Planning an Event During a Global Pandemic
Saying the pandemic has hit the Food and Beverage industry hard, would be an understatement. So many questions with very vague answers from government officials. All restaurants/bars are doing the best they can to follow these guidelines to start bringing in a steadier influx of revenue, but it has not been easy. Face masks have become a requirement everywhere in the state of South Carolina; servers, bartenders, and kitchen employees are always required to wear a face mask during their shifts and during any interaction with guests as well as having their temperature checked upon arrival. So, we know our staff are being safe, but what about our customers? Are they following the guidelines before, during, and after their visit? The answer is open-ended because we all want to hope that they are but unfortunately, we are not certain. So that being said how does one safely plan an event during COVID?
How do you safely plan/cater and event by adhering to all guidelines?
Although it is not necessarily a hard feat to follow social distancing guidelines some events, it can be difficult when delivering a large event. At Lucky 17 we pride ourselves on ensuring that our staff is adhering to the CDC guidelines, but what about the clients we are interacting with? There are several steps you and your guests can take during the event such as wearing masks, maintaining a 6ft distance and opting for a pre-plated or boxed meal.
While you and your guests enjoy the event our you can rest assured that our staff is going above and beyond the CDC Guidelines. Being a Catering Director, I am interacting with the public daily; visiting all types of businesses from car dealerships to doctors’ offices and everything in between to spread the word about Lucky 17’s experience-driven catering and event services. Since I cannot expect anyone I meet with to follow the rules if I am not setting an example myself; I wear my mask during meetings, sanitize my hands religiously, and make sure any surface I encounter has been sanitized and hand-shakes have become a thing of the past so we greet each other with an elbow bump or just a casual verbal introduction.
The measures we take may seem a little extreme to the untrained eye but we do this for the good of our community: we know that if we take social distancing seriously now we will be able to continue gathering as a community. From start to finish, all kitchen members are wearing face masks as well as the delivery drivers and front of house staff. Kitchen members are wearing single-use gloves that are changed after each item has been touched and or prepared as well as sanitizing and washing hands. All kitchen utensils from knives, cutting boards, and all equipment are cleaned and sanitized multiple times throughout the day and especially after each time of being used. All of our staff members are made sure to be fever/symptom-free and are advised to stay home if feeling unwell. We care about our guests and team members and want everyone to feel safe when they walk through the door.
Can Lucky 17 still cater my event?
Absolutely. We know here at Lucky 17 Catering that our team has taken all safety measures seriously and we know the quality of food we produce is coming from a clean and safe kitchen. The question may arise of “have you not always taken these precautions?” and it is an easy response – of course, we have! But while living and working during a global pandemic, it has made us more aware and cautious with the things we do. Soon enough, this virus may disappear, but our safety standards never will.
That all being said, here are some things you can incorporate into your event with Lucky 17 to help protect your guests:
Serve Boxed Meals
While our staff takes precautions in the kitchen and while serving, buffets still heavily expose your guests to germs. A way around this is to offer boxed or pre-plated meals for your guests. By doing this you eliminate contact in the buffet line and germs spreading through sharing of serving utensils.
At Lucky 17 Catering we can put together custom boxed meals that do not disappoint. A common concern when ordering boxed foods is that the food won’t be hot or fresh or that presentation will lack; this is not the case with our team since we box to order and box them with the care that we would plate food with.
Host Your Event Outside
Studies have shown that COVID is less transmittable in outdoor venues so to keep your guests safe at your next event, host it outside. Lucky 17 has access to several patios that we can book for your event. Additionally, we have three food trucks that can come to you with a variety of cuisines!
Offer a Virtual Menu
Offering a virtual menu gives guests a way to order food and drinks contact free! This is something that Lucky 17 Catering is able to offer at all of our events.
Use Assigned Seating
By assigning seats you can distance your guests throughout the venue and help prevent the spread of germs by limiting contact. Additionally spacing out guests at your event allows you to monitor lines for food (or if you choose to have servers).
This pandemic has been hard on us all so its time to come together and heal as a community. At Lucky 17 Catering we are here to make that happen safely with proper social-distancing and sanitizing procedures in place. So whether you’re planning an extravagant wedding or just lunch for the office we are here for you.
Lauren Loo Suzanne Fisher
Director of Catering – Lucky 17 Restaurants