How to Host Catering Events During COVID-19: A Guide
Over a year later, COVID-19 is still impacting how we all gather together to see friends, family, and colleagues. But it's getting safer as cases drop and people are getting vaccinated.
As COVID-19 cases drop, you'll soon be going out and about trying to get back to what our "normal" lives used to look like.
You'll be heading to the gym, gathering with friends, and attending different events. You may even be heading back into the office! While doing all these things, it's still important to stay as safe as you can!
When the world opens up again, you'll most likely be dying to host an event and see people you haven't seen in ages.
Did you get married, and now you want to throw a post-wedding event? Did you have a baby, and now you want to throw a post-baby shower? Maybe you moved, and you want to have a housewarming to show your friends your cute new home.
Catering events during COVID-19 maybe a little scary at first, but you can be sure your event is as safe as possible with the tips below.
Guidelines for Catering Events During COVID-19
Although cases may be declining, they have not vanished. It is still crucial to follow all local CDC guidelines in your area when planning an event.
Currently, the CDC recommends avoiding large gatherings like sports events and concerts. They do not advise against small gatherings but instead advise on following safety protocols to reduce the spread.
For more information on COVID-19, where you are located, the CDC local health departments give valuable information.
In addition to following the protocols of your local ordinance, there are a few other steps you can take to ensure you and your loved ones are staying safe. When hosting a small gathering, maintain social distancing everywhere possible.
As the host, you should also provide any sanitary supplies like hand sanitizer and extra masks. These should be placed on tables, near the entrance, in the restrooms, at the bar, and in other populated areas.
The World Health Organization provides more information on organizing a small gathering and what essential steps should be taken before people arrive.
Consider the Risk Factors
When it comes to hosting events during COVID-19, there are many different factors that you have to take into consideration.
Be sure to look at the COVID case rate in the area. Decide if now is the right time based on whether cases are on the rise or declining.
To find your county and the case counts, check out Worldometer for daily updates.
Invite friends from areas in which they can travel by car. Flying to get to your event may pose more of a risk for you or others who attend the gathering. Potentially think about asking those who may attend your gathering to get a negative COVID test before coming.
Additionally, choose your event venue carefully to reduce the risk of COVID spread.
Choosing the Venue
There is no more sure-fire way to increase the spread of COVID-19 than hosting a large indoor event where attendees may be wandering without a mask. Do your best to avoid hosting indoor gatherings.
Luckily, Spring is right around the corner, and outdoor venues will be more comfortable than ever. Because of COVID, more and more places are offering outdoor venues as well.
Once you've chosen the outdoor venue, you will host your event; you can start planning for the space setup.
The Event Space
Your event area is probably going to look more spaced out than it would have a year ago. It may even have different seating options or additional restrooms than it would have had a year ago.
But that's okay! It means your event space is safe to host a gathering during COVID.
When thinking about how to set up your seating, think outside of the box. Instead of round tables, you could set up a lounge area that is more spaced out but still in a round shape to aid safe conversing. Think about also providing hand sanitizers and extra tissues on each table for guests to use.
Instead of a buffet, hire a catering service that can walk around with individualized food portions on trays, so no one is serving themselves. Serve cocktails to guests instead of setting up a bar they'll have to line up at.
It would help if you also thought strategically about the entrance to the event. Try to create separate exits and entrances to avoid guests walking too closely together.
Practice Social Distancing
In addition to setting up your event space for seating arrangements, you also need to consider restroom spaces and other areas.
Let's be honest with ourselves. Your guests are not going to be sitting the entire time. Because of this, your job is to remind guests to be as safe as possible while moving around.
Place strategic social distancing signs around your event that are easy to see. You should also post walkway directions, so traffic is one-way.
Near the restroom, place a sign that tells guests the limit of people who should be in the bathroom at once. This will decrease the likelihood of crowding.
If you have a bar set up at your event, you should also make it known where guests should stand to maintain distance properly. You can use markers on the ground here to keep them safe.
Plan Your Entertainment
This may be the best part of planning for an event that you will be hosting. However, with COVID, there need to be extra precautions taken.
Dancing is not recommended because attendees' assumed proximity may or may not be wearing a mask on the dance floor.
Instead, opt for something more relaxing or entertaining for your guests from afar.
To entertain your guests, you could have a small local band perform to keep the ambiance upbeat. You could also hire a comedian to have a performance mid-event, keeping your guests entertained from the safety of their seats.
Choose Your Catering Company
With COVID-19 severely impacting the restaurant and catering industries, companies have had to adapt to different ways of doing things.
The one thing you want to avoid during an event is the possibility of contamination from self-serve buffet setups. If you choose to have a buffet, the catering staff should be the only ones handling the food.
It would be best if you talked with your catering company to discuss other options to keep everyone safe while at the gathering. Instead of a buffet, you could serve your guests with a prefixed menu, or staff can wander around with trays.
If you are in the New York City area or New Jersey, David Alan Caterers are ready to host your next event. They even have their Marketplace that can be rented out for your event.
Communicate to Guests
When planning an event during COVID-19, more communication with guests needs to occur. Before the gathering, consider emailing out guidelines, restrictions, and expectations to all guests who have told you they are coming.
This communication will deter anyone unwilling to follow the guidelines you have set and settle others' anxieties. It will also give people a heads up about what to expect when they arrive at your event.
Consider telling guests that masks will be required for entry and during the event unless seated. The CDC provides an outline for masks that could be included in your event communication plan.
Increased communication during COVID-19 is crucial to the safety of your gathering.
Are You Ready to Host?
If you're ready to take that leap and live as you did a year ago, contact David Alan Caterers to book your catering now! Catering events during COVID-19 may look different than those before, but David Alan Caterers will work with you to prepare your special event. We have unique food selections, a bar if you opt for that, and any other services you may need for your next event during COVID.
Whether you are looking to host an event for the baby you had during quarantine, your best friend's proposal, or your child's birthday party, David Alan Caterers chooses their menus accordingly. We only use pure and sustainable ingredients, so our menus will not disappoint.
If you're not on board with some of our options, we'll help you customize your menu.
Your gathering will be everything you wanted because of the precautions you and the catering company took.