Ah food, some would say it can make or break an event / retreat. We here at Canaan wanted to put together this blog post to put your mind at ease and to give you some tips on how to plan your meals.
FIRST, DON’T STRESS OVER THE FOOD
Food will only make or break your event if you let it! Food is a wonderful thing and we all love it but we encourage you to not make the food the center of your event. Yes, the meals are important but they are not the reason you’re hosting an event. Instead, they are just one part of your event.
WAYS MEALS BECOME THE FOCUS (WHEN THEY SHOULDN’T!)
Over Budgeting for Food – Don’t let the majority of your event or retreat cost be for food
Too Many Options – It’s great to let your guests choose what they would like to eat but understand that opinions will vary and inevitably, a portion of the group will be disappointed if they don’t get what they want
Over Discussing the Food – Discussion before your event is super important but don’t let the majority of the discussion be about the meals. Remember to discuss all the other amazing facets of your event.
Trying Something New – If you’ve never tried a specific caterer or restaurant and you don’t know anybody who has, be careful!
RETREAT MEAL TIPS
Receive Multiple Quotes for Your Meals – If you are using a caterer or even a restaurant, be sure to get multiple quotes as the price can be drastically different
Use Who You Know – Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread Papa John’s Pizza, etc… stick to places you’ve been and establishments you enjoy! Also, feel free to ask your friends and guests for referrals
Plan Things Out – Caterers get busy as do restaurants so be sure to order weeks ahead. Keep in mind as well, any establishment will need to purchase supplies for your event so last minute orders are usually not possible.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask – Have a favorite restaurant? Ask them if they cater! We have many local restaurants that cater but don’t necessarily market that they do
Check Your Local Grocery Store – Your local grocery store may have a deli with some amazing deals. Our Local Harris Teeter serves pizza, subs and also has a nightly dinner special. For example, you can get a $5 foot long sub on Fridays at Harris Teeter.
We’re going to split this blog post up and have a Part II soon. On Part II we’ll discuss some ways to save money on your event / retreat meal planning! Remember, your guests are coming for some rest and relaxation. A time to get away while building strong relationships with their fellow guests. They are also coming for some exciting activities and adventure! Again, while food is important it is not the sole purpose for their attendance. Always keep in mind your mission and goal for your retreat!