F&B Negotiation Redux

In this industry, as in life, not everyone does or perceives things the same way. In this blog, I'll be looking at differing opinions, terminology, service styles, etc. Here is an example of different ways of looking at things:

food and beverageFollowing my post on negotiation, I received the following in an email from my friend, Gayle Skelton, Senior Meeting Planner with Invesco in Atlanta, and a former caterer, “I was dumbfounded at the statement that food and beverage minimums are not negotiable. What about "need periods" or a wedding on a weekday. You bet I would negotiate that minimum. That makes no sense to me. On a Saturday night.....absolutely.  But even then, if a room is going to sit dark, why wouldn't you back off the minimum? Just curious.”

Cheryl Sgovio, Director of Catering and Convention Sales at the Thomas & Mack Center/Cox Pavilion/Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, who made the original comment responded, “I believe my quote was misunderstood. When I said: 'Minimums. We have to be sure and protect the space we are holding and ensure it will be offset with either a high enough food and beverage purchase and/or rental.'
"My point is that once we give a client a minimum, we do not negotiate it. We know what it costs to open the doors, turn on the air conditioning (heater), schedule the staff, etc., even before we start the F&B ordering or preparation. I didn't say that we never offer a lower minimum on a 'soft' period, but if we haven't given a high enough minimum we potentially stand to lose money.
"We've had events that want to book our venues and have initial plans for thousands of people, when in the end it may wind up being much lower. If we don't stick to our minimum we don't cover those initial costs mentioned above.”

Please feel free to continue the discussion in the comments section below.

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