

Disruption Named Top Issue for Catering and Events Industry; Sustainability, Food Waste and Disaster Relief Present Big Challenges, Opportunities

LAS VEGAS, NV — January 4, 2018 – Catersource, the world’s premier educational resource and expansive network for the catering and events industry, today announces its third annual State of the Industry feature in anticipation of the upcoming Catersource 2018 event. The feature is based on extensive research by Catersource magazine’s Director of Community & Content Strategy, Kathleen Stoehr. In the last year, the catering and events industry has experienced disruptions that have rippled through every aspect of business, from natural disasters and disaster relief, to planning for the next generation, staffing, and sustainability and food waste concerns, among others.

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“Individuals, employees and business owners are faced with disruption every day, and with each change and challenge also comes new opportunity. At Catersource 2018, we are very excited to discuss larger industry disruptions and provide attendees with the tools to tackle them from a business perspective,” said Stoehr, who also curates all live education for both Catersource and the Art of Catering Food.

As disruption occurs, Catersource is leading the charge as the primary resource for the latest industry information. Its 26th annual event will take place from February 18–20, 2018 at Caesars Palace. The Art of Catering Food (AOCF) will be co-located with Catersource during the same time frame, and then the educational experience will continue with a vibrant tradeshow at the Las Vegas Convention Center from February 20–21, 2018. For additional information please visit:

Natural Disasters and Disaster Relief

Catering, quick service and full-service restaurants, venues and all aspects of the food and event service industry were disrupted by storms, wildfires, and hurricanes in 2017. According to Technomic’s Vice President of Innovation, Sara Monnette, the top 50 quick-service restaurants in the Houston area lost an estimated 30% of their weekly customer spend on a year-over year basis the week after Hurricane Harvey. However, some caterers found that recovery efforts were a lucrative endeavor to enter into. Waffle House, for example, implemented a shortened menu with nonperishable items in some units and according to Technomic, customer spend increased year-over-year in the Miami area 130% the week of September 10.

Planning for the Next Generation

The challenges and disruptions faced when transitioning a company from one generation to the next include alignment of family interests, balancing of financial returns, lack of interest on the part of the next generation and company control, among others. Carl Sacks, executive director of the Leading Caterers of America, believes that generational succession is a challenge for nearly any family business, and only one third of all family businesses successfully make the transition to the second generation according to Forbes. In order to tackle this challenge, one must implement succession planning and evaluate it regularly.


Staffing is the single largest expense and challenge for virtually every caterer or restaurateur, due to lack of available staff and unease sweeping the industry related to minimum wage increases. To tackle this challenge, Robert Sullivan, owner of Utah Food Services, Salt Lake City Utah, has looked to the retired community and high schools for temporary support for the last 20 years. By identifying group leaders within retirement organizations and high school clubs to support large events, relationships are cultivated over several years, and 40% of these temporary workers become leaders that significantly reduce staffing stress.

Sustainability & Food Waste Concerns

Over 30% to 40% of food produced goes uneaten, leading to the growing concern about sustainability and food waste. To solve these problems, chefs and giant multinational companies are implementing sustainability practices and embracing a no waste movement, which includes developing more ways to use food scraps, save water and reduce plastic waste.

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Top sponsors of Catersource 2018 include: Platinum Sponsors include: American Metalcraft, Inc. Cambro, Nowsta Inc., Sterno Products, US Foods, WNA; Gold Sponsors include: Front Of The House, Inc., Roland Foods, Sabert, Sparktacular, StaffMate Online, Total Party Planner; Silver Sponsors include: EMI Yoshi, Inc., TableCraft, Waring Commercial Products. For all sponsorship opportunities, visit:

About Catersource

Catersource is the world’s premier resource dedicated to the education and growth of catering and event professionals. Catersource provides the most expansive network relevant to the catering and events business, producing in-depth educational offerings at the largest industry conference and tradeshow. Catersource’s live education also extends itself into the digital world year-round, with rich editorial content in its e-newsletter products, its website, and in its annual January show issue, printed and mailed to over 30,000 industry influencers. Catersource is organized by UBM plc. UBM is the largest pure-play B2B Events organizer in the world. Our 3,750+ people, based in more than 20 countries, serve more than 50 different sectors. Our deep knowledge and passion for these sectors allow us to create valuable experiences which enable our customers to succeed. Please visit for the latest news and information about UBM. 



Ashley Womack

Catersource PR


[email protected]