Event Food & Beverage Contracts

Eating at a Meeting Podcast Episode 114

Event Food & Beverage Contracts

Smiling Joan Eisenstodt, a meetings industry contract expert, with her hand on her left cheek as she sits in a restaurant When negotiating and signing contracts with a hotel or other venue to hold a meeting/event there is usually a food and beverage (F&B) contract clause that stipulates the group must spend a minimum amount of money on F&B during the event, providing a source of revenue for the venue. And, if the group doe not generate the contracted amount, it will responsible for making up the difference.

These are “standard” clauses, if you’re in the industry. But what is the standard now after/during the pandemic? What has to be negotiated as it relates to food and beverage sourcing? What about staffing? Room sizes? Ordering deadlines? Is food service being provided in-house or by a third party?

Listen as Joan and Tracy chat about the latest in hotel food and beverage contracting that meeting planners need to be aware of when booking venues for events.

Guest Introduction

Joan Eisenstodt, respected (meetings) industry veteran, has operated a Washington, DC-based meetings consulting business since 1981. Consultant, teacher, mentor, she’s been honored by industry associations including 2004 induction to the EIC Hall of Leaders. Joan believes asking better and deeper “tell me more” questions leads to better negotiations, contracts, and meeting experiences.

What do safe, inclusive & sustainable food and beverage experiences look like to you?

Conscious intentional effort in asking questions of participants, food provider, and servers in preparing for events, and in follow through to ensure each party’s needs are met and no one is left out by omission or intent.

Do you have an example of a situation that negatively effected you and/or other individuals or groups’ food and beverage experience?

Oh so many!

  • Taking over meetings where contracts were signed, BEOs committed, and finding items, service, pricing were all not a match for expectations.
  • Buffets too high for PWDs using mobility devices to access.
  • Mis- or lack of communication from the start and no clarification in contracts.

What is a best practice you use/or have seen to create safe, sustainable, and inclusive F&B experiences?

Intention and deep-questioning and inclusion of information as a meeting is being planned – from goal setting to destination, site, vendor selection, negotiating and contracting which means not rushing (esp. at quarter or year end) contracts before all is known and agreed.

Awareness of conditions that impact who/why/how/what – and now more than ever because of the pandemic, laws, supply chain.

What do you wish people knew about what you do?

It’s more than brain surgery or rocket science.

Just for fun…What is your favorite food and your favorite drink?

Food: Seedy rye with sweet butter
Drink: Water


Connect with Joan —   LinkedIn  |  Twitter

Check out other featured guests on the Eating at a Meeting podcast.

Eating at a Meeting is part of the Nitty Grits Podcasts network