NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Amid government warnings against big New Year’s Eve gatherings, some caterers see evidence that people are downsizing their parties, but are still thankful for the year-end business .
Ellis Lanaux is CEO of Langensteins.
“Yes, sandwiches are always a very popular item for all parties, for parties, to bring people together,” Lanaux said as she stood next to the prepared sandwich trays.
He said that companies have a good demand for prepared food.
“It has been very strong so far. You know, we’ve had a lot of orders for our party trays, sandwiches, “Lanaux said.
Customers also came for ready-made dishes of traditional New Year’s Day fare.
“Their black-eyed peas and cabbage, so it’s been a good season for us,” Lanaux said.
Miles away, at Zuppardo’s Family Market in Metairie Joe Zuppardo, one of the owners said orders for party trays have also been strong.
“We are making cornmeal and cabbage, we are making mini muffuletta trays, our entire catering service has sped up this time of year,” Zuppardo said.
This New Years holiday comes as Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards urges people to celebrate with only their homes due to the increase in cases of COVID-19 and the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Additionally, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said meetings should only include people who are vaccinated and have received booster shots.
“I definitely think there’s a lot of that going on, people have smaller parties at home instead of going out, you know, trying to stay safe and you know how to protect their loved ones, so this kind of option makes a lot of sense for that, ”Lanaux said.
The pandemic continues to affect vacation planning.
“So instead of having a big street party where someone comes in and buys hundreds of snacks, there are a lot of individual parties and everyone gets a hundred snacks,” Zuppardo said.
And Zuppardo said they are seeing signs that the accumulation is increasing in size this holiday season.
“The parties are getting a little bit bigger than they were a couple of years ago, so I think people are feeling a little more comfortable, but still being cautious.”
Adjacent to the French Quarter at Basin Street Station, a Rooftop on Basin wedding will take place on the fourth floor.
George Messina is the owner of this event space and Catering and Events in Messina.
“We have a wedding tonight for about a hundred people, they are very excited about it, a very nice couple, looking forward to having their wedding on New Years Eve here tonight,” Messina said.
FOX 8 asked Messina how the restaurant business is doing.
“Okay, I would say, okay, we feel very busy, but it’s not like the pre-COVID 2019 numbers or anything like that, you know, just fight like you hear about the restaurant business with a shortage of workforce, and we have the same problems, “he said.
Messina made a comparison of bookings for this New Year’s Eve compared to better years.
“For a night like this, maybe five or six and tonight I think we have three in the books, the main thing is also that most parties are smaller, you know, we usually have between 200 and 300 people, I know one hundred people, 125 is the maximum at the moment, ”Messina said.
Expect 2022 to bring more business opportunities.
“Hopefully next year we will do those big, extravagant New Years Eve events again,” Messina said.
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