The COVID-19 outbreak is likely to have a lasting effect on the catering industry. As a result of social-distancing, many weddings were cancelled or postponed and analysts expect to see a trend towards smaller, more intimate celebrations even after COVID-19 is under control.
Weddings account for approximately half of US catering industry revenue and concerns about hygiene are likely to lead to a move away from trends like elaborate dessert displays in favor of pre-wrapped individual servings, more hygienic serving stations and a return to plated desserts. In some cases, pastry chefs may have to adapt recipes to use limited ingredients because of the impact of COVID-9 on the supply chain.
With few events on the horizon, caterers have adapted to offering take-out meals, meal kits and groceries to maintain their cash flow. Menus have been adjusted to feature simple meals that are suitable for reheating at home and some companies have partnered with local farms to supply customers with provisions boxes of fresh meat and produce.
Some caterers have also used their facilities to provide cooked meals for healthcare and other essential workers. Even as countries ease lockdowns, there are likely to be restrictions on mass gatherings for some time and this could result in continued lowered demand for catering services.
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