What is Retail Catering: What You Need To Know

As the world continues to change unprecedentedly, so do our culinary tastes and preferences. In Canada, a culinary revolution is taking place, and retail catering is at the forefront of this transformation. 

This rapidly growing industry is catering to and shaping a nation’s palates with its promises of convenience, sustainability, and high-quality food. 

From small-scale startups to established players like Big City Catering, the industry is booming, offering innovative solutions to meet the evolving needs of customers.

In this article, we will explore what retail catering is, its impact on Canadian food culture, and everything you need to know.

What is Retail Catering?

Retail catering is a unique food service that goes beyond just preparing food and aims to provide an all-encompassing experience. It combines the convenience and accessibility of a retail environment with the finesse of gourmet cuisine. 

Big City Catering is a good example of this hybrid approach, creating experiences that are more than just about food. 

Experts in the hospitality industry recognize the creativity and ingenuity that retail catering brings to traditional dining. 

It allows consumers to enjoy restaurant-quality food in the comfort of their own chosen venue, whether it’s an office, a small gathering at home, or a grand celebration.

What Does Retail Catering Look Like?

The beauty of retail catering lies in its versatility. It can manifest in countless ways, each tailored to the specific needs of the retail space and its clientele. 

Here are some common examples:

1. Event and Corporate Catering

Event and Corporate Catering is a type of catering that is customized to meet the needs of various events, from corporate meetings and conferences to personal celebrations like weddings and birthdays. This type of catering is versatile and can adapt to different scales and styles of events, providing customized menu options and services that cater to the specific requirements of each occasion. Big City Catering, located in Toronto, is known for its commitment to creating memorable culinary experiences for a wide array of events. Whether it’s a formal corporate gathering, a festive holiday party, or a casual BBQ event, Big City Catering brings the same level of expertise and attention to detail with the understanding that food is more than just a meal – it’s an integral part of the event experience, a way to connect and engage people.

2. In-store Cafés and Coffee Shops

In-store cafés and coffee shops are popular in bookstores, department stores, or large retail spaces. They offer a place for shoppers to relax with a cup of coffee or a light snack. These operations typically focus on quick service and a comfortable atmosphere.

3. Food Courts in Shopping Malls

Food courts are a staple in most shopping malls, offering a variety of cuisines and fast-food options. They cater to a wide range of tastes and are designed for quick service and high foot traffic.

4. Full-Service Restaurants

Some larger retail outlets house full-service restaurants. These establishments offer a complete dining experience with a diverse menu, allowing shoppers to enjoy a meal without leaving the retail environment.

5. Pop-Up Eateries

Temporary and often themed, pop-up eateries offer a unique dining experience that aligns with seasonal events, promotions, or trending cuisines. They are a great way to create buzz and attract customers.

6. Gourmet Food Shops

These operations specialize in high-end gourmet foods and delicacies. They often offer a range of artisanal cheeses, handcrafted chocolates, and other specialty products.

7. Bakery and Pastry Shops

Located within or adjacent to retail spaces, these shops offer freshly baked goods, pastries, and sweet treats, often focusing on artisanal and handcrafted products.

8. Ethnic Cuisine Outlets

Offering specific ethnic foods, these outlets cater to diverse cultural tastes and often introduce customers to new culinary experiences.

Each type of retail catering operation plays a unique role in enhancing the shopping experience and meeting the diverse culinary needs of shoppers. 

Retail Catering Is Convenience Redefined

A collective appetite for convenience is redefining the realm of retail catering without compromising on health or sustainability. 

Forecasters predict a rise in emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, plant-based options, and eco-friendly practices, with technology playing a pivotal role in streamlining operations. Such forward-thinking approaches are the undercurrents propelling Big City Catering towards a flavorful future.

The Rise of Retail Catering and The Benefits it Offers

Are you wondering if retail catering is on the rise and experiencing such a surge in popularity? Several factors contribute to its appeal:


One of the primary reasons for the increasing popularity of retail catering is its convenience factor. In today’s fast-paced lifestyles, people have limited time to spend on shopping and eating out. Retail catering offers a solution to this by providing ready-to-eat options without requiring customers to leave the store. This saves time and effort, making it a preferred option for many.


Another reason for the popularity of retail catering is the wide variety of cuisines and styles it offers. Customers can choose from an extensive range of foods, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and other dietary options. This variety caters to different dietary needs and preferences, making it a popular choice among customers.

Enhanced Experience

Retail catering provides an enhanced shopping experience by making food an integral part of it. Delicious food options are available in the store, making shopping more enjoyable and memorable. Customers can take a break from shopping to enjoy a quick snack or meal, making the overall experience more pleasant.


Corporate catering also offers the benefit of customization. Individuals, businesses and families can tailor the food options for their celebrations and parties to meet the dietary needs and preferences of all guests without breaking a sweat. This ensures that everyone has access to food that suits their needs, which can lead to a healthier and happier celebration.

The Menus Are Always Captivating

The menus of a retail caterer are a work of art featuring a variety of flavours and textures. Companies like Big City Catering offer extensive catering services, from wedding banquets to corporate luncheons. 

Their ability to provide an inspired selection of meals showcases the richness and complexity of retail catering. With a sincere commitment to offering something for everyone, they are a prime example of catering excellence in every bite.

Retail Catering for Special Events

Retail catering can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any special occasion, be it a wedding, a corporate event, or a birthday celebration. From hors d’oeuvres to desserts, caterers like Big City Catering can create a menu that is both visually stunning and delicious. We can customize the menu to suit the theme and preferences of the guests and ensure that every dish is prepared with the freshest ingredients and utmost care.

Whether it’s a formal sit-down dinner or a casual buffet-style service, retail catering can make any special event memorable and enjoyable. The caterers can also take care of the setup, service, and cleanup so that the hosts can relax and enjoy the festivities. With attention to detail and commitment to quality, retail caterers can turn any special event into a culinary masterpiece.

Satisfy Every Culinary Aspiration with Big City Catering

Big City Catering is a catering company that has established itself as a leader in the Canadian culinary scene, offering exceptional taste, quality, and innovation. We provide top-tier catering services for events, both big and small, and are known for their retail wonderland and on-demand gourmet experiences.

If you’re looking for premium catering services that offer exclusivity and convenience, you can visit Big City Catering’s website or speak with our expert team for an unforgettable event. A conversation with their expert team could be the beginning of a truly unforgettable event.

Final Thoughts

Retail catering is no longer a niche fad; it’s a powerful trend reshaping the way we eat, shop, and work. By understanding its diverse forms and its growing potential, both corporate clients and individual consumers can unlock a world of culinary convenience and experience. So, the next time you find yourself strolling through a store, keep an eye out for the tantalizing aroma of freshly prepared food – you might just stumble upon a hidden gem of retail catering.