How to Cater to Client’s Needs as Amazing Events Make a Comeback
As the world returns to a sense of normalcy, the food and event industry is following suit. People are eager to get back to pre-pandemic celebrations and events, and the vast amount of event cancellations in 2020 caused an even busier year for vendors countrywide. As this happens, it is important to be up to date on the latest changes and trends that have occurred as a result and transform the way we cater to clients’ needs.
A common trend we are seeing is a change in the size of events. Many are opting for smaller, more intimate events- what used to consist of 100 guests, may now include 30 or so. However, smaller does not have to mean more casual. If anything, the money saved from inviting fewer guests is now being used to make events more extravagant than before.
Big events are not completely out of style, though; many are still having larger events with 100+ people. With that, outdoor events are seeing an uptick in popularity. Being outside allows for many to feel safer in larger groups of people. No matter how big your clients’ events are, each one should be treated the same when it comes to safety protocols. Make sure your clients are comfortable with the options you are offering, and that they feel confident you are doing what you can to fit their needs.
Following state or federal guidelines is a great way to make clients and their guests feel safe. Because these often change, it is good to keep up to date on the latest advisories and rules. Have staff fully prepared with gloves and masks to help ensure that everything is as sanitary as possible. Be flexible about layouts. Some might prefer to eliminate staff directly serving guests at their table but still want the serving component- it all depends on the clients’ priorities. Reassure your clients that proper measures are being put into place and that you are willing to work with them to ensure the event meets their needs and exceeds expectations. Accommodate your clients and make sure they feel comfortable with the way you are serving your food.
For example, some might prefer to eliminate staff directly serving guests at their table, but still want the serving component incorporated. An option they may choose instead is staff serving at the buffet, which is making a comeback with proper safety measures in place. It is smart to have servers stationed at a buffet so that there is a limited amount of people in direct contact with the food. It is also important to have individually wrapped silverware for each guest so that people are not grabbing things from the same, small pile.
If some are still trying to avoid chef-attended food stations, you may want to offer pre-prepared food that is packaged and ready to go. Individually wrapped, pre-packed meals are a great way to limit person to food contact. Place food in separate containers with coverings and labels, and let guests choose what they want to eat from there. Boxed meals may be a great alternative as well and are especially popular with corporate events and smaller gatherings. Include everything needed in each box, and then seal them up so that they stay clean and away from other people or potential germs. This allows for everything in the meal to be in one place.
This concept works for drinks as well. A new trend for individual cocktails is on the rise- guests love receiving their own personal serving of their drink, as opposed to going to a bar and ordering a drink. Or consider a self-serve bar so people know they are the only ones coming in contact with their drink.
Not only is this approach more efficient from a sanitization standpoint, it also allows for more branding opportunities. Add labels to everything that is packaged with your logo and name on it to make the most of this new trend.
Overall, we should be extremely hopeful for the future of events as a huge turnaround is sure to come. People want to come back to as much of a “normal” life as possible, especially when it comes to gathering with friends, family, and colleagues. Figure out what changing trends work best for you and your staff, and ensure your business is ready for a post-pandemic industry.