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.
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?
Specialty holiday cocktail? Great idea!
At Finely Creek Vineyards, we love creating themed signature holiday cocktails – and boy, do we ever have some great ideas for your next holiday event!
Specialty or signature cocktails are a great way to kick off a corporate holiday party or fun wedding reception. And Jacquie's Gourmet Catering can make an original drink that expresses something about your event, the culture of the organization or the nature of the couple in the wedding.
Sometimes we theme the drinks these around a color (such as your logo colors) and sometimes around the personalities of the couple being honored. (And yes, we are always happy to make alcohol-free versions for your guests who don’t drink.)
For the holidays, we have no shortage of ideas! Give us your theme, and we’ll come up with all kinds of ideas. You choose the ones you prefer. Or let us know your favorite liquor, and we can build it around that.
Jacquie's Gourmet Catering team is amazingly creative when it comes to preparing drinks in with artful added edible garnishes – from flowers to herbs, stacks of fruits or veggies, cinnamon stirrers to edible swizzler sticks.
For wedding receptions, we can name a drink for the family of the bride, the groom’s nickname, a nod to how they met, the name of their dog, an inside joke – even their honeymoon destination. It’s just as fun to name the drink as it is to create it!
Here’s the bonus: You won’t need to pay for an open bar if you offer a signature cocktail or two, plus wine and beer. You have the feel of an open bar without the cost. Great (and painless) cost-cutter!
Let Jacquie’s team help make your next event one to remember with fantastic fresh organic edibles – and a fabulous signature cocktail or two. Cheers!!