June 28, 2022

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Catering and event management company Parker Grant goes virtual to grow in pandemic

Parker Grant shipped out its first meals in March. Individual entrees range from $11.99 to $13.99, and feature items such as Cajun shrimp and sausage, chimichurri steak and gluten-free pasta with turkey meatballs. The company also offers charcuterie boards starting at $45. A staff of chefs who have worked in and around Detroit prepare the meals.

“It’s a great option for families,” said Kosch, whose background is in hospitality. Kosch previously served as chief operating officer of Kosch Catering, working with his father and uncle in the family business, which was established in 1981. Parker Grant is a separate venture operated solely by Parker and Kosch.

“We’re finding young families with kids, with parents juggling working from home, they want to have a nutritious, delicious home-cooked meal,” Kosch said. “We’re seeing the packages make a good gift. A lot of people’s loved ones are stuck at home, so this is a great option.”

The company is making its name, though, with its virtual “signature hangout” packages offered to corporations.

Parker, who has worked with Compass Group USA to bring concessions and private lounges to 17 baseball stadiums, said the group found that though companies are traveling less, they still have a budget for travel and events such as corporate retreats. Parker Grant is finding that companies are willing to repurpose those funds to virtual gatherings.

Parker Grant in a signature hangout hosts up to 300 people via Zoom. Each attendee receives a package with a meal kit to prepare, craft cocktails and company swag. Parker Grant handles all aspects of the parties including registration, sending invitations and lining up entertainment. A Christmas hangout package runs $150 per person while a New Year’s package is $175.

“What we provide with the signature hangouts is a way for companies to engage with their employees,” Parker said. “(Kosch) and I have a passion for this industry. We had the opportunity to grow the idea and eventually do something together that we love.

“Obviously with COVID, things changed. We’re young enough and know enough about technology that we were able to adapt pretty quickly and change the company’s structure overnight without it being noticed by anyone.”