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Robert Ryan Catering & Design couldn’t be more humbled to be recognized as a top-rated catering and event planning company in the Philadelphia area. (We thank you!)

If you’ve had the opportunity to taste our culinary creations at one of our client’s weddings, off-premise parties or corporate events, you’ve likely witnessed our seasoned staff tending to every last detail. We take immense pride in ensuring everything is absolutely perfect at your event—a leading philosophy that’s been instilled in us thanks to our brainchild and founder, Robert “Bob” Ryan.

Bob Headshot

What led our leading man to fall in love with catering and entertaining and to establish his namesake company? How has this family-inspired brand progressed since its beginnings? And what’s Bob’s secret to staying ahead of the curve and maintaining its success?

We tapped our dynamic founder to take us down memory lane and reveal what drives him and his Robert Ryan brand. Grab a seat and learn all about Bob below.

The Very Beginning

Bob Ryan was not shy about getting his start in the business world at a young age. At the snappy age of 10, he produced his very first business card (we kid you not!) and did odd jobs around his neighborhood—mowing lawns, weeding, cleaning out garages and more. The young (future) entrepreneur quickly illustrated his strong work ethic—something that translates to his business practices today. Soon came Bob’s interest in catering—a career that, as no surprise, began in the kitchen. After working for four caterers, he discovered his true calling. Bob shares, “I discovered that my passion lies in sales. I love connecting with customers on a personal basis.” After several years of establishing his presence with others in the catering industry, he was inspired to make the jump to his own independent firm. Officially, in 1992, Robert Ryan Catering & Design was born.

Can-Do Company Culture

The key to Bob’s success lies within the company culture he has created for all of us at Robert Ryan Catering. Bob relays that he and his son, chef/co-owner Mark Ryan, are keen on only hiring “happy, positive people with a can-do attitude.” He continues, “All of our staff members have a passion for what we do.”

Mark Headshot

But it’s not just a positive attitude that makes our culture stand out among a sea of others. Another attribute that Bob values in our staff members is their ability to listen. “Everyone who works for me has to develop the art of listening, and every employee is educated to ask key questions to uncover the client’s vision for their event.”

Staying Ahead of the Curve

Continuing education is of utmost importance in staying au courant as a modern-day catering company. Bob says, “If we want to continue to be leaders in the industry, we have to continue to use what works, but also learn new trends. We strive to be ahead of the curve.” With this in mind, all staff members, from chefs to sales and marketing managers, attend conferences and seminars to continuously expand their knowledge.

All About Relationships

Bob is clearly the driving force behind the success of the business. Just one conversation and you’ll see his passion to perfect each and every party. He says, “This is a highly personalized business. We need to gain trust and confidence from every client. It starts at the initial email or phone call. Planning a wedding can be a one- to two-year relationship, so we have to establish rapport with every client and show how much we really care about making your event perfect.”Bob continues, “I am always looking for ways that I can improve the business. This is not a job—it is fun. We aren’t in the food business. Food is just the vehicle. We are in the entertainment business.”

Feel the Love

We are grateful for the work family that Bob has created for our team and for our clients. As he says, “You have to love what you do. People hate their jobs. You get stuck and can’t change and can’t get out of it. I have never had a job that I didn’t love. I want everyone in the company to feel the same way and to be treated like family. That family feeling extends to our clients, too.”With that, we welcome you to our Robert Ryan family. Prepare to be entertained!


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.Ronna Dewey