Covid-19 Catered Event Polices & Procedures

Dated June 9, 2020. Please note that all policies and procedures on this page are subject to change due to guidance from governmental authorities or new information.

The safety and well-being of our clients, guests and team members is of paramount importance to us, especially during this difficult time of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Priory Hospitality Group is committed to going above and beyond the guidelines promulgated by the Centers for Disease Control and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to minimize the risk of transmission of the Coronavirus at any PHG property.  Below you’ll see our policies and procedures relating to our hosting your and other events at our various properties.   We very much look forward to hosting your event in the safest manner possible. 

Deep Cleaning Before Reopening

All Priory Hospitality Group (PHG) properties will be extensively deep cleaned and disinfected before re-opening to the public.  The cleaning processes include steam cleaning all carpets and other textiles (drapes, etc.), as well as using a spray ionization process. All surfaces will be thoroughly wiped down with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) rated disinfecting products. 

PHG Team Members

All PHG team members will complete a daily questionnaire prior to clocking in asking if they have had contact with any person with Covid-19, have been experiencing Covid-19 type symptoms, and other questions which would disqualify them from working.  In addition, all PHG team members will have their temperatures taken prior to starting their shifts, and if their temperatures exceed CDC guidelines, they will be sent home and asked to quarantine. 

PHG offers generous paid time off to team members (up to 4 weeks depending on seniority).  In addition to PTO, PHG has a temporary paid sick leave program in place through the end of 2020 which covers employees in case they are quarantined with suspected coronavirus exposure, are diagnosed with Covid-19, or show symptoms of Covid-19.  Team members are encouraged to be frank with regard to symptoms and possible exposure, and to know that if they need to or are required to take time from work due to Covid-19, they will not be penalized with losing income. 

Team members will be trained extensively about maintaining social distance, frequently washing their hands, use of hand sanitizer, and other precautions.

Use of Masks and Gloves

A. PHG Team Members

PHG team members will be required to wear faces masks and gloves at all times.  Gloves are to be changed frequently.

B. Guests

Under guidance from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, guests are required to wear face masks (but not gloves), when not seated.  Guests who have health challenges which make the wearing of masks unfeasible will not be required to wear masks.


A. Capacity

As of the time of publication (June 9, 2020), under Pennsylvania’s “Green Phase” per the directive of Governor Wolf of Pennsylvania dated May 27, 2020, gatherings of up to 250 persons are permitted in the Commonwealth, so long as social distancing measures are maintained.  Indoor gatherings are limited to, at a maximum, ½ of the venue’s permitted occupancy.  In spaces which do not have occupancy limits per municipal fire codes, gatherings are limited to 12 persons per 1000 square feet.

Grand Hall at the Priory: Seated occupancy is limited to 384 persons, which means a theoretical maximum of 392 guests.  With the guidelines relating to social distancing of tables, the Grand Hall’s maximum occupancy under the guidelines (with a dance floor) is 160.

Priory Hotel Courtyard: The 12 persons per 1000 square feet limitation applies to seated guests, not standing.  Under this calculation, we can provide seating for 24 guests.  We are seeking guidance as to whether we can permit more standing guests in addition to those seated.

B. Parking

Unlike our past practice, for the foreseeable future self-parking by guests, guided by our valets, will be the default.

Valet parking will be available at the client’s option at no additional cost.  Appropriate social distancing measures will be taken for the valet parking process, including having a basket to transfer valet tickets and car keys, disinfecting of car interiors after return to the guest, etc.

C. Coat Check

Coat check, if needed, will be handled in a manner similar to valet parking, with social distancing between coat check team member and the guest.

D. Signage

PHG will post appropriate signage throughout the event space, foyer, restrooms and bar encouraging social distancing, use of masks, handwashing, etc.

E. Mask Station/ Hand Sanitizer Stations

Near coat check at the Grand Hall and near the front desk at the Hotel, PHG will offer individually wrapped face masks for guests who do not possess one. 

Hand sanitizer station will be located in the same places.

F. Bar

In order to maintain social distancing by bartenders, PHG will open two bars for service, so that bartenders can work individually.  Plexiglass screens will be installed at bars.

G. Kitchen

Team members will be trained to maintain a social distance of 6 feet while in the kitchen to the greatest extent possible.  Pathways will be marked for ingress and egress only, and team members waiting to pick up service trays will not be permitted in the kitchen unless they can maintain social distance.

