It’s beginning to look a lot like…fall? 

Ok, the holidays might still be a few months away, but it’s definitely never too early to be thinking about travel plans, gifts and — most notably for planning ahead — those oh so important company holiday parties.

With the delta variant surge across the country, more and more companies are delaying their return to the office and there’s a very understandable general hesitancy towards getting together in crowds again. The first half of summer was full of optimism and openings…and, well, we all know how the second half of summer has been going. We all could use some holiday spirit right about now.

Yes, we can have holiday gatherings. But! We need to be mindful about them.

The real reason that it’s so critical to plan in advance for your company holiday parties around this time (if you haven’t done so already) is because of planning. These events with dozens or hundreds of guests can’t just be pulled off after Thanksgiving. Venues will sell out and people’s calendars get booked, and there goes any festivities until 2022. Add the necessary Covid precautions to the equation and there’s quite a lot of additional preparation that will go into your end of 2021 company party.

However, the idea of a holiday company party is not at all an impossible concept in this remote work-pandemic era. And it doesn’t need to be panic planning central. After all, holiday parties are meant to celebrate your company’s accomplishments and express gratitude to your employees. And my goodness do we ever need little celebrations and to cherish moments of gratitude after 2021 and 2020.

Read a hundred medical research articles from epidemiologists about gatherings in the pandemic and every single one will emphasize the importance of ventilation and fresh air in disrupting the flow of virus particles. The logistics of having a party in December outside might not be trivial — but when it comes to pandemic safety, the outdoors are really where the party is. Luckily, being in California means we have ample outdoor venues and large patios that can work out for company parties of different sizes. Plus, alfresco hot chocolate at sunset in December is pretty hard to beat.

Speaking of that hot chocolate, everybody at the party will care deeply about the food and drinks! You’ll want catering that isn’t just catering.

With the pandemic, you definitely do not want a buffet or people picking from the same hors d’oeuvres platters like was often the case in pre-pandemic parties. Yes, it’s hard to even remember those days. But the reality of 2021 is that the days are over (or at least on a long hiatus) of everyone picking up a canapé from a shared plate or serving up their own glass of rum and fruit juice-based cheer from the holiday punch bowl. 

Here’s why Off the Grid Catering is the way to go this year.

Off the Grid’s food trucks serve fresh, compelling food safely and efficiently. And, by virtue of being trucks that participate in large gatherings all the time, they certainly know how to bring enough food and the right food to the party. The party cuisine will be something that customers are looking forward to for weeks, rather than employees expecting yet another party that reminds them of generic country club/banquet/wedding cuisine (salmon, chicken or vegetarian?). 

Off the Grid’s creators add a feel good value to these sometimes lavish holiday parties, as the company supports small, hard working local food businesses. It’s the holiday season and companies love giving back to the community and supporting underdog businesses — exactly like these mobile food concepts. These creators come from all kinds of backgrounds from all over the world, and they hustle every week to feed customers at Off the Grid’s gatherings, prepping like crazy before each one and driving large distances to reach their Bay Area audiences. In challenging times like wildfires and the pandemic, these creators work together to feed first responders and those affected by tragedies. Yes, they’re here to feed your party, and they’ll also be there to serve you meals when the going gets really tough.

Off the Grid and its creators are also very sustainability minded, both when it comes to the party production and the food itself. This won’t be a holiday party where the food has been flown in from every corner of the globe to make it to your tables, then ends with an enormous amount of waste. Off the Grid will take the necessary steps to make sure your party is green, in addition to fun.

We know how to make a party really fun. Live music, cornhole, bocce ball, dancing, giant Jenga are all very popular with outdoor parties these days (and frequently can be found at Off the Grid gatherings!) and can very much fall in line with Covid protocols with the right precautions (masks and lots of hand sanitizer!). And, it goes without saying that holiday party standards like Ugly Sweater contests or karaoke can still go on in 2021. 

You can pull off a party, no problem—you simply need to stay mindful.

As we think of all this party fun and the outstanding food employees will be excited about for months in advance, it’s important not to forget the little pandemic safety detail necessities as well.

The number one thing that companies can do to protect their employees, of course, is to require Covid-19 vaccinations. It’s the best way to make sure everyone is protected and the party will be safe. In addition, it’s also highly encouraged for employees to wear masks when not actively eating or drinking (Off the Grid staff and vendors always wear masks!) and to respect social distancing.

In addition, it’s important to understand that not all employees have the same comfort level being in a public gathering during the pandemic. Some employees will want mingling to be at a minimum and some employees would prefer a virtual element to the party. Party planning always requires flexibility, and 2021 party planning requires even more flexibility.

Before you know it, the holiday season will be upon us and so will those company holiday parties! Off the Grid hopes to make your party a safe, wonderful way to celebrate your company’s 2021 successes.

Like our ideas?  With 10 years of experience serving corporate clients and continuous operation throughout the pandemic, Off the Grid is here to help you feed your employees safely. Our catering offerings start at $3,500 for 100 people served.