The catering sector was abruptly brought to a halt by the pandemic, and no other region in the UK was affected more than Northern England. But with the lifting of lockdown restrictions, the hospitality industry is gradually making headway and showing modest signs of recovery. In no time, the catering businesses in the North of England will be back on track and here’s how.

Big Weddings Back On

Statistics show that an upper range – and presumably big – wedding in the UK costs around £68,000. A mid-range celebration is around £30,000, while lower range ones are a little over £6,000. Catering takes a big chunk of the total expenses – £1,500 for lower range weddings, £4,000 for medium range, and £8,000 for the upper range.

Then the pandemic happened, and engaged couples began downscaling their celebration, downsizing their guest lists and opting for the simplest receptions. Some chose to postpone their celebration indefinitely, while others outright cancelled it.

Now that things are looking up, big weddings could become a trend once again. Starting July 19, the government lifted its restriction on the number of people who can attend services and receptions, regardless of the location. Popular venues in the North of England are starting to accept new bookings for large outdoor weddings.

Celebrations held outside, such as garden weddings, must undergo a risk evaluation. The purpose of this is to assess how many guests the venue can host safely. Despite the new regulations, this change is great news for catering businesses as it creates opportunities for expanding their clientele.

Catering Adapting to House Parties

At the height of the pandemic, the government banned social gatherings per social distancing rules. Earlier this year, it introduced an £800 fine for anyone who attends a house party of more than 15 individuals. However, with the easing of restrictions, the government lifted the number of persons who can socialise. It applies to gatherings at home or in a public place, whether indoors or outdoors.

Yet, some people are still wary about gathering at a public venue. Instead of going out, they prefer to celebrate in a setting more familiar to them. That is why house parties are increasingly growing in popularity. At the same time, hiring food catering services for family gatherings – with some preferring a private chef for dinner parties – is fast becoming a trend. The one thing catering services are left to do is to adapt to this change.

New Food Hygiene Procedures

Despite the lifting of almost all restrictions, catering services should never be complacent. There are new food safety protocols that they need to comply with in addition to the old ones. The primary responsibility of catering owners is to ensure the health and safety of their clients and workers. Catering businesses must conduct a risk assessment in the workplace, clean more often, turn away people with symptoms, ensure employees are fit to work and reduce contact for workers whenever possible.

It is unlikely that workers pass COVID-19 through food. Still, they should always practice
proper personal hygiene, including washing their hands as often as needed. Face coverings are no longer mandated. But workers should wear them in crowded indoor spaces where they interact with people they typically don’t. Lastly, employees must undertake food safety training courses provided by online learning companies, such as Virtual College, to update their knowledge and ascertain they understand the new procedures.