The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the hospitality and event industries. The pandemic hit us right at the height of our busy season. The unexpected pause on all events and hospitality related functions hurt. But the hardest part of all of this has been the uncertainty.
As the country begins to allow limited, socially distanced events, we were once again challenged to create a safe, clean, and still fun environment for the events we were scheduled to be a part of.
While cleanliness has always been the most important aspect of serving food and drinks in an event or hospitality environment, the COVID-19 concerns put these issues front and center. With the health and safety of the guests at stake, we have put together a plan that allows us to provide a safe and fun environment for each event that we are booked.
The service staff works in close quarters to the guests while serving food, drinks or attending to any of their needs. This cannot be avoided. But we can take every possible precaution before putting anyone in close proximity to the guests. Before each shift, we take temperatures of each employee with a digital, touchless thermometer. When the employee’s temperatures are outside of the normal ranges, we will send them home and not allow them to work the shift.
Properly worn, masks are proven to be solid deterrents to the spread of COVID-19. To protect the guests at each of the events that our staff members are booked, we ensure that each employee has a proper mask. We also assign leads to ensure that masks are properly worn throughout the event. Masks are not optional for any of the employees that we have working. The safety of our employees and guests are the top priority at each event.
Keeping surfaces clean has always been a big part of working events. Post COVID-19, sanitization of surfaces and eating utensils becomes vital. Our staff members arrive early to do a pre-sanitization of all surfaces. This pre-sanitization includes doorknobs, handles, tables, chairs, and anything else that can be wiped down. During the event, we constantly wipe down high touch areas. The entire surface area of the event venue is constantly wiped down as the event progresses and everything is wiped down at the end of the night, so the venue is ready for the next event.
In addition to keeping surfaces clean and sanitized, we require our staff to constantly wash and/or disinfect their hands throughout the event. We do a group hand sanitization at the beginning of the event, another right before food service and another right after food service. We also encourage the staff to wash their hands during any down time.
Months into the pandemic, we are still dealing with uncertainty. It looks like it will be a few more months before things start to feel a little closer to normal. We look forward to normal again. Until then, let’s all stay safe and reduce risk whenever possible.