Organic burger at street food festival up close

There’s a lot at steak (see what we did there?) when planning the menu for your event. 


Whether it’s a food festival, a comedy show, or anything in between, the dishes you serve guests leave a lasting impression about the overall quality of their experience. A menu that is on-theme and on-trend can take your event from dull to delish


In 2024, food and beverage trends for events are leaning heavily towards sustainability, health consciousness, and innovative experiences. Here are some of the hottest trends:

1. Plant-Based Menus

A growing number of Americans are vegan, vegetarian, or veggie curious. Plant-based options are becoming more popular, with a focus on high-quality, creative dishes that appeal to all guests.

2. Non-Alcoholic Options

It’s not just for Dry January anymore. The demand for sophisticated non-alcoholic beverages, including mocktails, artisanal sodas, and non-alcoholic spirits, is on the rise, catering to health-conscious guests and those who prefer not to drink alcohol.

3. Locally Sourced and Seasonal Ingredients

Menus featuring locally sourced, seasonal ingredients are in demand. This not only supports local farmers but also ensures fresher and more flavorful dishes.

4. Functional Beverages

Drinks that offer health benefits, such as kombucha, cold-pressed juices, and beverages infused with adaptogens and CBD, are increasingly popular.

5. Global Flavors

Fusion cuisine and global flavors are trending, with influences from Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American cuisines making their way into event menus.


Two young women laughing while eating food with chopsticks at a night festival

6. Personalized Beverage Experiences

Tailoring beverage offerings to the theme of the event or the preferences of the attendees, is a hot trend right now. Serving a signature cocktail inspired by the band’s hit song at a concert, for example, can help leave a memorable impression on your guests.

7. Interactive Food Stations

Guests enjoy interactive and experiential dining options such as build-your-own stations (tacos, sushi, pasta) and chef action stations where food is prepared fresh on the spot. It’s dinner and a show!

8. Craft Cocktails

Custom craft cocktails, often incorporating local spirits, fresh herbs, and unique flavor combinations, are a hit at events and they have been for a while. Bartender-led cocktail stations where guests can create their own drinks are a newer take on this trend.

9. Gourmet Comfort Food

Elevated versions of comfort foods like gourmet mac and cheese, artisan pizzas, and upscale sliders have been popular for years, and we see no signs of it slowing down anytime soon. It provides the perfect balance of a nostalgic yet sophisticated dining experience.

10. Wine and Beer Tastings

Interactive wine and craft beer tastings led by sommeliers or brewmasters offer a fun and educational experience for guests.

11. Zero-Waste Cooking

Chefs are focusing on zero-waste cooking techniques, utilizing every part of the ingredient to minimize food waste and promote sustainability. (Combine this with zero-waste ticketing or other green practices at your event!)

12. Sustainable Practices

Eco-friendly practices in beverage service, such as using reusable or biodegradable straws and glassware, are becoming standard.

13. Food and Beverage Pairings

Thoughtfully curated food and beverage pairings enhance the overall dining experience. This can include wine and cheese pairings, beer and burger combinations, or even dessert and cocktail pairings.

14. Technology Integrations

Use of technology to enhance the dining experience, such as ordering via apps, augmented reality menus, or digital displays showcasing the origin and sustainability of ingredients.

15. Hybrid Events

As hybrid events continue to grow, the focus is on creating engaging food and beverage experiences for both in-person and virtual attendees. This could include delivering gourmet meal kits to virtual attendees or hosting online mixology classes.

Final Thoughts

The top food and beverage trends in 2024 reflect a broader movement towards personalization, sustainability, and experiential dining, ensuring that guests have memorable and enjoyable culinary experiences at events. And delivering the right kind of experience is critical: when the food and drinks at your event are good, guests will stay longer. They will spend more money. They will tell their friends. And they will purchase tickets again next time you host an event.


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