Nine Cost-Cutting F&B Tips. Oftentimes eliminating the small things is what adds up to big savings. Simple changes are sure to make a dent in the bottom line. Here are some helpful ideas you can incorporate at your next event:
Ditch Coffee Service or Shrink Cup Size. At dinner events, skip coffee service after dinner. Most guests won’t drink it anyways but you can always offer it at the bar for the handful of guests that might. During coffee breaks and even at breakfast, shrink the cup size down to six-ounce cups since most attendees won’t finish their cup. Half-filled coffee cups when you’re paying $80 a gallon would make anyone cringe. Pay based on consumption, not per person.
Skip Specialty Glassware. Choose one glass that works for all offerings at the bar. When you order a variety of glassware, you end up renting more per person than if you stick with one sleek style.
Stay in Season and Shop Local. Use what’s in your meeting location’s backyard – purchase seasonal and local menu items that are currently available at a lower cost. The quality and ingredients will be fresher and better than something out of season and that has to be shipped from across the country.
Control Portion Sizes.
Stick with passed hors d’oeuvres instead of a buffet of appetizers. People tend to only take one hor d’oeuvre when its offered by wait staff but help themselves to more when its a buffet. Plan on three to five pieces per person so everyone gets enough.
Forgo Juice at Breakfast.
Juice is expensive and while people may pour a cup, the majority won’t finish it or even touch it. Waste is the biggest food expense, so don’t waste your money on fruit juices.
Skip the Dessert. Do you eat dessert after lunch when you’re at home? Most people don’t. If dessert is included as part of a luncheon package, see if you can offer it at the afternoon break instead of during lunch. Save $8-$14.00 per person. At dinner events, consider a dessert buffet with smaller portions or see if you can get the dessert donated.
Use Disposables. Renting china can be pricey, use disposable or even better, biodegradable plates, cups, utensils and napkins at appropriate type events. Not surprising, you’re looking at saving $6-$10 per person.
Grab and Go Break Food. Make break food a one stop, grab-and-go item such as a whole piece of fruit or protein bar and have it billed based on consumption.
Limit The Number of Beverage Choices. The standard beer and wine package can be pretty unappealing. Add a speciality cocktail that has a chic name and appearance (company color, special garnish, etc,) or offer a handful of microbrews only. Try brews from a local brewery to make the offers unique. Only pay for what’s uncorked and has been consumed.