Social Hour: Event & Private Dining Menus for Reopening


A lot of changes have been implemented since restaurants and venues have reopened in various phases after being on lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, mostly around safety, cleanliness, and social distancing to stop the spread of the disease. But when planning events, venues have to take those guidelines and make further tweaks to ensure their guests are protected but still have an enjoyable experience.

Our Social Hour virtual roundtable focused on one aspect of event changes this week: How to adapt your menus for events and private dining in this new normal. We were joined by Shira Spiewak of hospitality consulting firm Dandy Life, who offered her advice to restaurants and shared tips she’s seeing from the hospitality industry.

Menus and serving have to be reexamined in this new environment. Traditional buffets and appetizer tables aren’t good options for events anymore because they are not conducive to social distancing and allow too many opportunities for guests to come in contact with utensils or food items that may have been handled by others. Instead, Spiewak has seen trends like food served in to-go boxes, chefs that are individually plating food at buffets, large pizza wheels, and appetizers served on a socially-distanced surfboard

Watch the full discussion below to learn more about menu tips, plus other topics like offering personal protective equipment options to event clients, and how to hold successful virtual food-based events.

More resources for event professionals

If you’ve missed our past roundtables, you can access recordings of Social Hour online. Event professionals can also find more tips for the hospitality industry on our blog; by listening to our Two Chicks, Three Seats podcast; and by joining our Facebook group, Event Manager Community, to connect with peers and discuss the impact of the coronavirus on the events industry.