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Event catering in the era of the coronavirus

Easily one of the most thriving industries prior to the pandemic, the events, hospitality, and food sectors are now struggling to get back into the rhythm of serving the public. Even the best restaurants in London have found themselves facing persistent challenges regarding kitchens and back-of-house provisions. Though some welcome updates have mitigated the risks of reopening, little is known about the fate of large-scale events. What we do know is that new technology will play a huge role in the industry’s ability to bounce back and deliver services to the public. 

Managing Venue Spaces Safely

To ensure the safety of employees and attendees, venues must implement strict social distancing and hygiene standards, especially businesses operating within stadiums, arenas, and conference centres. Though it’s expected that standards will be identical across all locations, the particulars will be dictated by the specific layouts of each venue. 

To enforce phased groupings, minimised queues, and blocked off seating areas, establishments must rely on technology to implement queuing systems and digital displays to ensure that attendees can be spaced efficiently. 

Pre-ordering food before entering the venue, then having it delivered to a designated seat can minimise the need for servers and attendees to interact. It will also ensure staggered collection and reduce crowding in busy areas. 

Stricter Food Prep and Service Standards

To ensure compliance and comfort for employees and attendees, venues must reconfigure workspaces in order to help avoid the crossover of people in back-of-house areas. Tricky but vital, establishments may need to operate with reduced numbers and implement changes in service and dining styles. Instead of open buffets and shared platters, hospitality areas must consider using frictionless methods of food and drink provision. 

To minimise physical contact between servers and customers, businesses should administer cashless payment options or limit the use of touchscreen or built-in payment terminals to staff members. Some may need to be accompanied by additional hygiene overlay factors. 

What is the New Normal?

To reassure both employees and returning customers that service environments are safe, including the ingredients and products being interacted with, it’s imperative that venues prioritise these new safety measures. Of the many tasks venue operators will have to tackle head-on, the most pressing one in regards to business survival is to acknowledge the apprehensiveness demonstrated by once-eager visitors. 

Venues must take into consideration new interconnected digital technologies and physical innovations to ensure continuous safety to people within venues. These might also include offering food and drink with tamper-proof seals and visual reassurance via PPE-wearing service professionals, sterilised cooking and dining area, display of hygiene certificates, and other visual cues on digital screens. 

Conclusion

For most event venues, return strategies lie in ensuring that customer comfort, safety, and reassurance is a top priority. Coupled with strict protocols and reduced interactions between all people, event spaces may be able to operate more efficiently.

To learn more about new restaurants in London and how existing establishments are making a comeback in the pandemic era, visit Catering Today. We provide you with all the latest on the food and beverage industry and what you can expect in the near future. 

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