The pandemic has, at least temporarily, reinvented the event catering business. With social and company events abruptly cancelled, caterers rapidly adjusted their offerings to keep serving great food to their communities.
“Adapt or close were our options,” said Handheld Catering owner and Chef Dan Figone. “We love what we do and never want to stop, so we adapted!”
Bay Area Catering Business Adapts With New Meal Delivery Services
“The catering business may return at some point to where it was last February, when my order book was bursting with private, corporate and non-profit event all over Silicon Valley and the South Bay,” added Figone. “But that will likely take months, and perhaps even a vaccine. So we have taken the long view. We adapted our creative menus to offer new options like boxed meal services, and gourmet home delivery of re-heatable meals. We also added drop-off corporate meal services in place of full-service engagements.”
“The one constant is the food. We will never compromise on our quality and creativity. We are still a locally-sourced, farm-to-fork kitchen, and retain our Green Business certification from our home city of Santa Clara. This commitment will never change,” said Figone.
How will Bay Area catering recover from the pandemic?
Figone notes that the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 had a similar impact on business, and catering was the first restaurant industry service that recovered. This may happen in 2020 and 2021, as people carefully figure out how to meet in person again. This goes for social gatherings, where meeting at home with friends to celebrate special events will revive faster than renting space in a restaurant.
“We are already seeing our special package offerings attract orders, like the Father’s Day and July 4 BBQ package, or our Date Night special menu.” Said Figone. “My staff is enjoying the challenge of creating appealing menus for people to order for social events at home.”
On the corporate side, companies will start small, with catered gatherings at work for teams that are already working together. This avoids the challenge of meeting at a restaurant that may have social distancing restrictions and only offer outdoor dining. These limitations make a restaurant meeting awkward to conduct.
“During and after the last recession people were entertaining at home more and dialing back on in-restaurant business,” said Melissa Wilson, principal at research firm Technomic in a recent Restaurant Business article. “I do think that will play out this time. As restaurants start to open, it’s going to be phased and not super pleasant at first, with temperature checks and plexiglass barriers and limits on group sizes. But people are craving social connection. From a budgetary standpoint, so many people will be personally impacted or have friends who’ve lost their jobs, so we’ll see more people socializing at home. ”
How May We Help You With a Small Private Event or Company Meeting?
At Handheld Catering our mission is still to create unparalleled experiences through customized food services, using sustainable practices and a driven team to exceed all expectations as a San Francisco Bay Area Caterer. We do the catering and event planning. You do life!
This mission does not change during or after our COVID-19 pandemic crisis. So put our creative team to the test!