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Tips On Reducing Your Food & Beverage Charges

Posted By Kevin Fett
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I have written several blogs on How Food and Beverage can be used to create engagement on the show floor and used to attract attendees. Many trade show managers would like to add in an F&B element, but feel the pressure of budgetary restraints, so oftentimes choose to leave it out. There are ways to reduce your F&B charge and have an enjoyable food and beverage experience.

Here are several tips to help you get the F&B you want without breaking your budget.

  • Piggy back on the menu of another group. You can see some savings when you are simply adding head count into an existing menu.
  • List the menu and pricing in the contract. No one likes hidden fees or surprises when it comes to contracts. Adding menus and pricing into the contract may not be something you had considered in the past, but understanding exactly what you are paying for can certainly help reduce overall costs.
  • Keep the open wine. Open bottles of wine are technically yours. Take them into a VIP suite and use the wine at your after-hours event. You paid for the bottles, and the wine is still good.
  • Ask for cash bar credit towards your F&B minimum. If you do a cash bar at your event, as for that amount be applied towards your F&B minimum.
  • Consider doing plated food over buffet. Studies have shown that, on average, we consume 15-20% more at a buffet. Buffets tend to be a higher charge for that very reason. Look at plated meals if you do not have a lot of dietary restrictions in your attendees.
  • Negotiate a complimentary continental breakfast with your F&B. The cost is lower for a simple continental buffet, and you may be able to negotiate it into your F&B package for free.
  • Instead of a costly centerpiece, think outside the vase. Ask for the desserts to be made into a simple centerpiece, so you reduce the overall cost of your F&B with centerpieces that get tossed at the end of the event.
  • Ask for a sponsor for part of your F&B. Whether it is for a breakfast, coffee, or possibly even part of the lunch, see if you can offer a sponsorship opportunity.

There are several ways to incorporate food and beverage into your trade show without maximizing your budget. These are only a few tips to help you add in F&B and do so with your budget in mind. If you have other tips to reduce F&B, share your ideas!