Corporate Christmas parties are back in Ottawa this holiday season

Christmas parties are booked solid this holiday season at Hard Stones Grill in Nepean. The demand is high again following the dark days of the pandemic.

“We’re fully booked next month,” Hard Stones Grill general manager Lloyd Powell says. “Every day is booked. The biggest one is 50, a corporation of 50.”

It is so busy this holiday season, extra staff has had to be hired to fulfil the holiday rush.

“Where our staff would run 10 in the front, 10 in the back, I would need to almost go 50 per cent higher,” Powell says.

And holiday parties are starting much earlier too. Coldwell Banker First Ottawa real estate agent Nick Kyte is throwing a festive party this week for clients.

“This year after the pandemic, thank God, we are able to come back and throw a nice party,” Kyte says. “We’re having the most response rate ever in terms of confirmations. People are excited; they want to come. I’ve been getting texts all day. We have a musician going, food, drinks. Everyone’s going to have a great time.”

And it’s happening at Sala San Marco, where spots are also filling up fast for Christmas get-togethers.

“People are doing their events on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, that kind of stuff,” says Tony Zacconi, Sala San Marco president. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be on a weekend.”

After hundreds of virtual meetings and online gatherings, companies are finally able to get together and celebrate the holidays in person.

“They haven’t socialized that much,” Zacconi says. “They haven’t been hanging around as much anymore. Even a lot of places aren’t necessarily all 100 per cent back in the office and stuff. So at least a Christmas party kind of gets them all together again, gets them in the same room, have some laughs and share some good times.”

Caterers in Ottawa say it’s one of the busiest holiday seasons in years. For many businesses, though, a staff shortage is hampering orders.

Back at Hard Stones Grill, it’s a celebration of the Christmas spirit.

“They’re doing gift exchanges. They’re doing games,” Powell says. “It’s a corporate event so they’re all ushering in the holiday season. It’s a lot of fun.”

View original article here Source