How to plan a safe catered holiday event during COVID

November 25, 2020Lauren Windle

With holidays just ahead, you can absolutely plan a safe corporate or private holiday event. We have been doing this very thing over the past several months, and we know the rules.

We also know what works and what doesn’t. We want your guests to feel safe while following all applicable state and CDC guidelines.

The first order of business, say experts, is to make sure your guests feel safe enough to attend. Towards that end, here is our protocol:

Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering will:

  • Have staff wear gloves and masks during all prep and serve
  • Keep food covered and at ideal temperatures after prep and before serving
  • Display food under protective shields to prevent contamination
  • Food will be served with tongs and utensils handled by masked server at all times
  • Individual-sized appetizers available as much as possible
  • Use single-use disposable dishware and glasses unless otherwise asked.

Event space will:

  • Be set up to assure maximum space between tables and each guest
  • Common areas (such as bars, restrooms and coat check) will be marked with 6-foot guide icons to keep patrons from unintentional exposure to others
  • Barware and alcohol handled by gloved and masked bar managers only.
  • Outdoor areas, entrances and exits marked for safety of guests.

Of course, we know there really are no hard and fast answers, and serving alcohol to those enjoying a holiday party makes guest behavior slightly riskier. With that in mind, we recommend:

  • Asking several good friends to help talk to guests engaging in behavior that puts others at risk
  • If you have an MC or DJ, ask them to periodically remind guests to keep safety a priority.
  • Making sure your event space is right for the crowd. You want guests to be able to safely distance.
  • Using available outside space is always a good idea.

Even during a pandemic, some catering rules will always be paramount for us:       

  • Guests will forgive an event that could have had another restroom or two, but they will always remember how good the food was -- or wasn’t. That’s why we never skimp on food quality.
  • We never run out of food. This is a cardinal rule at Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering.
  • Presentation of food matters. A lot. Food should always look (and taste) luscious, fresh, and be served at the right temperature.
  • Planning how bar and appetizer table traffic flows at an event is especially important now. Nobody wants to stand waiting for a drink at a crowded bar for 25 minutes.

The holidays are coming up fast. So if you have a holiday party in mind, there are still plenty of great venues in town with open dates in November, December and New Year’s Eve.



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