Food, Beverage and Receptions
Making Cost-Effective Choices
- Tie your menu in with that of a larger group or to the restaurant specials.
- Evaluate the cost and time savings for a small group to eat in a private section of the restaurant, as opposed to having a catered meal.
- Spell out when guarantees will be due, usually within 48 to 72 business hours prior to the event.
- Write into the contract what the "overset" will be. An overset is the number of people the facility will set tables and places for the above guarantee. This amount varies from 0 to 5 % or more; the industry average is 3 %.
- You will usually be billed for the guaranteed number or the number served, whichever is greater.
- Find out what service charges and/or gratuities will be added to the price of the meal and taxed, to avoid any surprises.
- Don’t compromise on quality. If your budget is restrictive, review the number of food functions you are planning and consider any economies.
- Consider flowers, decorations and entertainment. Your hotel can provide ideas for floral arrangements, table and room decor and quality entertainment.
Planning the Meals
- Allow enough time at all food and beverage events for people to eat leisurely, network with colleagues and enjoy the presentation, if any.
- Generally allow 30 to 40 minutes for breakfast, 45 to 60 minutes for lunch, and 20 minutes per course for dinner. For refreshment breaks, allow a minimum of 15 minutes for up to 100 people, 30 minutes for up to 1,000 people and 30 to 45 minutes for groups larger than 1,000.
- Plan on two cups of coffee or tea per person for a morning break and one cup of coffee/tea or one soda per person during an afternoon break.
- Consider a luncheon buffet for small group working sessions. Buffets offer variety and faster service.
- Consider requesting one server for each table, for more formal meals and/or VIP tables.
- Most facilities allow one server for every two tables, for standard, three- or four-course meals. Check with the facility to determine if there will be additional labor charges for the extra servers.
- Always plan to serve a variety of foods during cocktail receptions, that are healthy, current with trends and offer visual appeal.
- Provide one bartender for every 75-100 people, if you have bars. For fewer than 100 people, pay for liquor by the drink.
- Offer festive, nonalcoholic beverages in addition to beer, wine and premium brands of liquor.
- Ask if there can be a donation of leftover food to homeless shelters or distribution organizations for the needy.
Please allow us to make your important meeting successful!
For more information on Business Meetings:
Functions@TheInnofHampton.com or call 800-423-4561
To get specific information for your personalized event, CLICK HERE and complete the form.