The catering industry is getting a much-needed makeover

Services are springing up to bring the restaurant experience inside your home.

When we think of catering, images of white gloves and chafing dishes spring to mind.

The bottom half of a man’s body wearing a white long-sleeved shirt and a black-and-white pinstripe apron assembling plates of food.

But the pandemic changed how we socialize, trading the jampacked ballrooms of years past for intimate dinner parties at home.

And the catering industry adapted to our shifting preferences with a new crop of services, bringing fine dining to intimate settings, per Eater:

  • Resident lets users book private, customized events at venues around New York City or buy tickets to preplanned dinners with acclaimed chefs.
  • With Moveable Feast, chefs cook meals for up to 12 people that can be delivered throughout the country.
  • Takeachef lets users book chefs for private events in their own homes.

With many people once again comfortable holding group events, dinner parties are making a comeback — but cooking from scratch isn’t for everyone.

A tasty win-win

This new setup works well for everyone: Chefs get supplemental income and additional advertising while customers gain access to in-demand restaurants, sometimes without leaving home.

Plus, the trend comes at a time when the restaurant industry has its plate full with problems:

  • The reservations system is broken, with bots gobbling up bookings and driving fee increases.
  • People are dining out less than they used to, and restaurants have struggled to rebound post-pandemic.
  • Many have complained that everything about eating out feels a little worse, despite rising prices on the bill (and the tips).

As the restaurant industry increasingly experiments with robotic chefs and servers, the place to go for a heartfelt, personalized meal might just be your own kitchen.

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Topics: Restaurants

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