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Guide To Plan Food And Drink Stations At Events During COVID-19

26 01 2021

By Kirti Khanna

Kirti Khanna is Toronto based event marketing strategist and writer who watches event trends across the globe closely. She loves to research and is passionate to share her thoughts with the world in innovative ways!

The pandemic has changed the entire world. We are now living in the era of ‘new normal’ where every single event and activity of our lives must be organized in such a way that we stay safe from the deadly virus. Initially, there were strict lockdown situations, and every social gathering must be canceled. Now, the situation has slightly improved with the decrease in the severity of the virus. The availability of the vaccine is also contributing to making our lives return to normalcy. However, the rules of hygiene and social distancing have to be maintained strictly to ensure every person’s safety when we plan any social gathering event where food plays a crucial role.

Experts clearly say that the COVID-19 virus is not transmitted through food, but food safety is one of the biggest concerns when an event is planned nowadays. You have to implement the best measures to ensure your guests’ health safety and take all necessary precautions. Here is the precise guide on setting the food and drink stations at events organized during the pandemic.

Changing The Cocktail Hour Trend

Cocktail hour is the very first opportunity to serve edibles to your guests. The pre-pandemic period witnessed this hour when every guest gathered around the bar and snack stalls. Now, the guests need to be served with utmost care and efficiency. Adhering to the social distancing regulations will be the best way to avoid allowing the guests to roam in the room (or hall) and visiting different food stations.

Serving the snacks in small packages or individually prepared plates will be a safer and more convenient option. Caterers are well aware of the changes required in this pandemic situation, and they are well equipped with serving staff to ensure the smooth handling of the cocktail hour requirements. Mini individual cheese boards or individual crudités can prove to be helpful options in managing the cocktail hour service with ease.

The Bar Service Guidelines

A screen made of plexiglass has become mandatory for bar counters at any event. It is to ensure the health safety of the bartender as well as the guests. Wearing a mask may not always be possible when the guests are drinking. Therefore, it is necessary that we adopt other effective measures to ensure health and hygiene.

You can change the traditional bar set-ups and start serving beverages on the table for the guests. The caterers only have to arrange for extra service staff so that you can treat every guest with perfection. It helps in preventing crowds around the drinks stations and helps maintain social distancing norms. So, the butler style serving of beverages can be the best way to organize drinks stations at your event. Guests can remain seated in their respective places, and the butlers will help them with the beverages of their choice or according to the availability.

Plated Meals – Safer Than Buffet Style

We have to prepare ourselves to adjust to the system of plated meals. Buffet style enables the guests to choose the dishes of their choice, but when health safety becomes the primary concern, we have to compromise the choice and comfort issues.

Experts believe that plated meals are the safest as they require the least use of repeated utensils like spoons or tongs. As the meals are plated in the kitchen and then directly served to the guests individually, safety can be assured. However, family-style meal arrangements can also be considered when the guests are closely acquainted.

The Dessert Issue

It is better to avoid any separate dessert stations. In case your plan is to set-up individual dessert stalls, make sure that the entire system is well managed. Guests standing in queues and maintaining enough between them will be perfect. You can ask your catering service provider to deploy enough staff to ensure the lines are appropriately maintained. However, the idea of serving pre-plated desserts is the best option.

Bottomline

Planning for food and drink stations is one of the most crucial parts of the entire event. When you can ensure thorough social distancing and other health safety measures, any event can be made successful and safe for both the host and the guests. We have to keep in mind that we are going through challenging periods as this pandemic has forced us to stay away from social gatherings. When any social event becomes unavoidable, it is best to adhere to the rules to keep everyone safe.




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