Saving money on food and beverage functions takes a bit of creativity and strategy...or just follow what experienced planners have already figured out.
- Guests eat less during receptions if their attention is diverted by entertainment, music or dancing.
- If guests come directly to a cocktail reception following a meeting, consumption of hors d’oeuvres will be less than if they relax and come an hour later.
- Eliminate bar service and serve only butlered (waiter-passed) drinks to lower consumption.
- Instead of bottled water, provide pitchers or coolers.
- Instead of a closing luncheon, hand out hotel restaurant vouchers. Many attendees will not utilize it.
- To reduce consumption, shorten the cocktail reception by 15 minutes—or even 30.
- Order sandwiches for entertainers and crew instead of serving full banquet meals.
- Roll away the continental breakfast when it is time for the meeting to start. This saves money and encourages punctuality.
- Seek sponsors for receptions, meal functions or coffee breaks.
Arlene Sheff, CMP, is a strategic marketing consultant with over 30 years of experience in the meeting and event management industry.