Are Large Scale Events Doomed to be a Thing of the Past?
In the coming months areas are opening up and social gatherings will once again be allowed, however, caterers across the country are concerned that the days of large, profitable weddings, parties and corporate events are a thing of the past. Invited guests shall be worried about just how safe it is to attend a large scale event and may deem the risk of attending too great.
There are three issues to consider: firstly what measures can caterers take to keep their guests safe, secondly how do they communicate this to the potential guests and thirdly how do they effectively instigate their measures effectively at every event irrespective of whether it takes place in a banquet hall or off site tent.
Caterers need to have a clearly defined policy in place dedicated to how to keep their guests and staff safe from cross contamination, this should be published on their web site and linked to client contracts. This goes far beyond staff wearing masks and gloves and performing regular surface sanitisation.
Vigorous hand washing has been the anchor message from the WHO, however many outdoor event spaces have limited washroom provisions therefore adequate hand sanitiser should be readily available throughout the event in prominent positions.
We can assume that potential guests are worried that there may be an unknowing carrier of Covid-19 at the event, therefore caterers need to take every precaution to ensure that the risk of cross contamination is minimised. Public Health Agencies are publishing minimum requirements including single use drinking vessels and requiring that all food and drink is covered or protected by adequate sneeze screens. Chafing dish lids do not fulfill this requirement as once lifted to serve the food it is then exposed. A screen that fully protects any open food from airborne particles caused by sneezing or coughing is required.
Unless caterers, hotels, coffee shops and restaurants can clearly demonstrate their dedication to guests safety they will find it very difficult to survive in this demanding new market place. Paying lip service to the stringent new regulations shall simply not cut it.
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