How to maximize your F&B budget


August 3, 2015BY Wendy Parsley

We see food costs continuing to rise. Not to mention the increase in the taxes and services fees on that food.

F&B discounts can be hard to get at a hotel or convention center. But, there are ways to survive the F&B budget gauntlet.

Our clients trust us to make good decisions when it comes to the food & beverage portion of the budget. It is a huge line item in an event budget and requires creativity and diligence to stay on target.

Here are 5 things you might help you save some money.

  1. Nix bottled water. It is expensive and generates way too much plastic waste. Go for the water stations instead. Consider offering a nice water bottle as a gift to the attendees that they can refill during their stay (and take it home with them).
  2. Look at your portions. Plated dinners can be a budget killer. Why order a 10-ounce filet when a 6-ounce filet is fine.
  3. Re-plate leftover pastry from breakfast with fresh coffee & tea for the morning break. You might pay a small labor fee for the re-plating, but it will definitely be less expensive than a full priced break.
  4. Try the piggyback approach. Is another group in-house the same time as you? Consider offering similar menu items as them. It helps streamline the hotel order and generate a cost savings for you.
  5. Tap into the local vendors. If you are luck enough to host your event in a foodie city like San Francisco, your local food vendor options are boundless. Including local food vendors into you menu showcases the bounty of the area and supports the local economy.

Don’t be afraid to talk with your hotel contact about menu planning. They are your partners and they are there to help. Whether it is a customized menu or an all-inclusive package price, you might be surprised what your hotel contact can work up for you.

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