The Importance of Food and Beverage at Your Event

Gathering around a table and breaking bread is one of the oldest traditions of mankind. It creates a sense of harmony and allows people to connect on a spiritual, physical, and intellectual level. As an event planner, you hold the opportunity to help your guests kindle relationships and connections over a shared meal.

As you’re shopping for an event venue in Atlanta, it’s likely that the most expensive line item in your budget is the meal you’ll serve the guests. It’s no secret that event budgets are shrinking while the cost of food is rising, so how can you ensure that your event’s meal isn’t an afterthought?

With dedicated planning and out-of-the-box thinking, you can make your meal(s) memorable. Here’s why food and beverage are so important at events, and some ideas on how to efficiently manage your budget.

Hospitality Basics
Food has always been tied to good hospitality. Dating back to biblical times, this idea revolves around opening up a space to guests, including strangers, and sharing a meal together. Breaking bread leads to conversations, ideas, friendships, and strengthened connections. After all, eating is something everyone can agree on.

Whether it’s in a home or a conference room, hosting and taking care of guests is the epitome of generosity. Hosts work hard to ensure their guests’ experience is thoughtful and seamless. If you see meals as just another item on your conference to-do list, you might as well give everyone a per diem to eat by themselves.

While you're at it, be sure to check out our post on the 4 Key Ingredients to a Successful Meeting.

Gathering for a meal is imperative in developing relationships and creating conversation. By being intentional about meal planning, you’re giving your guests the opportunity to make great connections.

Choosing a Menu without Jeopardizing Quality
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of meal sharing, putting together a menu that’s appropriate and cost-friendly is a difficult task. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Let your guests have a "hand" in their meal by setting up "build your own bars" or attending a cooking demonstration.
  2. Eliminate plated dinners and set up stations around the room. This encourages people to get moving and talking. Typically, stations are a cost-effective alternative to plated dinners.
  3. If you do decide to go the station route, keep things lively by incorporating a theme at each one. Consider different cultures, snacks, and desserts as ideas to work into your stations.
  4. Nothing says fellowship like family-style meals. Guests will have the opportunity to experience a meal from a common plate, allowing the contents of the meal to spark conversation.

Looking to plan an event in Atlanta? Escape to Atlanta Evergreen Marriott, right outside of the city. We’re nestled right in the heart of Stone Mountain Park and are proud to offer 48 event rooms, 311 hotel rooms, 25 suites. Learn more about our space, or get in touch with us at 770-879-9900

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