avocadosOur love for avocados shows no signs of slowing down, especially since it’s a fruit anyone can eat, vegetarians and vegans alike. But the summer heatwave in California may threaten our local crop in 2019, making it difficult for the average foodie and restaurant caterer alike.

Modern restaurants across the globe are beginning to cater to vegan-friendly options. An estimated 43% of people respect vegans for their lifestyle choices, according to the UK Vegan Society. As such, many restaurants should try to find popular food options that work for vegans and non-vegans to appeal to the most people.

While avocados seem like the obvious choice with their widespread popularity, we might be out luck purchasing the desirable fruit next year, at least in the United States.

After the summer heatwave that wracked California, one of the major producers for avocados and lemons in the U.S. claims that avocado harvest for 2019 will be much smaller than usual, resulting in higher prices.

Before 2018, Limoneira expected a crop of 10 million pounds throughout the year. In 2019, the company projects a stark decline, rounding out at about 6.3 million pounds.

As such, we’ll either have to fork over a little extra money or spoon up new options.

Luckily, there are vegan alternatives to many popular food options. Bacon, cheese, and chocolates are just some of the popular foods vegans have replaced.

For the catering industry, luckily, the newest trend is creating a truly unique experience.

Everyone wants delicious food, but for a special event, more guests care about the experience than the food. Of course, vegan-friendly options are a must, but utilizing unique preparations, trendy displays, and out-of-this-world options are quickly becoming staples in the restaurant and catering industry.

This can be difficult for some caterers. The average catering party will serve between 100 and 250 people so using a blend of these experiences may work to their advantage.

While some caterers are utilizing cooked-to-order food stations, others are combining this strategy with buffet-style serving.

“People realize that traditional seating, whether it’s a wedding, a family reunion or a company event, means you’ll be locked-in with the same 10 people at the table. With features like ‘action stations,’ where staff prepares food to-order, you’re out and about, interacting and being part of the energy,” notes one caterer, Scott Kuhn of Driftwood Restaurants in Cleveland.

Meanwhile, Catering by Verba’s showcases a unique twist on the classic snack bar.

“Our ‘donut wall,’ something we built, goes up nearby our coffee station. People walk up, take whatever donuts they want, then grab a coffee and take it back to their table to enjoy,” said the owner, Joe Verba.

Creating a unique eating experience can bring your party from boring to bustling. You might just need to leave out the avocados.

Just be sure to stock up on 200 napkins for every 15 guests at your event.

Even though avocados might not be in your 2019 budget, luckily, there are countless ways to make vegan food fun even when you’re stuck to a tight budget.

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