We, the event experts here at etouches, would like to share an important piece of advice with you: food will make or break your event. Food and beverage spend not only accounts for a significant percentage of your budget, but F&B is often what attendees remember most vividly about an event. Mealtimes bring guests together, encourage discussions, and facilitate decision making. Below are tips on how to make your food— and therefore your event— memorable, influential, and overall, great. To generate a successful event, you must keep in mind three things: the price, taste, and aesthetic of the food you are serving. F&B leaves a lasting impression on your guests, so don’t leave a sour taste in their mouths!
LOVE your F&B budget. Most event hosts and planners spend too much time and money unsuccessfully negotiating their F&B minimums. Rather than wasting your limited resources attempting to lower a minimum you are likely to exceed, spend your time negotiating the additional benefits, savings, and concessions you would like to be provided for going over the minimum. Your suggestion to the hotel sales person can go something like this: “Not only will we commit to the F&B minimum of 12,000, but I want to add to the contract… If we spend at least $15,000 on F&B, you’ll provide WiFi and complimentary airport transfer for VIP guests.”
SERVE delicious food. Taste cannot be overlooked, but it is not necessary to spend big bucks to provide yummy eats. Consider sourcing your ingredients locally to (1) help the environment, and (2) save you big bucks on shipping costs. Additionally, suggest your caterers to incorporate bruised fruits and vegetables into the dishes, so that foods that normally would have been thrown out can be incorporated into your spread.
Next, increase the amount of fresh foods you provide. This way, you’ll save money on cooking and preparation costs, while providing your guests with food that’s both delicious and nutritious. For example, jazz up a fresh fruit salad with fun additives such as mint leaves or dragon fruit. This way, your food can be tasty and sustainable, without being unaffordable.
REIMAGINE your food; think outside of the box! When it comes to food at events, presentation is everything (read more about this in our last F&B blog post). The aesthetics and names of food are equally as important as how they taste… after all, we are in the digital age where people are always looking to share their food via social networking apps like Instagram and Twitter. Keep up with the trends, and serve your guests the food of the now. Keep in mind that in-vogue foods are often just spins offs on old-school classics—for example, the re-emergence of the donut as a classy dessert circa last year— so use this freedom to test out your own culinary trends.
In conclusion, trendy does not need to mean expensive! Keep up with the latest food fads, and peak your guests’ interests by putting new spins on old favorites. If you’re serving food that’s as yummy as it is interesting, you will have happy, satisfied attendees!
Use these tips on your next event, and you’ll see a difference— I guarantee it.
Written by: Elle Chukwu