With budget still high on everyone’s priority list moving into the New Year, looking at ways to pare-down Food and Beverage costs are becoming more and more important. Planners may think that since attendees are traveling away from home to go to a meeting they expect to have lavish meals and complicated cuisines served up on a silver platter. This is actually quite the contrary. While away from home attendees seek comfort food and classic dishes, breakfast and lunch especially. Keeping things simple will please both attendees and your budget.
This month in Meetings and Convention Magazine, we can read about the “F&B Trends in 2010” and how these can be implemented in upcoming shows. Over the last year hotels have seen a dramatic increase in “cheaper” proteins such as chicken and a dramatic decrease in expensive filet mignon and seafood such as lobster. Dishes you cannot pronounce are out and classic foods are born again. However, this does not mean your menu will be bland and unexciting. Just because you are going back to basics does not mean there cannot be a little flavor. By taking a simple dish and adding a little flair attendees will still have a “wow” factor while keeping costs down.
With New Year’s resolutions to get to the gym and to be more health conscience in mind, it is sometimes hard to stick to it while onsite. Long days and hectic schedules detour attendees as well as planners from getting in a daily workout. Offering healthier options and smaller portions allow attendees to focus more on networking rather than indulging on that second helping. We are seeing a lot more vegetarian options included, which are both healthy and less expensive.
For receptions, shorter time windows, tapas themed hors d’oeuvres, and smaller quantities, are becoming a trend. The buffet should not be the focus, but rather getting a quick bite then onto networking. For dessert, mini dessert shooters have been more prominent. Just a taste is all that is needed to enjoy these delicious treats. In the December 2009 issue of One+ you can read, “That’s So Last Year, Oh Wait, This Year” giving you some 2010 food trends to keep in mind.