Patti Shock answers additional questions from the 07.26.17 F&B Budget Secrets webinar.

1. Likewise, how do I negotiate with an exclusive caterer at a museum?

The same way you would at a hotel. You don't have a choice of caterer in a hotel either.

2. "Is that normal practice to ask for org. chart?  It does not offend the hotels when we ask for an org chart?"

You have a right to know how the facility is structured. Why would they be offended? I would be leery of a property that was offended by this.

3. I am a local planner and rarely have sleeping rooms with the meeting. Would you agree that for 1/2 day meetings or meetings for 40 people (average) you don't have much room to negotiate on the catering only side?

The amount of $ you spend on F&B is pretty much your only negotiating tool. 

4. Should an attendee with strict dietary needs, expect to be accommodated? Or should one be prepared to get own food?

Unless it is something weird, you should try to accommodate them. Normal things like kosher, vegan, gluten-free, etc., needs should be accommodated, or you should let them know in advance, which could reduce your attendance.

5. Do you have any tips on how to request ICW business numbers, especially if you didn't host this business yourself (e.g. events that are held by sponsors)?

I would put a line on the registration form asking if they have special needs, then have someone from your staff contact them to find out what the special needs are and how to best meet them. The attendees with special meals should be instructed to inform their server when they are seated.

6. What is your colleague's website for tips on becoming vegan?

Thrive Meetings - https://thrivemeetings.com/. She also has a newsletter.

7. Will a celebrity chef possibly be a chef educator at an event, but not do the catering?

If you can afford him/her and you can find a hole in their schedule.

8. How does HAPS get contracted?

You negotiate that before you sign the contract.

9. What’s a normal % for service charges?

They vary by location, but I have seen them from 18% to 24%.

10. Since this is so geared to being vegan ....can we get back to how this impacts the budget and how having multiple options impacts the bottom line?

Some planners expect vegan plates to be less expensive than, say, Prime Rib - if the other guests are having Prime Rib. But that is not a realistic expectation. It takes extra labor and extra coordination in the kitchen.

Click over to page 2 for some additional bonus Q+A with Patti Shock.