Caters and butchers dread the Christmas and New Year period. “Will people be able to have big parties at home?” , wonders Evan Claes of Landsbund der Pinhors, Spectrums and Treasures in Belgium. “I don’t see it positively.”
The sector is asking governments to take a firm approach and be clear about the rules in place around Christmas and New Year. Because preparations for that very busy period have already begun. Much depends on the order in which it will be applied in a month.
“I think it’s going to be like 2020 again,” says Claeys, who is aiming for smaller parties and fewer people allowed in the house. “That was a setback.” Last year, parties were widely banned affecting caterers and butchers.
“They are all smaller plates,” Claes explains. “Last year, our members only worked on orders of 2, 4 or 6 people.” Some recipes for large groups, such as turkey, fall by the wayside. It appears to be “extra work and costs extra staff”.
Regardless, the pandemic is causing more uncertainty, with quite a few customers expecting a non-binding commitment. More and more caterers and butchers are asking customers to pay a down payment or even the full amount up front. “Because today people order with confidence. But if the order is not received, that meal should be frozen.”
However, it is the lack of clarity on the measures in place that creates difficulties for caterers and butchers. The National Federation asks the Advisory Committee to make its decisions quickly.
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