How much Food?

Food can be a very important piece of an event, whether you are working on a small meeting, a large fundraiser or a corporate VIP event.  Your guests have decided that your event is important and providing their bodies with healthy, tasteful nourishment is one of the easy ways for you to show your appreciation.  But selecting food and beverages can be challenging.  How much to order?  How much coffee to people drink?  Miscalculations can result in overspending or ending up with a lot of waste.

In this post, we’re sharing a few guidelines to help you with your planning:

  • Coffee, tea and water should always be provided at the start of any meeting. Don’t cut costs by cancelling your coffee service, you need your guests to stay awake!  On average 70% of your guest will consume coffee, 20% will drink decaf coffee and 10% will drink tea.  Plan for a coffee or water break every 2-2.5 hours.
  • For Meetings or events with 0-100 guests, keep your breaks to 15 minutes and for over 1000 guests, refreshment breaks should be scheduled for 30 minutes.
  • Meetings planned for more than 4 hours should include one meal. If you don’t have a big budget, a continental breakfast can be your least expensive option.  Hint:  Pastries are usually least popular, so stick with bagels, muffins, fruit, yogurt parfaits, etc.
  • When planning a multiple day event, be sure to switch up the food selection from day to day and don’t be afraid to ask the venue or Chef to be a bit creative.
  • Don’t forget to ask your guests about dietary restrictions or allergies prior to the event date. This is incredibly important, and venues are typically more than accommodating with advance notice, while last minute requests are often much more difficult to make work and often results in unhappy guests and unhappy catering and kitchen team.

Our final tip of the day, if your venue’s menu prices don’t meet your budget, work with the catering representative to design something that will work for you.  Sometimes choosing the same meal another group is having in another meeting room or scheduling your lunch break a bit earlier (or later) than another function they are hosting will give you more wiggle room!

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