Hosting or attending a business dinner may be fairly simple in your own county, but one overseas could be a different story. Unfamiliar surroundings mixed with cultural differences can lead to simple misunderstandings that can easily offend or upset, and ultimately diminish business relationships. But with a bit of homework avoiding offending your dinner guests when traveling on business needn’t be difficult.
Culinaire International’s Senior VP David Wood discusses what planners and attendees will be munching on soon.
Give up cookies for dark chocolate-covered strawberries? These tips, and others, can make your event one that runs on energy and clear thinking.
I’m thrilled that my column smacking a bit on Dallas’ private dining scene did exactly what I wanted it to do: Get people talking.
What I’ve discovered in my years as a culinary consultant around the world is that the hospitality community in any given city can take on a particular nuance. Dallas is no exception.
When does it make sense to do catering in an exhibit? We have some food for thought.
Talk with the banqueting team during your planning process and share with them what you expect. All necessary cleaning must be done back of house and not on the floor.
Today we’re going to talk about the fine art — and I do mean the fine art — of shorting guarantees.
The bottom line: Restaurants, if you sell group business have a staff trained to handle the request. Most importantly, have a catering manager who will get back to the customer on a timely basis.
Let’s talk trends. As I see it, 2013 isn’t going to be just about the food anymore. It will encompass many aspects of the entire experience.
Centerplate, the contract catering company, had a staff person dedicated to following this trade show’s Twitter hashtag in real time, so if someone tweeted a viable comment or complaint, managers could fix it right away.
Don’t confuse “innovation” with “popular.” They are two very different areas.
I did some work for a client last month who had a nice-size food & beverage minimum to play with. Or rather I had a rather large-size F&B minimum to play with. We fed and watered the people all day long. All the guests of this high-income group enjoyed themselves very much. No one wanted […]
Love is in the air … Valentine’s Day — Feb. 14 is here (or gone). The day we either love, or hate, or the day we would love to hate. It’s always a bit awkward for planners who have an event falling over Cupid’s holiday. Especially if your attendees are primarily men and the destination is out of town. […]
I am late (again) with writing this morsel because I just got done doing the food for the Miss California USA beauty pageant. The first thing that should come to everyone’s mind is this question: What am I doing feeding girls that are participating in a beauty contest?! Those girls don’t eat. Well, my dear readers, you are […]
I had a major corporation ask me to participate in an RFP for a 10,000+ person annual event. Most people would have been overwhelmed by this daunting task, but for some reason I wasn’t. I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to dig deep within and show this company what I had to say about […]
As many of you know, I spent 10 days in October working in Vegas for four different clients. Suppliers in this town say they haven’t recovered from the recession. If you’re like me, you’d expect them to be flexible and accommodating so they leave a positive impression that encourages business, right? Nope. Here are some […]
This month I want everyone to hold on to your bouquets because I am doing a … wedding! The lucky couple are getting married in Los Angeles,Calif. They are having a midday wedding/lunch and a party that evening at the groom’s second home, so this has turned into a destination wedding. So what I have learned from planning this event (other […]
Planning a meeting or event in a restaurant has several advantages, especially for small to mid-size groups.
As we are happily heading into spring the one thought that goes through people’s minds is how do we shed our winter “coats” (a.k.a. pounds)? In this morsel, I am going to share a couple of food ideas that will leave your attendees grateful for having food options that are clever, healthy and tasty. Fruit. […]
Claire Gould shares her best practices for culinary negotiations, how to avoid blowing out your budget, handling bar inventory and more.
As we are winding down the calendar year, but gearing up for professional and personal holiday gatherings, the same question gets asked over and over: What to serve on a budget? For the month of December I want to take this morsel out of the banqueting kitchen and bring it into your home for the […]
The first area planners tend to trim money from is their food and beverage budget. But how do you save money without sacrificing the experience for your attendees, avoid getting hit by hidden banquet fees and best work with the director of food and beverage and catering manager to create exceptional events? In this PYM […]
I am going to make this morsel so short and sweet folks aren’t going to believe it. Here is the deal: When we, as planners, give a third party company or facility a budget number, this is what the appropriate vendor needs to do … RESPECT IT! It amazes me when I give someone a […]
Last week I was working for a client, hosting a Friday night reception at a charming wine store owned by a husband and wife. The wine store is in a very sweet and intimate setting that accommodates up to 50 people. During the event, I had a couple of situations happen that I wasn’t so […]
Recently, I went to a party to celebrate the opening of a “new rooftop event space” at an Atlanta office building along with many other event planners and vendors. Atlanta doesn’t have much of a skyline, but that wasn’t what bothered me. What bothered me is that they wanted people to experience their space, atmosphere, […]
As meetings incorporate more and more green programs, the most delicious way to accomplish your eco-event goals and educate your attendees about your actions is through food and beverage. Below are tips to work with your caterers to provide green food to reward your attendees during their long meeting days. Local When building your menu, […]
I was in Indianapolis working an intense food weekend at the NCAA Final Four and I had something interesting occur that rarely happens. What, you ask? I met a chef. Well, that’s not the interesting part because it is only natural that I would be dealing a chef. But this wasn’t any executive chef; it […]
Throughout the years with this column, I have written about weddings, all types of corporate parties and given tips about entertaining in the home. This month, I am going to discuss something that no one is ever really prepared for and which I’ve never seen any event professional discuss: a funeral. On Dec. 19, 2009, […]
As we round out the year, I know many of you are exhaling a collective sigh of relief that 2009 is nearing its end while simultaneously sucking in your breath in anticipation of 2010. With that being said, I want to close out my 2009 monthly morsels by writing about the Executive Chef at The […]
Buying out fine dining restaurants is something I am a big fan of for several reasons. But lately, I am a bit frustrated. I negotiated a buyout of a big-name chef restaurant in Orlando and very clearly told the catering manager up-front that I was going have some menu tweeks. The catering manager said, “Fine, no problem. […]
I am currently negotiating menus at a downtown property and my client is doing lunch buffets. What a buffet is all about is choices, that is why many clients prefer this option of food instead of plated. Here is my problem: This particular property has a hefty price buffet with only ONE choice of dessert. I said to the […]
Sometimes outsourcing part of the planning process can save you a lot of time and money. If you have difficulty reading contracts, feel uncomfortable negotiating, or just want some help creating interesting themes or finding quality vendors at your price point, check out Rx for Catering or Rx for Weddings.
Every month I interview leaders within the various sectors in the meetings and events industry, focusing on the steps they are taking towards implementing sustainable practices. This month, I talk with Tim Stein, the director of operations for Levy Restaurants, the food and beverage contractor for Denver’s Pepsi Center.
Rib Ranch Events and Catering, located in Marietta, Ga., coordinates with other companies to provide tables, chairs, tents, bands, balloons and bartending for special events. Rib Ranch’s wide array of menus include barbecue, breakfast, and Italian food. For more information, call 770-422-7746 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do you plan a traditional banquet without it appearing stuffy? How much liquor do you buy if you have to supply it for a 500-person event? How do you spruce up barbecue? How do you deal with a client who insists on serving mashed potatoes in a martini glass? And how do you tell a venue you hate their preferred caterer?
Every planner knows that the bar bill can drive costs way up. Here’s some valuable advice from our resident F & B expert, Claire Gould.