COVID-19: Some Saskatoon businesses see decline in Christmas event bookings

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Saskatoon businesses see decline in Christmas event bookings
WATCH: Some Saskatoon businesses are struggling to fill their books for Christmas parties. – Nov 7, 2021

Christmas parties, joy and lots of food are a tradition for many around the holidays.

However, the owner of D’reen’s Catering & Kitchen Socials mentioned last year was a struggle for her business, and this year is much worse.

D’reen said business is down by around 90 per cent compared to previous years.

“We don’t know how long we can continue,” she added.

With no clear end in sight for COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, D’reen noticed a huge decrease in bookings compared to previous years.

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When there were once four catering gigs per day, now there are barely four a week.

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She attributed the reason to uncertainty around COVID-19 restrictions.

“There are lots of inquiries with lots of hesitation,” said D’reen.

Many common questions she hears are whether or not events can be canceled last minute due to a shift in COVID-19 regulations and if food can be pre-packaged.

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Although the catering company has started using packaging to adhere to safety precautions, D’reen mentioned the large cost increase it has on her business.

While another concern for her is a shortage of staffing, bookings are her number one concern.

Representatives from Prairieland Park and TCU Place agree; Christmas was one of the busiest holidays of the year for parties.

Now, big festive gatherings might become a thing of the past.

“Bookings compared to last year are definitely down, so we’re sitting just under half of where we were last year,” said TCU Place CEO Tammy Sweeney.

Sweeney said smaller events have been more common.

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As for D’reen, smaller events do not pay the bills.

“Until things settle, I mean, we’re just gonna be hopefully scraping by until it gets better,” said D’reen.

The companies say they are working with the circumstances and doing what they can to continue providing customers with a holiday experience to remember.

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