Catering in Vancouver was a pretty much straightforward affair until the pandemic struck. Same as all industries all over the world, the catering industry had to reinvent itself under the new normality parameters. But different from other industies, the catering industry reinvented under a single premise: How to cater a COVID Safe Party?
Catering is an indispensable part of any event in Vancouver. As a host, the last thing you want is to see your guests leave with utter disappointment, all because you didn’t feed them.
With all the restrictions in social gatherings, it’s hard to fathom how to successfully cater a COVID safe party or events, even those with a limited number of guests.
Your job as an event host is to figure out ways to serve your guests and make them feel satisfied while maintaining health protocols. We’re here to help you go through the challenge of catering a COVID safe party in Vancouver.
1. Organize a Small or Micro Event
In light of the pandemic, hosting events that can accommodate 10-20 guests should suffice. In other words, figure out a way to come up with a smaller guest list.
Fewer guests mean a more convenient way to plan the event, plus it’s easier to social distancing rules.
The type of venue you choose should be large enough for everybody to practice social distancing and the ability to sit in assigned seats. The discipline in sticking to a small guest list allows you to offer excellent food and even better service.
In addition to meeting health and social distancing regulations, hosting a small gathering offers other benefits. For example, with fewer guests competing for your attention – there’s more opportunity to focus on the details. That means you can spend more of your budget on high-quality ambience and a higher-end menu.
2. Consider Single-use Products
Disposable products are a practical solution in addressing COVID-19 concerns since they limit contact. Use disposable catering essentials, i.e., cutlery and barware, so that you can throw them out afterwards.
Aside from the fact that you don’t have to use the dishwasher as often as you’d typically do, it also reduces exposure for all guests and your catering staff. Disposable catering supplies can be used for more than just food. They can also be creatively reused to make a unique presentation that promotes safety.
3. Let Everyone Know about your Commitment to Health and Safety
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is the responsibility of every party host. Cater a COVID safe party should then be the main premise to follow. One practical way to do this is by setting up hand-washing stations where guests and catering staff get convenient and quick access.
Social events and gatherings aren’t exempt from COVID-19, which is why you must ensure the wearing of personal protective equipment at all times. The least you can do is compel everyone to wear a mask; catering staff must be appropriately oriented on food handling.
Proper hygiene and social distancing are critical at any event or party in Vancouver. That means disinfecting regularly and minimizing touching doors, handrails, door handles, buttons on vending machines, etc.
4. Go for an Outdoor Setting.
Outdoor locations are the safest environment for catered events held during the pandemic. Vancouver’s favourable weather gives you enough room to plan everything.
Take advantage of portable catering equipment when organizing an outdoor event, as it’ll help prepare food more efficiently. Even in a Vancouver winter, you can still hold a party outside. Use heated tents, patio heaters, and fire pits. Guests will certainly love the ambience and warm environment.
5. Reassure the Guests with your Stringent Cleaning and Food Handling Procedures
Cleaning and food handling procedures are of crucial importance in this pandemic. Guests want to know how your cleaning standards and protocols work more than ever.
So, it’s your responsibility to give them the details. Send the guests an email containing the cleaning and food handling procedures to be used in the event. It’ll guarantee they need to attend the party with no reservations on health and safety.
6. Be Sure no One is Showing Symptoms of COVID-19
Health is the most crucial factor to consider in giving invitations to the event. If you, anyone in the catering staff, or the intended guests have been in contact with individuals who’ve had the virus, you have no choice but to suspend the event for now.
As much as you want the event to push through, the right decision is to postpone it, even with the slightest possibility of spreading the virus.
7. Ditch the Buffet
The buffet is an all-time favourite when it comes to catering. Unfortunately, it’s the one thing you must avoid in an event or party in the middle of the pandemic.
The reason is quite apparent: buffet-style catering breaks social distancing rules. So, you must improvise by embracing attendant-served food stations. Assign an attendant at every food station; the idea is to have just one person serving the food.
Look into the prospect of using cashier shields and chef-attended food stations, too. These solutions make sense if the goal is to prevent congestion in the food stations.
There are limitations on catering amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but that shouldn’t stop you from organizing a successful event. Keep a balance between the guests’ satisfaction and maximum safety; it’s easier said than done, but if there’s anyone out there who can do it, it’s you.