Squeak, squeak, the distinct sound of whistling, and the whine of unoiled wheels moving closer and closer and closer - the catering cart is being pushed through the hundreds of attendees in the hotel meeting room, slightly smaller than comfortable. The options: chicken and vegetarian lasagna.
"I'll take the vegetarian option, please. Something with no carbs?" the attendee asks.
"We have vegetarian lasagna. Nothing more." the server responds.
At the end of the meal, hundreds of meals went uneaten as the novice meeting planner had not heard of underguarantees and some attendees secretly skipped out to their favorite restaurants. Moreover, many attendees who elected to join their colleagues in the hotel couldn't wait until they could voice their opinion about the uncreative food choices. Common, the meeting planner gets reprimanded for the lousy food.
Let's face it, sometimes hotel food is less than desirable, food is wasted, and money is lost. It is time to get serious about Food and Beverage practices. Can you answer these questions?
- Do you know how much you spend on food and beverage each year?
- What percentage is your food and beverage spend of your total meeting spend? Do you know what the industry averages are?
- Do you know, by SIC, MCC or UNSPSC, how much is spent on food and beverage?
- What employees spend the most on food and beverage?
- Per meal, how much should you underguarantee?
- Per meal, how many attendees actually attended?
- Do you track food and beverage spend on-site vs. offsite per meeting?
- Who is responsible for managing and selecting the food and beverage choices? Is there an escalation process for the high food and beverage spend requests?
- What is the cost and quality difference of food in the hotel vs. various restaurants?
- How do you identify your food choices on a buffet?
- What sources do you use to select healthy meal options?
- How much of a rebate can you expect on all of your food and beverage spend?
- What is your food and beverage strategy and how does it fit into your Strategic Meetings Management Program? What does a food and beverage strategy contain?
- Who can help you move toward a new food and beverage strategy? What are the drivers for moving toward a comprehensive food and beverage strategy?
For those of you who know me….boy oh boy…do I have some GREAT templates for you to use in your quest to manage this meeting / event category.
In two webinars, we will be answering some of the questions above. And, those questions that we don't answer in the webinars, we'll answer one-on-one or through this blog! I'm pleased to partner with Dinova to bring these webinars to you. Join us!
Here is a link to the first webinar, the second webinar link will be forthcoming.
If you cannot join the webinars but would like assistance answering these questions for your organization, contact me, I'm here to help you!
A BIG THANK YOU to all of the meetings and travel leaders who continue to support me through the T&E blog, LinkedIn groups, client engagements and most important, your friendship.
Thank you for visiting the T&E Plus Blog on expense management, travel management, business meetings, events, incentives, strategic meetings management, entertainment, virtual meetings, tickets, hotels, airlines, ground transportation plus more...
Debi Scholar, GLP, GTP, CMM, CMP, SSGB, CTE, CTT, CBST
Strategic Meetings Management: The Strategy Quick Reference Guide (2011)
• Co-Author, Strategic Meetings Management Handbook (2011)
• Meetings Management Mover and Shaker as selected by Corporate and Incentive Travel Magazine (2010)
• Top 20 Changemaker who influenced the meetings management industry by Corporate Meetings and Incentives (2008)
• Best Meeting Practitioner as selected by Business Travel News (2007)
*Debi is proud to be one of only seven 2011 Editorial Board members for Hotel Business Review at http://www.hotelexecutive.com/ for Conferences & Meetings.
*Debi created two LinkedIn groups (GBTA SMM and T&E Plus) that now claim over 2,000 worldwide members combined.