Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 11,600 caterers in the US provide food and beverage services for a variety of events, including weddings, parties, luncheons, and trade shows. Additional services include equipment (tables, chairs, dinnerware) rental, floral/centerpiece design, and event planning/design. Weddings account for about half of industry revenue, corporate events are about a third, and social events are 20%.

Competition from Alternative Sources

Caterers compete with a variety of alternative sources, including restaurants and food retailers, such as warehouse clubs and grocery stores.

Seasonal, Uneven Demand

Demand for catering services can be seasonal and uneven, driven by holiday events and special occasions.

Industry size & Structure

The average caterer operates out of a single location, employs 13 workers, and generates about $1 million annually.

    • The catering industry consists of about 11,600 companies that employ about 154,900 workers and generate about $12 billion annually.
    • The industry is highly fragmented; the top 50 firms account for 15% of industry sales.
    • Some large restaurant chains offer catering services.
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Caterers Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Coronavirus Update

                                    Apr 29, 2022 - Food Prices Skyrocket
                                    • Food prices have been rising since mid-2021, but they are expected to increase further amid the Ukraine war and rising interest rates. On a seasonally adjusted basis, US food manufacturers’ prices rose 1.5% in March 2022 compared to the prior month, but unadjusted food prices grew 14.6% over March 2021, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. While foodservice firms have tended to increase their prices as food costs rise, firms and their customers are not likely to get much relief. Food-away-from-home prices are expected to rise between 5.5% and 6.5% for all of 2022 compared to 2021, according to the food price outlook released in March by the US Department of Agriculture.
                                    • In February 2022, 6% of accommodation and food services workers quit or left their jobs, the highest percentage of any US industry sector. In speaking about the overall level of quits in February, Daniel Zhao, senior economist at the career site Glassdoor, said, “These quits are still extremely high, and that shows the Great Resignation is still in full swing.”
                                    • New COVID-19 cases are decreasing nationally, leading to increased demand for catering services. In late April 2022, the CDC announced that according to the agency’s research, about 60% of the US population had been infected with COVID-19 by February 2022. Some medical experts suggest the high rate of infection and the resulting increase in immunity among the US population may signal a new phase where infections cause less and less severe illness.
                                    • After two years of reduced spending due to the pandemic, the wedding industry is expected to stage a massive comeback in 2022, a potential boon for consumer products rental companies. According to The Wedding Report, the number of US weddings in 2022 is expected to reach nearly 2.47 million, nearly double the number in 2020 and the largest number of weddings since 1984. Total wedding industry sales in 2022 are forecast to reach more than $60 billion, up from $43.5 billion in 2021 and more than double 2020’s sales of $25.7 billion.
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