Often times, food and beverage costs are he most expensive components of a meeting or event. There are always the tried and true ways to shaving these costs such as offering a buffet versus plated dinner service or having a cash bar instead of a hosted bar; but there are more ways to do this as well.
Local, Organic and Healthy - Mixing local ingredients and flavors with the trend towards health consciousness is top of mind for planners and caterers this year. From creative breakfasts and lunches to themed breaks… even if the food served has always been healthy, it has to appear healthier, and that’s where wellness and health food theming comes into play.
Food Trucks - Food trucks are they current hot item in F&B, they are suddenly everywhere! Even if you’re staying at a hotel, they are fun to incorporate for lunches or breaks getting attendees outdoors and a bit of fresh air. Cooked up by epicurious entrepreneurs, the mobile food business is even starting to whet the appetites of established companies and more and more trucks and menu options are available for events.
Downsize - Most guests don’t expect a four-course meal so why do we keep insisting upon it? Cut back to a three-course meal or offer two courses and a bite sized dessert buffet so people will eat less but enjoy more variety. Instead of serving a 8 oz. steak, serve a 5 oz. steak. On coffee breaks, downsize the cup size to stretch each gallon of coffee further. Your guests will be just as appreciative and so will your bottom line!
Drink Tickets - Instead of hosting an open bar, give guests drink tickets or select a specialty drink to offer versus a full premium bar. Come up with a unique name, such as an “Arrangers Rocks” Margarita, and add to the fun!
Secure Sponsors - Defray F&B costs by finding companies that will sponsor coffee breaks, meals and events (reception, bar, etc.) It’s easy to identify companies that are trying to get in front of your event attendees. You could even host a reception on a trade show floor – exhibitors use food as bait to lure in prospects and engage in dialogue! Present them with sponsorship package options, even options that would make them partners for years to come!