H. Service

1. Passed Hors D’oeuvres:  Passed hors d’oeuvres shall be served from a covered tray by a server using tongs.  Guests shall not be permitted to take items from the trays.  Passed hors d’oeuvres shall be limited to those of a type which may be placed onto a napkin or a plate.  Another option would be hors d’oeuvres which are served on small plates or spoons, and may be passed by hand to the guests.  Skewered items may be served this way as well. 

Servers shall take care to maintain distance between him or herself and guests, and not to linger for too long in one area.

2. Stationed hors d’oeuvres and displays such as charcuterie, cheese, fondue, etc. will be available, but will be served by a PHG team member to guests.  The stationed hors d’oeuvres and displays, along with the server, will be behind a Plexiglas screen.

3. Food station and dinner/lunch buffet menus will be available and will be served in the same manner as stationed hors d’oeuvres and displays.

4. Plated Dinner Service: 

Water Service:  Ice and water should be poured only when the guest is seated.

No food shall be placed at any setting if the guest is not present.

Any items which would normally be on the table for group consumption (rolls, butter, salad dressing) will be provided by servers to guests while seated. 

Condiments such as coffee creamer, salt and pepper, sugar and sweetener, which would normally be on the table for group consumption shall be served upon request by the guest.

Salad, Soup and Dessert Service:  Salads and soups may be brought out uncovered on a tray and served to guests individually.  No salad or soup should be served unless the guest is present.

Entrees:  Entrees shall be brought out on trays with plate covers, per normal practice.  The plate shall be served to the guest with the cover on, and then the cover should be removed after the plate is placed in front of the guest.

Clearing:  Clearing will be by normal practice.  No used plates should be left on the table for more than a minimum time.

In all cases, servers should make an effort to minimize time in close proximity to guests, trying to maintain a 6 foot social distance except when necessary to serve and clear.

I. Head Table

Clients will be encouraged to set head tables so that social distancing may be maintained (i.e., persons from different households should be seated six feet from each other).  This is not a requirement, but a suggestion. 

Per Commonwealth of Pennsylvania mandate, no more than 10 guests may be seated at any one table, and tables must be 6 feet apart from guest to guest. 

Alternatives include a sweethearts’ table for the wedding couple and seating at oval tables for other members of the wedding party.

J. Wedding Ceremonies

Unless a gathering is small enough that PHG can create theater-style seating clusters which maintain a 6 foot social distance between clusters of guests who reside in the same household, guests will need to witness wedding ceremonies from their seats at a table.

K. Menus

All PHG menus will be available without restriction, but with some modifications with regard to service as noted above.

L. Cookie Tables

Traditional cookie tables will not be permitted for the foreseeable future.

Homemade cookies may be separately boxed for guests to take to their tables or to take home. 

M. Wedding Cakes

Wedding cakes will not be able to be covered, so PHG will create a cordon around the cake to prevent any person from getting close enough to breathe on it or touch it prior to wedding couple’s cutting ceremony.  PHG will provide a Plexiglas screen to protect the front of the cake.

N. Dancing & Socializing

PHG recommends that guests and clients maintain social distancing as possible, but proximity with regard to socializing and dancing will be left to guests’ and clients’ discretion.

Seating Charts and Guest Lists

Clients will be required to provide the names of guests who attended the function and a seating chart, for contact tracing if necessary.  If an event does not have pre-registered guests, or will accommodate walk-ins, Clients will need to provide a sign in sheet for such guests.

Guest Restrooms

One female and one male employee each shall be assigned to monitor restrooms.  At appropriate intervals restroom attendants will disinfect all frequently touched surfaces: counters, faucet, urinal and commode handles, stall handles, etc. 

Bathroom attendants will dispose of used towels/ wipes in a plastic trash bag, which will discarded into a covered trash receptacle intended exclusively for discarded Personal Protective Equipment.


Vendors who will be on premise for extended periods of time, such as DJ, band, photographer, videographer, etc. will be subject to the same clock in procedures as employees (i.e., submitting to having his or her temperature taken, filling out the form with regard to symptoms of illness, etc.).

Covid-19 Isolation Area

In the event that a guest complains of or displays Covid-19 symptoms and he or she cannot immediately go home or to alternate accommodations, PHG will provide a Covid-19 Isolation Area away from other guests until he or she can be transported home to a different safe place.