The Planner on Rising Food Costs

By Angie Ahrens, January 11, 2016

Have you seen the price of eggs or meat lately? If you are a planner, you have surely felt it. I know I have, as our meal package pricing doesn’t go as far as it used to. In today’s economy, how does a planner continue to deliver the meals attendees expect? Here are a few ideas.

Serve brunch.

Rather than breakfast and lunch, why not start the day a little later and serve brunch? Be aware you will need to supply a heartier afternoon break, or your attendees will fade fast.

Save the sweets.

Want to save on a break later in the day? Hold the dessert from lunch and serve it for an afternoon snack. Consider the health factor of the treats to avoid a sugar crash.

Count accurately.

The F&B history of your group is very important, and waste is something no one wants (and if you have it, be sure to donate it!). Accurately taking note of your attendees’ habits can save a lot of money. If they are out late the night before, they may skip the continental breakfast the next day, for example.

Go local.

Working with your chef to serve seasonal and local dishes is the most effective way to get the best food—and many times, at the best price—for your attendees. Give him or her your budget and the freedom to be creative.

Angie Ahrens, CMP, is director of meetings and events at Collinson Media and Events, overseeing the logistics and programming of all CME events including the annual Rejuvenate Marketplace. Read more of her tips at

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