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Event Planners Grapple with Rising F&B Costs

With F&B costs now up to 20 percent of overall event budgets, planners are turning to new techniques to hold the line.

Event attendees have to eat, and with the rise of social media, they can share their opinions on F&B quicker than ever. How can event planners deliver food in the face of rising costs? Skift shares some strategies:

CWT Meetings & Events finds that food and beverage costs make up 20 percent of overall event budgets--up from around 15 percent five years ago, according to senior vice president and global head Cindy Fisher ... Because it constitutes such a large slice of event budgets, food and beverage spending has become a clear target when overall expenses need to be reduced. One way to cut costs is to exclude food and beverage from registration packages and ask participants to pay on consumption, which has been common practice in the trade show model for some time.

Large events are now replacing in-house catering with user-pays food trucks, reducing costs while also enhancing the dining experience for attendees. For Fisher, menu consolidation is one of the best strategies to keep costs under control. “Narrowing the menu to utilize a kitchen in a certain way may reduce food and beverage rates if a venue saves money through bulk purchasing and preparation and passes on some of those savings to buyers” … Skift

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