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Catering During COVID

We keep encouraging our clients to persevere with their events to firstly keep our suppliers in business and secondly keep their clients up to date with their business. Talking with many of them over the last couple of weeks, many of them are nervous to carry out their own events internally and are unsure how to approach the catering side of their events. We loved Abby Borden’s points when it came to catering in the strict lockdown of the USA:

* Appoint a COVID trained catering company

* Have the wait staff where gloves

* Goodbye, buffets! Waiting your turn in a social distancing appropriate line to serve yourself is unlikely. I think stations with pre-packaged items are more likely, encouraging “grab and go”

* Consider individual servings of morning tea or afternoon tea prepared to hand out small plates

* Similarly, lines at the bar will have to be expedited. Perhaps the pre-batched cocktails found on recent take-out menus will follow us to events!Staff wearing masks and gloves. Event teams are going to get creative—think black or coloured gloves and masks to match the theme of the evening, so the guest experience doesn’t feel overly sanitized.

* Seated dinners may convert to cabaret-type setups. This could be intimate tables of two, rather than sitting with strangers, all facing the stage, at least 5 feet away from the row in front. Guests won’t have to say “excuse me” while squeezing in between chairs.

* Plate covers and cloches won’t just be utilized in a “Beauty and the Beast” montage! These may be brought back for seated dinners to “protect” food from kitchen into dining areas

Some challenges to consider with these actions:

* We can’t expect guests to wear masks if they’re going to be eating

* How do we make prepackaged items still look appetising – get creative and use Pinterest

* How will all the extra protection – masks, gloves, plastic wrap and boxes – affect our environment? Packaging and disposables generate a lot of additional waste, just when the industry has made moves to support sustainability!

What’s coming for 2020 world wide

* Bento boxes!  If you look at these on Pinterest, you will find they can be themed, include cute characters and offer beautifully arranged food art. Bento boxes would offer a fully curated meal for each guest that is appetizing for both the eyes and stomach.

* The development of apps for events for bar service, coffee ordering – check out Nespresso’s new app driven event machine

* Smaller, intimate events. This encourages guests to dine out again in venues while supporting local businesses that will already have precautionary measures built in.

Marianne Edmonds

LOUD talent:
Killer budgets, security, fencing, moving thousands of people, moving immovable things – logistics are Marianne’s forte. Good job she can talk under wet cement.

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