Trends in Weddings Catering 2022-2023
Sanjay Vazirani, CEO of Foodlink F&B Holdings India PVT LTD F&B Managers Hardwork in wedding caterings Wedding couples want to give their guests a genuinely unforgettable experience, so a lot of planning goes into the venue, the destination,
Sanjay Vazirani, CEO of Foodlink F&B Holdings India PVT LTD
F&B Managers Hardwork in wedding caterings
Wedding couples want to give their guests a genuinely unforgettable experience, so a lot of planning goes into the venue, the destination, in case of destination weddings, the entertainment and of course the Food. We service a lot of hi profile business families and celebrity weddings wherein there are no fixed boundaries. One has to create new benchmarks. The key challenge and opportunity here are to execute an outstanding experience which becomes a matter of the moment. The team goes for numerous food trails to learn from the best in the F&B space to stay ahead of the curve. The process starts with understanding the family and preferences and accordingly engineering the menu. This is followed by assigning the right culinary team to the event, styling the buffet and equipment set-ups to keep the look in sync with the décor, studying the guest list and assigning the butlers and captains who excel in the art of service and hospitality. Everything is pre-planned systematically. Once the entire event flow is understood, the teams are briefed and trained to deliver with perfection. For example, if the turnaround time between functions is less, we divide our people into two teams in charge of different functions to execute them smoothly. The teams are equipped with all the ammunition required to execute the events that need special care & attention. I would like to share an example of a celebrity wedding conducted at Lake Como, Italy wherein we had to follow stringent protocols of the hotel where we were not allowed to use fire in the kitchens. So we adapted and used induction equipment instead and used an outdoor space to set up equipment like tandoor which could do without fire.
Food quality is a top priority
Early on when I got the opportunity to revive a sick restaurant where I was broadly like a restaurant manager at first but when I told the owner I wanted to start my own business and he offered me a partnership and I turned the revenues around. That’s how I started being called a Sick Unit Specialist and this is how the journey of business started.
While we revamped the ambience, menus, uniforms, etc, I prioritized the excellence of food and it started getting noticed. A lot of my hotelier friends used to come, my batchmates by then had grown as F&B Directors or Head Chefs in Taj & Oberoi and they praised the food saying they haven’t eaten such great food and indicated its potential in SOBO. Here I realized that Food is the Hero. I didn’t have the funds to start a restaurant in Sobo so the only way was to take the food to people. So we built a team of 10-12 people -Timanna, Bhuvam, Dhanpal, Priya were a part of this team and all of us are still together now that we are a 1000 people strong company across geographies.
All the latest trends on the table.
Indian weddings have become upscale and luxurious. The expectation is to provide the best presentation with superior quality. The menu for weddings is also largely based on the thematic decor. The live food stations are expected to be interactive so the guests can pick and choose their preferred ingredients. There are also growing number of eco-conscious clients that prefer hiring professionals that have adopted sustainable practices for planning weddings. Recent Example is Richa-Ali wedding reception where we crafted a planet friendly F&B experience.
While there are a lot of guests who ask for what’s new on the menu and fusion meals, there are a larger group that ask for the traditional classic dishes and prefer comfort over novel dishes. The market is demanding both regional & exotic cuisines especially in the metro cities. Regional cuisine is gaining popularity in metro cities as regional communities gradually move to metros creating demand for authentic food and taste. Specialty cuisines from Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and, the North East are seeing a rise in demand, in recent times. Also, healthy delicacies of specific regions such as ‘Thukpa’ is becoming popular as it serves as a wholesome meal with a healthier proportion of carbs and proteins.
What we also observe is that guests prefer more starters and grazing tables to main course and also a lot of focus is on after party or drunken food as they call it, which is carb loaded. Grazing tables can include anything from specialty cheeses, antipasti with dips, Mezze spreads, bread, crackers and chutney, dried fruit and nuts – the possibilities are endless.
We serve in petite plated portions, its trending for all the best reasons. Portion size control is also a big way to avoid food wastage while keeping the delivery fancy and guest’s ecstatic. This is not just for starters but also for main course we do fresh and live mini meals like lacha paratha with small portions of dal, butter chicken with mini garlic nans, dal baati churma bowl, Thai curry bowl with scoop of jasmine rice. These are presented in a fancy way with unique plating so the guests feel satisfied and can save appetite to try all the amazing dishes on the menu. We have especially designed our plating platters and bowls for mono portioning. Example we use a wok box to contain 50 gms noodles. We also serve plated salads in fancy ways.
Veganism, reducetarianism and flexitarianism is on the rise and as it becomes increasingly popular, we anticipate it much more in 2023. Clients want to revisit forgotten ingredients; they are not just making a comeback but have started trending. Lot of old 90’s ingredients are coming back. For example, concepts having ingredients like halim seeds in meals, turmeric in drinks and the likes are taking off. Conscious families prefer use of local produce, sustainable menus and the centuries-old principles of Ayurveda “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Mindful consumption and ingredients that support a sense of well-being. Examples: feasting on locally grown produce, taste of home food, plant-based meat, low salt cheese, probiotics.
Bowl food is also one of the latest trends in food concepts as they mean lighter, healthier dishes, like Asian Curry bowls and burrito bowls, have appeared as one of 2022’s top wedding food trends. It gives guests the flexibility to choose what they want as well as the quantity so as to try something different, and with so many dietary needs to cater for, this style of eating allows guests to choose what works for them. Most guests also opt for seasonal favorites.