To say that Lessing’s Hospitality Group is a caterer would be a gross understatement, yet, that’s the frame of reference most well-heeled Hamptonites have of this institution in business for more than 129 years.
It’s no wonder: the toniest fêtes on the East End bear the trademark of Lessing’s, the premier luxury caterer of the region. That said, Lessing’s is so much more. “We’ve been expanding rapidly in the past year, and our portfolio makes it possible for our customers to truly experience one-stop shopping — we’ve really got it all,” says Jennifer Cantin, Lessing’s director of marketing and development. “Our claim to fame is that we deliver remarkable hospitality all the time, and provide each guest with unique, personalized experiences.
Founded in 1890, Lessing’s Hospitality Group is a sixth-generation, family-owned company comprising over 120 locations throughout the Northeast and Florida.
Lessing’s operates 17 wedding and catering venues, 10 full-service restaurants, over 80 corporate and academic dining centers, nine Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza franchises, and a historic inn.
With wedding and event season in full swing, Social Life Magazine asked Cantin to reveal what’s hot — and what’s not — in 2019.
What’s trending in wedding planning this summer?
Without a doubt, sustainable celebrations. More and more, Hamptonites are focused on ensuring their events are environmentally friendly, and that’s great for us because it’s completely aligned with our mission. From reusable straws to bamboo tableware to — believe it or not — eco-friendly gowns, the world is changing. As the company grows, we feel that we need to continue to do our part to ensure that the planet is here for the future.
Is it a tough sell?
Not at all. In fact, sustainability and a focus on local sourcing is at the top of the list of priorities for every event. People are very motivated to support every facet of the local community. Nowadays, it’s unheard of not to integrate a local artisan into your party. From the food you serve to party favors, it’s all local.
Where are you finding the greatest focus and biggest spend at weddings this season?
Cocktail hours and after parties, where everything is craft or hyper local. Wow factors like pretzel walls and interactive s’mores stations. We are also seeing a decline in passed hors d’oeuvres and a concentration on upgraded food-stations focused on local purveyors, like the bakery around the corner or the local cheese maker. All these things serve a triple purpose: they are unique and pop with a wow factor; they promote local businesses; and they make for great photos. By the way, neon signs with hashtags are quite a thing.
You are an expert, so tell us: Is it gauche for guests to post photos of a wedding before the bride chooses her photos?
Well, one of the biggest trends I’ve seen is Instagram hashtags on everything from signs to napkins to balloons to invitations. I think it’s the opposite: party-throwers are begging you to promote them!
So that begs the question: Is there anything that’s over the top?
Nope! I was at a wedding recently that featured a Bubbly Bus that served four local sparkling wines. If you can think of it, it can actually happen. You may need a little help from Lessing’s, but no request is outside the realm of possibility.
Lessing’s Hospitality Group