01 Aug Staying On Trend: Robert Ryan Catering & Design’s Ultimate Education Field Trip
In any industry, continuing education, networking and staying on top of what’s new and trending is important, but in the world of catering, it’s key. At Robert Ryan Catering & Design (RRC&D), we take that seriously.
We send our sales and culinary team out to do research at different places and conferences throughout the year, but one we never miss is the annual Catersource conference to make sure we keep up on trends. Catersouce is an industry leader. Here’s what our team took away from this year’s conference in New Orleans:
Mark Ryan, co-owner
I send my team to Catersource every year to stay on the cutting edge of trends in our industry and to extract as much knowledge for RRC&D to have continued growth. The networking that is done with other caterers and owners is worth it alone. The events that we attend along with the education classes is a bonus. This is my eighth year going to Catersource, and my favorite part is speaking to other owners about their experiences and stories in the catering world. I also enjoy spending time with my team and educating them for the future.
Bringing the team together for this special event also helps the company culture by bringing all of the departments together striving for the same goal, which is the customer experience. Upon our return, we always have a summary meeting and then take action on what we’ve learned and how to implement new management/sales procedures and food presentation.
Danny Salazar, executive chef
One of the most enjoyable aspects for me is networking and developing lasting relationships with different chefs from around the country. It is great to share diverse recipes and concepts to elevate our food to another level. I especially look forward to learning new cooking techniques and skills. Every conference is unique and up to date with the current catering trends, always providing invaluable knowledge about the various cuisines in the catering world.
Attending these conferences every year is something that makes me feel more confident in accommodating the clients that we serve. This trip to New Orleans was certainly one of the most influential of all the conferences I’ve attended. We visited the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, focusing a lot on seafood, Southern spices and food/cocktail pairing. I really enjoy identifying specialty cocktails for guests to enjoy at their events. Overall, the catering conferences have been extremely positive influences for my career.
I love going to big events to see how other companies do things, how they present their food, how it tastes, the service, new décor—the works! I loved learning more about marketing within my industry, meeting with people and learning about what they do.
My take-away was the reassurance that I am on the right track. I learned some tips and tricks on how to do some things better and got a lot of information that I am still looking through. The conference was a great opportunity to network. I met a few awesome people with awesome stories.
Madison Gentile, event manager
I enjoyed getting to meet with top leaders in the industry and seeing what other caterers around the country are doing. It was great to learn what works for them, new tricks of the trade, new décor and design elements, and ways to better ourselves and the company in order to grow and offer top-notch service for our clients. I think I got tips on how to be a better event manager and connect with my clients on a more personal level.
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Robert Ryan Catering and Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a five-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couple’s Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in a row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venues. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news and recipes from our executive chef.
Top two photos: Catersource Conference & Tradeshow; bottom photo: Robert Ryan Catering & Design