Feeding the World
Commercial catering is part of the hospitality industry has
two business sides - the food service and catering
The catering business is also comprised of a variety of
different types of organizations serving multiple industries
including aviation, education, and recreation.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,
accommodation and food services makes up about 8.1
percent of all employment and was expected to realize 18%
between 2002 and 2012.
There are 8.7 million workers employed in the
accommodation and food services industry and caterers
comprise about two percent of these workers.
Waitress in the Sky
The airline food services business generates approximately $6
billion dollars in revenue each year.
Gate Gourmet is one of the world’s largest independent
providers of airline catering service providers serving more
than 250 airline customers.
With global headquarters located in
Reston, VA, Gate Gourmet generates $2.4
billion in annual revenue and serves over
200 million meals each year.
LSG Sky Chefs, initially created by
American Airlines in 1942 and known as
Sky Chefs, is a 100% subsidiary of
Luftansa that partners with 270 airlines
and prepares approximately 387 million
meals each year.
According to the US Department of
Agriculture, in 2006, there were over 5
million meals served in a school setting.
Annually, the federal government spends
over $10 billion to provide food services
The strong focus on decreasing the
obesity epidemic provides a strong
outlook for commercial caterers who
service the educational community.
Providing healthier meals to the school
children will result in caterers passing
along higher food and preparation costs
to the institutions they service.
Event Catering includes everything from
corporate outings and conventions to
Weddings often account for nearly 34% of a
caterer’s annual revenues.
Location, décor, and food quality and
preparation are three of the primary influences
in the selection of a location for an event.
Establishments who offer
catering services often rely
on their relationships with
other third party vendors,
such as table rental and
linen vendors, for the
majority of their catering
According to one senior
catering manager in Las
Vegas, there has been
significant growth, some
caterers realizing over
100%, in the catering
business since 2000.
Take Me Out to the Ball Field
Ballpark catering is a
large component of the
catering industry. One of
the largest players in ball
park catering is
Centerplate with revenues
of over $600 millionEvent
everything from corporate
outings and conventions
merchandise services for
approximately 130 North
Take Me Out to the Ball Field
Centerplate’s approach to ballpark
concessions differs from many in
that it incorporates aspects of the
local institutions into its fares. In
San Francisco, Centerplate has
partnered with Ghirardelli Chocolate,
The Stinking Rose and Gordon
Biersch Brewery to make fans feel at
The Levy Sports and Entertainment
Group is another sports and
entertainment venue caterer that
serves many large venues including
Chicago’s Wrigley Field and U.S.
Cellular Field as well as Indianapolis’
Conseco Field and Louisville’s
Catering equipment is defined as kitchen equipment that
can serve at least 500 people during one shift or coffee shop
Catering equipment market is affected by growth in other
markets including aviation, oil and gas, hospitals, shipping,
railway, educational entities, and industry.
During 2004, Egypt alone realized the addition of 500 coffee
shops contributing to the rising demand of catering
equipment. It is expected that this segment of the catering
equipment industry will grow by 20% over the next five
According to an industry sector analysis report, 40% of the
end users of catering equipment are hotels and restaurants.
Categories of Catering Equipment End Users
and Percentage of the Market
Category % of Market
Hotels & Restaurants 40%
Coffee Shops 30%
Oil & Gas Industry 10%
Educational Entities 4%
Catering to the Future
According to Dr. Marvin Cetron, a professional forecaster of
global trends, the hospitality industry is expected to realize
strong growth in the years ahead due to greater disposable
income and increased international travel.
Internationally, the catering business for U.S. suppliers has
great potential. As new tourist spots are established, the
demand for commercial caterers will continue to grow.
The devaluation of the U.S. dollar in some foreign countries
puts American-based catering businesses at a competitive
Because of the importance of location, décor and food
quality and preparation for the special events industry,
caterers should differentiate themselves through the
inclusion of these qualifications in their advertising
Caterers who service educational entities should
incorporate healthy options into their catering menus and
then incorporate this information into their sales materials
in order to target educational facilities concerned with poor
eating habits of students.
Caterers who service sports and entertainment complexes
should considering a catering approach that leverages
local fare into their catering menus to encourage word-of-
mouth advertisement by satisfied consumers.
Catering equipment suppliers should seek international
opportunities for expansion by incorporating
advertisements for international publications into their
overall advertising strategy.
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2. TV’s attributes of sight, sound,
motion and emotion let you best
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Only television can
The right message
To the right people
At the right time
In the right place!