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Fast-Food Weddings Becoming More Popular Than You Think

LOS ANGELES, December 18, 2012 () – When it comes to weddings, I’ve seen just about every kind of food and drink setup there is. Open bar, cash bar, buffet dinner, sit-down dinner, hors d’oeuvres served by waiters, hors d’oeuvres laid out on tables. I’ve seen filet mignon served as an appetizer, and I’ve been to a wedding reception held at a park with barbecue ribs and chicken served on paper plates.

But at a recent wedding I went to, I saw a food and beverage setup that seemed more popular than anything listed above:

A wedding reception catered by In N’ Out Burger.

For the first time ever, I was at a wedding—or any such large party, for that matter—that was catered by a fast-food establishment. An In N’ Out “Cookout Trailer” was parked right outside the festivities and people could go up and enjoy all-you-can eat hamburgers, cheeseburgers and the burger chain’s best-known item: The Double-Double.

Although it was my first experience going to an event catered by a fast-food chain, the concept is growing in popularity. According to a recent study by Technomic Inc., 20% of U.S. consumers now consider fast-food restaurants a source for at-home catered occasions, compared to just 7% in 2009.

The increase in popularity makes sense. Fast-food chains have always been popular among consumers. They’re often utilized for smaller gatherings (how many times have you ordered pizza for a party at your home?), and having an event catered by a quick-service establishment would likely be far cheaper than other options such as sit-down dinners and fancy hors d’oeuvres.

There’s likely fear among many consumers of being considered cheap if their event is laded with fast food. But with today’s continued troubling economy and fast food’s popularity, the stigma is clearly becoming less of a roadblock.

Nevin Barich is the Food & Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence Inc. He loved eating In N’ Out at a wedding reception even more than eating filet mignon. He can be reached at

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