How to plan a safe catered holiday event during COVID
With holidays just ahead, you can absolutely plan a safe corporate or private holiday event. We have been doing this very thing over the past several months at Finley Creek, and we know the rules.
We also know what works and what doesn’t. We want your guests to feel safe while following all applicable state and CDC guidelines.
The first order of business, say experts, is to make sure your guests feel safe enough to attend. Towards that end, here is our protocol:
Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering will:
- Have staff wear gloves and masks during all prep and serve
- Keep food covered and at ideal temperatures after prep and before serving
- Display food under protective shields to prevent contamination
- Food will be served with tongs and utensils handled by masked server at all times
- Individual-sized appetizers available as much as possible
- Use single-use disposable dishware and glasses unless otherwise asked.
Finley Creek will:
- Be set up to assure maximum space between tables and each guest
- Common areas (such as bars, restrooms and coat check) will be marked with 6-foot guide icons to keep patrons from unintentional exposure to others
- Barware and alcohol handled by gloved and masked bar managers only.
- Outdoor areas, entrances and exits marked for safety of guests.
Of course, we know there really are no hard and fast answers, and serving alcohol to those enjoying a holiday party makes guest behavior slightly riskier. With that in mind, we recommend:
- Asking several good friends to help talk to guests engaging in behavior that puts others at risk
- If you have an MC or DJ, ask them to periodically remind guests to keep safety a priority.
- We make sure the setting at Finley Creek is right for your crowd. We want your guests to be able to safely distance.
- Using available outside space at Finley Creek is always a good idea for an extra measure of safety.
Even during a pandemic, some catering rules will always be paramount for us:
- Guests will forgive an event that could have had another restroom or two, but they will always remember how good the food was -- or wasn’t. That’s why we never skimp on food quality.
- We never run out of food. This is a cardinal rule at Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering.
- Presentation of food matters. A lot. Food should always look (and taste) luscious, fresh, and be served at the right temperature.
- Planning how bar and appetizer table traffic flows at an event is especially important now. Nobody wants to stand waiting for a drink at a crowded bar for 25 minutes.
The holidays are coming up fast. So if you have a holiday party in mind, there are still plenty of open dates in November, December and New Year’s Eve. We're ready to book your next event safely.
Outdoor events are now mainstream and fun!
Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering team has seen a huge shift in the popularity of outdoor parties, corporate events, wedding receptions, birthday parties, and even outdoor celebration of life events. The key commonality here is OUTDOORS.
Not only is hosting an outdoor event significantly safer than being inside, it’s also a blast!
Sure, fall is here and temperatures are dropping, but that doesn’t mean you have to hibernate inside just yet. It can be a lot of fun to plan a big rustic, fall, casual party – with all the trimmings -- and a huge bonfire as a centerpiece.
Trendy outside events that began with barn wedding receptions have grown up to embrace all kinds of events. Now we are seeing just as many casual country outside parties as we are seeing lavish and extravagant themed events – many held in more than one tent or party barn. Hosts are getting super creative and having a blast doing it.
At Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering, we happen to think that Finley Creek Vineyard is the perfect country chic setting for a fantastic fall party, corporate event or reception. The magic happens here all the time… from big orange setting sunsets, to the serenity of the rolling hills on the Zionsville property, to yard games, fire pits, the sweet smell of fresh baled hay, to an abundance of wildflowers, to vineyards planted all along the perimeter of the 5 acre setting.
Since Jacquie Bols designed the Finley Creek party barn and exterior event space, you know the area is top-notch and lovely. There are areas specifically designed for announcements, for outside bars, for music and entertaining, and of course, a gorgeous country chic party barn where social distancing can be accommodated with minimal effort.
There are no cookie-cutter events here. Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering creates artful, sustainable, delicious, creative culinary experiences for each of their guests -- and our hosts love it.
There is just something about attending a Finley Creek Vineyard event that virtually guarantees a memorable time. Come come join us for a Finley Creek Vineyard tour ahead of your event and see what we mean.
~ The Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering team
Finley Creek under the stars makes micro weddings hugely romantic!
The trend for micro weddings, elopement celebrations and intimate receptions started out of necessity but has grown trendy quickly.
Finley Creek Vineyards has embraced this most romantic of ideas – perfectly. That’s because we have an awesome Wedding Barn when the time is right for an indoor gathering. And a gorgeous view of the stars (or sunny skies) when you want an outdoor wedding with just your besties and family.
Talk to Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering about planning the details inside or out for groups as small as ten, 25, 40 or 60+. We can help you create the look you envision with an archway of flowers, or a natural view of our vineyard surrounded by wildflowers.
Have a small cocktail celebration or a sit-down dinner inside our shabby chic barn – with antique chandeliers lighting the way.
Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering will create absolutely perfect foods to coordinate with your vision. Finley Creek’s gourmet kitchen is right on the premises.
We do simple or elegant. Wine and beer – to open bar. Light hors d’oeuvres to four-course sit-down dinners.
Vegetarian to farm-raised Indiana beef. And of course, special requirement meals for those who prefer them.
Two hour wedding and receptions to 10 hours. Inside or out. Day or night.
We make small weddings, wedding renewals, anniversary celebrations and receptions… memorable. Let’s talk about what you have in mind.
Finley Creek gets it right
Finley Creek Vineyards is the place to set your next Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering party. Not only is it Jacquie-owned and operated, but every detail has been put in place with Jacquie’s 20+ years of client-focused yummy catering experience in mind.
From the outdoor fire pit area (perfect for cozy winter post-celebration fires) to the high-ceilinged shabby chic party barn (wedding receptions, anyone?), this is the place to throw a wonderfully successful party.
Here are a few of the parties we’ve enjoyed hosting at Finley Creek lately:
- Outdoor fall garden-party afternoon wedding. The groom’s dogs were the ring-bearer and best “man,” followed by a warm inside wedding barn reception – dogs included!
- Halloween singles party – straw bale maze outside and hayride on the grounds. Festivities continued inside with bobbing for apples and a costume contest, with mini sliders, spiked cider and polish sausages served in the barn.
- ‘Friendsgiving’ get-together in the barn with sustainably harvested turkey and pork roast; organic Indiana-grown veggies and side dishes plus spiked apple cider. Jacquie’s homemade pumpkin pecan and apple caramel pies.
- 40th wedding anniversary surprise party with multi-media presentation of the couples’ life together, live band, full sit-down dinner, specialty drinks at the bar.
- National non-profit 20th anniversary fundraiser kick-off luncheon for 250 guests. Filet Mignon with fresh horseradish cream and Mini Chicken creole crepes were served.
- Holiday dinner for 130 including carved roast beef station, salad bar, mini-dessert bar and champagne.
At Finley Creek, there are lots of options for your event -- inside and out. It's just right for all kinds of organizations and different party vibes, from elegant to low-key. Finley Creek Vineyards and Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering is the perfect combination of place and talent -- always ready to handle the type event you are hosting. We pay a lot of attention to getting the details of your event right.
That’s because it is just as important to us as it is to you that your special event is uniquely tailored to your group and your setting. What can we do for your next event?