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“If you feed them, they will come.” Ah yes, the mantra of every meeting planner rings truer today than ever before, especially in the foodie culture of Columbus.

Of course, meeting participants must be fed. However, offering a sensational food spread that gets people excited for the event is what takes a planner from good to great. Catering is a big part of making a meeting an expereince.

Here are our favorite catering trends of the year so far:

1. Picturesque Snack Spreads

Afternoon snacks have a spotlight on them this year – it’s all about the presentation. And the more creative, Instagram-worthy the snack spread, the better. Our Downtown Columbus catering partners, like Graze, have taken note of the importance of an elevated party platter. Graze’s farm-to-table spreads look almost too beautiful to eat with Ohio-sourced artisanal cheeses (see trend #2 below), homemade peach jam, toasted baguette wedges, and seasonal vegetable crudités. Meeting participants will be impressed with your decision to upgrade the stereotypical veggie-and-ranch platter with a lavish spread.

2. Go Local!

Meals being locally sourced are becoming increasingly important for companies who strive to be socially responsible. Guests ask us all the time about local options on our catering menu. Market 65 is a great local option on our menu because they grow a lot of their own vegetables right here in the city.

Many catering companies make it a point to source some ingredients from nearby farms. The next time you place a lunch order, just ask! It makes a great talking point during a meeting when you can point out lunch items that were homegrown just down the street.

3. Build-Your-Own Bowl Buffets

Embrace the Chipotle era we live in by offering a build-your-own bowl for lunch in lieu of a traditional buffet. Creating a customized bowl is far more interactive than piling up a plate while going through the buffet line because it encourages people to be creative by mixing & matching flavors. It also creates a conversation like, “what sauce did you use?” “did you add chicken or tofu to yours?” Think of it as a mini team building activity during lunch! Our catering partner, Two Caterers, offers seasonal build-your-own buffet bowls that are a big hit with our guests.

So there you have it – our favorite catering trends at the moment! How will you make lunch a moment to remember at your next meeting? Comment on this article to share!

About Holly Harper

Holly is the Director of Marketing at sparkspace, a one-of-a-kind meeting venue in Columbus, OH. Holly is passionate about introducing new people to sparkspace and planning fun events that bring people together in the space.