The food service industry is divided into two sectors: commercial and non-commercial. Commercial food service establishments accounted for the majority of food expenses outside the home. This category includes full-service restaurants, fast food establishments, catering companies, some coffee shops, and other places that prepare, serve, and sell food to the general public for profit. Some are located inside facilities that are not primarily dedicated to dispensing meals and snacks, such as lodging facilities, recreational facilities, and retail stores.
Schools and nursing homes are types of non-commercial food service establishments, and these establishments are often referred to as institutional food service facilities. The following trends relate to the changing nature of food and beverage establishments, including the growing importance of the third space and the increase in the widespread presence of non-permanent locations, such as street vendors and pop-up restaurants. Catering businesses (whether local or in special locations) face the challenge of the episodic nature of events and of issues related to food handling and food safety when it comes to large groups. Also known as “market-oriented food services”, this category represents the majority of consumer spending on food and beverage products outside the home.
Statements like these are further proof that food and beverage service trends are dynamic and constantly changing. In addition to having to focus on the changing needs of guests and on the specific challenges of their own businesses, food and beverage operators must address trends and issues that affect the entire industry. The main distinction is the division between commercial food services and non-commercial food services. Consumer awareness of the origin and distribution of food has created a movement that defends sustainable, locally grown food.