Event food and drink, why the transformation?

The hospitality and event sector has to transform its thinking about event food and beverage. It has to adapt to the way the latest generation fit eating and drinking into their lives.

For baby boomers and before, the time and place for eating was fixed into the defined framework of the traditional working day. For the new generation it is flexibly integrated into day to day lives.

Just as they want and expect access to high speed internet and to work, play or relax whenever they want 24/7. They also expect fast easy access to an extensive choice of fresh food and drink whenever they want it. They want to ‘Grab and Go’ anytime that suits them. Street/festival style food works well for them.

The Challenges

In planning our recent £3m investment, transforming our event facility to become The Woodlands Event Centre we commissioned in depth research among millennials meetings planners. Striking among among its findings was that they expected venues to demonstrate excellence across three pillars; food, technology and sustainability.

The challenge for venues is to cater for both this new generation, and those whose tastes and needs have’t changed.

The solution for hotels and conference venues is to refine and update event food. The lunch and dinner of traditional restaurants and coffee shops and supplement it with additional options.

For example, a Food Market providing a variety of international street food dishes can be added to lunch options. Our stalls for events include Tex-Mex, Oriental, Carved Ham, Burgers, an Ice Cream machine and others.

Here, The Cedar Bar offers a variety of light snacks such as sandwiches and paninis 24 hours a day. In addition, high street quality coffee and a wide range of drinks, pastries and snacks which is available right across site from coffee artiscans Paddy & Scott’s. The main refuelling station is located in The Woodlands Event Centre.