Covid-19 hit New York and the hospitality industry shut down. For us at Great Performances, it meant the cancellation of every party and special event. Our kitchen, recently relocated to the South Bronx, went dark.
Within days, we fired up our ovens, answering the City’s call to provide thousands of daily meals for elderly and food insecure New Yorkers. Service staff who once butlered hors d’oeuvres at black tie galas now delivered meal packages to the doors of housebound seniors.
We are grateful to our teams who worked daily for months to care for our neighbors despite the risks.
Over the past 40 years, we’ve answered the call to serve our city during times of crises without hesitation.
It’s in our DNA; there is hope and love in every meal.
For the past several months, as we’ve stayed at home and missed so many of the events that mark our spring and summer, we’ve been busy behind the scenes at Great Performances planning how we’ll be able to run events safely.
The scale of our events may have changed, but the care and attention we put into them remain remains the same—if not somewhat heightened.
We’ve stepped back and taken a fresh perspective of how we run events and rethought every single step.
We have two main priorities:
- running a great event with outstanding food and service for our clients and their guests
- ensuring that we’re doing all we can to maintain everyone’s health and safety.
From the first moments of collaborating with our clients, we apply our Covid lens.
Top of mind is how to reduce the number of staff members.
We have to rethink menus and how we can continue to deliver flavor and variety but with fewer people in the kitchen.
We carefully plan the entire event, step by step, including preparing and serving food, pickups, beverage service, and bars.
Hors d’oeuvres are passed in covered trays with individual toothpicks to prevent direct contact with the food once it is placed on the tray.
And although bartenders are still preparing drinks at the bar, they’re behind a protective shield with a waiter acting as the liaison between guests ordering beverages and the bartender preparing the orders.
We have a responsibility to keep up to date on the latest guidelines for health and safety at events and gatherings, convey them to our clients, and get ahead of any permits that are required.
Of all the events that have been canceled this year, perhaps the most heartbreaking are the weddings.
For the most part, our couples have been incredibly flexible and resilient, despite their disappointment.
With the reopening of outdoor venues, we worked closely with our partners like Wave Hill and Caramoor to create a variety of packages to help couples celebrate their special day with their family and friends with an extra eye on health and safety.
These smaller, more intimate weddings – or microweddings – meet all requirements for social gatherings and we’re happy to celebrate with couples each weekend for the coming month, with back-to-back weddings on each weekend day.
From the moment planning starts, we work together with the couple to help guide COVID-friendly set-ups, floor plans, and menu selections while keeping their personal style and vision.
For 40 years, Great Performances has been feeding the people of New York City at corporate events, social gatherings, non-profit fundraisers, and even more critically, during times of crisis and uncertainty.
Today, as we face the threat of Covid-19 we continue to offer our services and support to our New York family.
We’re working with hospitals to support their staff; with city agencies working with at-risk populations; and with businesses unable to release employees with critical functions that cannot be managed from home.
CATERING OFFERINGS DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK
What we can offer:
- Contactless delivery to designated sites
- Delicious, nutritious meals from daily breakfasts to packaged, boxed or bagged lunches and dinners
- Food prepared and packaged in facilities exercising the highest levels of food safety and sanitation
SAFE FOOD SERVICE DURING NEW YORK’S COVID-19 CRISIS
We are committed to the health and safety of our clients, guests and employees and follow the highest levels of food sanitation and safety.
- Our commissary is a secure, gated area and there is no access for the general public
- All employees are monitored; any employee showing a sign of illness will not be allowed on the premises
- We require employees to
- Wash hands every 20 minutes
- Sanitize all surfaces every 20 minutes
- Wear single-use gloves for all food preparation
- Change into uniforms that are only worn in the kitchens
We have the capacity to provide over 25,000 meals per day; let us know how we can support you.
- Bread + Fruit + Protein
- Sample: Muffin, Banana, Yogurt
- Pastries, Fresh Fruit, Boiled Eggs
- Sample: Bagel, Fresh Berry Cup, Boiled Eggs
BOXED LUNCHES / DINNERS
- Salad, Sandwich, Snack
- Sample: Mixed Green Salad; Ham & Cheese Sandwich; Chips
- Starch, Protein and Vegetable Bowl
- Sample: Grilled Chicken with Sauteed Spinach on Polenta Cake
Boxed Lunches / Dinners
- Gourmet Salad, Handcrafted Bowl, or Chef’s Daily Sandwich; Dessert
- Sample: Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese, Avocado, Egg, Market Greens & Aged Sherry Vinaigrette; Cherry Pistachio Crumble Bar
Lunches & Dinners
- Boxed dishes with sides and dessert
- Sample: Soy Glazed Cod, Zucchini Noodles with Ginger Vinaigrette, Bok Choy, Black Rice Edamame, Coconut Rice Pudding
Minimums apply. To discuss your options, contact our team today at email@example.com
Our wedding specialists have been busy! Couples are still eager to get married and we’ve got the top tips for saying “I Do” during Covid and resources to help you navigate weddings in the time of the pandemic.
1. Embrace the Now
For couples who are eager to start their married lives together, we have been working hard with our partner venues to create special, intimate weddings, or micro-weddings, for you and your closest friends and family.
We worked with our partners at Caramoor and Wave Hill to craft special packages specifically for smaller-scale weddings but that still have the magic our couples have come to expect.
2. Prepare Your Guest List
Be aware of any guest count limits venues may have in addition to state and local guidelines, and when in doubt your event planner can help confirm the details for you.
3. Find Your Perfect Venue
Outdoor weddings, whether in a park, garden, or rooftop are the way to go right now.
We’ve curated some lists of our favorite venues that you can check out to gain inspiration.
Our venues range from country settings to rooftops in the heart of Manhattan, making it easy for you to still enjoy the wedding of your dreams.
Click the links below to check out some of our favorite venues, then contact our event specialists to book a site visit and start planning your wedding!
4. There's No Place Like Home
Don’t forget to consider your own backyard or perhaps you have access to some great outdoor spaces like a field or a farm.
We can help bring the party to you!
We have a variety of menus that can help you create the perfect wedding for you and your guests.
From more informal backyard barbecues to elegant seated dinners, our chefs have been creating menus celebrating the delicious produce of the season, all prepared and served with strict attention to health and safety protocols.
5. Celebrate With Everyone
Just because gatherings are limited in size, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with everyone virtually!
Tools like Google Meet and Zoom are perfect for hosting virtual weddings.
Elevate a virtual experience with meals delivered to your family and friends so you can still enjoy a shared experience.
We’ve been working on elegant bento boxes filled with six incredibly delicious tasting portions that create a full meal complete with dessert.
Looking for something different?
Chat with our event specialists to learn more about our bento boxes, craving packages, and more!
Images credit: ©Kamp Weddings; @ryonlockhartphotography; @twahphotography; ©Sarma and Co; ©Gulnara Studio; ©Julian Ribinik Photography; ©Dave Robbins
Even as we’re practicing social distancing, we continue to see great examples of how life happens around food. Instead of the corporate lunches, we’re seeing teams enjoy video conference lunches; instead of big dinner parties, families are having home-cooked meals together; and instead of packing bars at happy hours, friends are toasting each other virtually.
With more people cooking at home, we’re collecting recipes from our Great Performances’ team members, families, friends and partners to share with you and provide some inspiration for delicious dishes you can make at home.