Events call for food and beverage. Attendees do expect to be fed. Put your budget on a bit of diet by paying attention to exactly what is included on the menu and making a few changes here and there that will truly add up in the end. Here are some ideas for you.
Know Much About History: If you know the history of your group, this will definitely help you in the negotiation process. Knowing their likes, dislikes and habits will aid you in knowing exactly what to order.
Rev Up a Rebate: The further out you can plan your meeting, the better chance you have of securing a rebate, which could help you to save thousands! If you are going to sign a contract with a venue and are 2 more years out, you can certainly ask for a rebate on food and non-alcoholic beverages. Ask for a 15% rebate.
Piggyback: Find out if there will be another event at the same time as your event. You may then be able to mimic their menu and negotiate a lower price.
Bring a Knife: A knife can help you cut your budget. For breakfast items like pastries and bagels, request these items be cut in half. Desserts like cookie bars can be cut into smaller pieces. Don’t offer full sandwiches at lunchtime, cut these in half as well.
Be the Participant: Think through what you are feeding your people. If box lunches are being offered, perhaps it’s best to cut out any items that may require the use of a fork. If they are trying to balance a box lunch while eating with a fork, many will just skip it and they’ll basically be throwing your money away.
No Packages Please: Meeting planners may notice that attendees have a tendency to grab packages and take them to eat later. Instead, offer snack items in a bowl with a spoon for serving.
Care For a Drink: Rather than a full bar, offer preselected beverages that are passed to guests. Another idea is to offer drink tickets, which will give you control over the amount of drinks being served.
All Exclusive: All-inclusive can lead to all too much money. Instead, delete some items from packages and ask to be charged on consumption.
Bye Bye Bottles: Offering bottled water is going to cost you, instead set up water stations. This is also an easy green initiative for you meeting. Bottled water tends to be wasted and is also something that guests can easily walk away with.
But do keep in mind that you do not want to be labeled as a cheapskate. There is certainly no harm in making a few changes and cutting out items that do not make sense, but you do not want to be creating a ton of unnecessary annoyance for the venue.
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