Size does matter.
I’m sure I have written about this before, but it just happened to me again, so I’m writing about it again. Does size matter? Is it important? Yes, it does, and I’m talking about PLATES (and, well, it doesn’t hurt with the other thing either).
I’m sitting at a popular hotel doing a luncheon for a client paying close to $50 per person for a semi-buffet lunch. To be honest, my client isn’t getting a lot of food for the money but this menu is doing the trick. I’m doing the salad pre-set and dessert pre-set. The rest of the menu is buffet-style:
- Pre-set salad
- Buffet-style beef and chicken
- Buffet-style potatoes
- Buffet-style vegetables
- Buffet-style rolls
- Pre-set platters of dessert down the middle of the conference table
I did dessert this way so people could sit and talk as the meal was winding down.
There were a couple of places where I went wrong. Yes, where “I” went wrong. I need to be more specific about a couple of things. I should have told the hotel that I wanted the platters to have a mix of desserts — they put only one kind of dessert per platter. This makes no sense because if someone wants one type of dessert and it isn’t in front of them, they have to ask someone to pass it. I see this more and more, so make sure you ask for platters with a mix of desserts.
Be specific about plate size, too. A facility can make money using a smaller plate. It’s like packaged foods: Less food goes in and the package is filled with air. But this wasn’t an inexpensive lunch and, yet, they wanted to put entrees on 7-inch plates. WRONG!!! I use 7-inch plates for salad. Buffet entrees should go on 8- or 9-inch plates. How else is anyone going to get food on their plates? Desserts should go on 5- or 7-inch plates.
The same is true with continental breakfasts. Most hotels put out 5-inch plates. There’s no way you can place your fruit and bread all on a plate that size. Hotels bank on you taking less food or skipping the food option you want (because there’s no room on the plate). Thus, less food is eaten, portion sizes are smaller and their food costs are lower. It’s a shame it has come to this, but moving forward it’s our job as planners to specify the plate size and give our guests the food we have purchased.
That’s my story for now, and I’m sticking to it.