The world has changed. What will F+B service look like in the coming years?
How will food and beverage (F&B) services evolve in the post-pandemic? It’s an important question for the meeting and events community, and one that the Palais des congrès de Montreal has spent recent months considering as it moves closer to a “new normal”.
“Food is life. Not only is it vital for our bodies to survive, it’s also a vital part of how we gather. Nobody knows this more than event professionals, whose very purpose is to ensure meaningful collective moments,” says [name] with the Palais. “And while many things have changed over the past year, two things remain constant: we still love to gather and we still love to eat.”
So what will food service actually look like moving forward? Here are some things the Palais has cooking:
Enhanced safety measures: Health risks and anxieties are likely to linger beyond COVID-19. Recognizing this, the Palais has implemented new protocols within its kitchen and serving areas to mitigate these risks, whether plans call for a lunchbox order, sit-down experience, or refreshment break. These enhanced health and safety measures are part of the venue’s PROGRESS program, which stands for the Palais Reopening Operating Guide to Running Events with Safety Standards.
Tailored, turn-key F&B options: If there’s one thing the pandemic has re-enforced, it’s the need to be adaptable. To that end, the Palais is ensuring meeting and event organizers have a wide range of options for feeding their guests, including bento-style boxes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner that include quick, grab-and-go items or gastronimic meals with appetizers, main courses, and desserts. Other options include more formal dining events, plated food, or assisted buffets, in which staff helps maintain sanitary protocols.
On-site sourcing: The Palais prides itself on providing meals inspired by regional flavours and made with local ingredients, and that won’t change in the years to come. Beyond harvesting fresh ingredients from its rooftop garden, the venue is home to Canada’s first urban rooftop vineyard. And, as one of the first urban agriculture labs in the country, chef Simon Devost-Dulude and his team harvest more than two tons of fruit and vegetables each year.
A sustainable focus: The Palais has long been committed to sustainable F&B practices, and this focus will only continue. The venue is accredited by several industry programs that encourage and monitor sustainable food practices, including Fourchette Bleue, which promotes the discovery of succulent regional seafood products and adopting eating habits that facilitate responsible consumption; and Ocean Wise Seafood, an ocean protection program created to educate consumers and industry businesses on issues related to fishing and aquaculture. Additionally, the venue utilizes compostable boxes and utensils as part of its ongoing efforts to minimize F&B waste.
Unwavering quality: Enhanced safety measures and adapted practices won’t come at the cost of quality or selection at the Palais. Planning ahead, chef Simon Devost-Dulude and the team remain dedicated to providing a rich selection of quality, organic, and delicious meals. Popular highlights include red wine braised beef short rib, Nagano pork tenderloin medallions with Oka cheese, honey and Rouge Gorge vermouth demi-glace, Fennel and citrus roasted cod, roasted fillet of salmon with boreal spices, and other unique and appealing dishes.
The “new normal” is still coming into focus, but one thing is clear: food will always be a factor for success in meetings and events. For venues like the Palais, that meets preparing for the heightened expectations and challenges ahead, while never losing focus on quality.
“The Palais understands that our guests love good food, which is why we have always placed food at the heart of their offering. From a rooftop garden to an onsite chef, the Palais is constantly innovating how food and events interact with one another,” says [rep].
For more information on food services at Palais des congrès de Montréal, visit their website or reach out to the Palais team: firstname.lastname@example.org/ And for more insights into the future of F&B programs, read 6 Food and beverage trends to watch for in 2021.