F&B Budgeting & Negotiation Strategies


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Just a few years ago, planners were screaming about coffee that cost $80/gallon. Now it approaches $100/gallon. Buffets, which once were the budget-friendly option, now cost more than plated meals. Every meeting needs food and beverage, but the art of culinary negotiation is still one that remains elusive for many meeting planners. In this session, industry veteran Paula Rigling will share her tips for how to save money without sacrificing quality during culinary negotiations, and how to partner with your hotel, venue or catering salespeople to craft high quality, yet affordable menus. This session is worth .5 CMP-IS clock hours in Strategic Domain D: Financial Management. Presented by Paula Rigling at PYM LIVE Austin on May 21, 2014. For more information about PYM and its events for meeting and event planners, visit: http://PlanYourMeetings.com/events

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F&B Budgeting & Negotiation Strategies

  1. 1. #YAYPYM 1 F&B Budgeting and Negotiating Strategies Presented by: Paula J. Rigling, CMP President Meeting Planning Professionals
  2. 2. #YAYPYM 2 Saving money on F&B starts at the very beginning of the planning process, with the RFP. ! If you sign the contract before considering F&B, you lose your chance to negotiate.
  3. 3. #YAYPYM 3 Saving Money Starts with the RFP ! ! ! ! ! What are your F&B essentials?
  4. 4. #YAYPYM 4 RFP F&B Concessions • Rebates on rooms to apply toward F&B • 10-15% overall F&B Discount • Lock in current menu pricing
  5. 5. #YAYPYM 5 RFP F&B Concessions • Comp welcome reception or coffee break • Waived bartender and cashier fees with minimum bar sales • Waived attendant fees for carving stations
  6. 6. #YAYPYM 6 RFP F&B Concessions • Food & Beverage Minimum – State your F&B minimum, less 20% allowable a rition (i.e., $30k F&B minimum X 20% a rition = $24k final guarantee) • Performance Damages – Based on lost profit, not lost revenue (i.e., $10k F&B revenue X 35% profit = $3500)
  7. 7. #YAYPYM 7 RFP F&B Concessions • No charge for less than minimum buffets • No charge for Coke vs Pepsi products • Minimum oversets of 5% vs 3%
  8. 8. #YAYPYM 8 RFP F&B Concessions • Reduced priced menus ( ie- $30 incl. for breakfast, $50 incl. for lunch) • If you can’t get reduced pricing, negotiate upgraded menus or beverages, as that is sometimes easier to get • Negotiate a corkage fee to bring in donated beverages (the fee itself can also be negotiated)
  9. 9. #YAYPYM 9 F&B Minimum • Ask the hotel up-front what their F&B minimum is for your dates – not your program • This number varies based on the time of year. • It’s a great number to have before you start negotiating. • Let’s you see if the hotel is the right fit for you and gauge if you have leverage with the hotel already built into your budget
  10. 10. #YAYPYM 10 F&B Maximum Clause • Too o en we only worry about an F&B Minimum and lose negotiating power if we have a history of a higher F&B Spend • Use your history to negotiate additional concessions that will create real value for your group ! “If we spend at least $20,000 on F&B, we’ll unlock these additional concessions.”
  11. 11. #YAYPYM 11 Money Saving Tips When Ordering • Share your budget with the Chef and ask for special menus to meet your pricing • For larger groups, NEVER order per person for continental breakfast or breaks, ALWAYS order a la carte as it is much cheaper – Exception: When ordering for a small group of less than 15-20 is it usually cheaper to pay per person than to order a la carte
  12. 12. #YAYPYM 12 Do the Math- Save Money at Continental Breakfast ! For continental breakfast order: • Regular Coffee- 1 gallon per 30 a endees • Decaf Coffee- 1 gallon per 75 a endees • Hot Water- 1 gallon per 100 • Sodas/Water- Order for 25% of group • Pastries- Order for 75-90% of the group
  13. 13. #YAYPYM 13 Do the Math- Save Money on Breaks ! For breaks order: • Regular Coffee- 1 gallon per 50 a endees • Decaf Coffee- 1 gallon per 50 a endees • Hot Water- 1 gallon per 100 • Sodas/Water- Order for 70% of group
  14. 14. #YAYPYM 14 Do the Math- Save Money on Coffee One gallon of coffee will serve the following: • 21 6-oz cups • 16 8-oz cups • 10 12-oz cups
  15. 15. #YAYPYM 15 Save Money on Breaks • Skip the bottled water, and use hydration stations • Ice down all bottled sodas and juice as people are less likely to grab extras for their bag if they are dripping wet • Offer only one item at break — grab and go items work great — whole fruit, protein bars • Shrink the cups. Ask for 6 oz cups and eliminate “to go” cups as they are usually larger
  16. 16. #YAYPYM 16 Save Money at Meals • Skip the juice on plated breakfasts and place ice water on the tables instead • Skip dessert at lunch, few people eat it • Eliminate coffee at lunch • Serve lunch dessert at the a ernoon break- those same people who decline it at lunch will eat it at 3:00
  17. 17. #YAYPYM 17 Save Money at Receptions • For a hosted bar, offer limited options: beer, wine and sodas are fine • Get pricing for dra vs bo led beer • Pass the Hors d’ Oeuvres instead of placing them on a buffet, as people usually only take one from a waiter but load up their plate
  18. 18. #YAYPYM 18 Save Money at Receptions • The more options you offer, the more likely people are to take one of each • Request smaller plates or no plates • Fewer appetizer stations in a big room reduces consumption. ! Remember: A hosted bar increases consumption as people stay longer …
  19. 19. #YAYPYM 19 Do the Math- Save Money on Hors d’ Oeuvres Length & Type of Reception
 Type of Eaters # pieces of
 Hors d ’Oeuvres
 Per Person Less than 1.5 hours
 with dinner following Light
 Heavy 4-5 pieces
 7-8 pieces
 10+ pieces Less than 2 hours
 with no dinner following Light
 Heavy 6-8 pieces
 10-12 pieces
 14+ pieces 2 to 3 hours with
 no dinner following Light
 Heavy 8-10 pieces
 10-12 pieces
 16+ pieces
  20. 20. #YAYPYM 20 ! Contact me: Paula J. Rigling, CMP President, Meeting Planning Professionals pjrig@aol.com 512-791-4701