Until yesterday, I was unfamiliar with the concept of "banquetology." But after a MeetingNews and Successful Meetings webinar titled "Driving Value Through F&B: Wow Your Guests and Establish Meetings Excellence Without Breaking the Bank," I not only what the term meant, but that it can save meeting planners quite a bit on their food & beverage budget.
So what is banquetology? According to the Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront in Melbourne, Fla., banquetology "fuses three emerging trends: right-sized food portions, a variety of menu options, and eye-pleasing presentations." For example, fruit and yogurt parfaits served in shot glasses, mini cupcakes, or small side salads passed out in Chinese take-out containers could be included on a banquetology menu.
Usually you'd think that bigger is better when it comes to catering at meetings and events. But in fact banquetology's "less is more" concept can be quite beneficial to planners in a number of ways.
• Cost-effective meals. Less food plus less labor equals lower cost. Enough said.
• More interaction among attendees. Attendees will spend less time being herded through a buffet line and making repeat trips to pick up forgotten silverware or napkins. Because many of the smaller portions used in banquetology are easily passed by banquet staff, your attendees can enjoy some food while focusing on networking with other guests. Plus, after the meal is over, you won't have the problem of overstuffed attendees struggling to keep focused on anything but their desire for a nap.
• Less waste. Smaller portions create less food waste naturally because they use fewer ingredients. They also generate less waste from attendees. Your guests will no longer pick up a huge turkey sandwich, a bag of chips, banana, and jumbo cookie, only to realize their eyes were bigger than their stomach. Now they can actually sample some of everything, but will be able to finish each item they pick up.
Have you used the concept of banquetology at any of your events? What did you serve, and how was it received by conference goers?