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A Meeting Planner’s Guide to Catered Events. Chapter Ten Contracts and Negotiations. Caterers typically require meeting planners to sign formal catering contracts before events are scheduled to take place.

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a meeting planner s guide to catered events

A Meeting Planner’s Guide to Catered Events

Chapter Ten

Contracts and Negotiations

slide2
Caterers typically require meeting planners to sign formal catering contracts before events are scheduled to take place.
  • Sometimes a caterer will forgo the use of formal contracts and instead rely on signed banquet event orders (BEOs) or signed letters of agreement.
  • These documents may be every bit as legally enforceable as formal contracts; however, they do not use the typical boilerplate legalese
slide3
More caterers are using letters of agreement as opposed to contracts.
  • They serve the same purpose.
  • Signing an agreement is less threatening to most people than signing a contract.
  • The word “agreement” is friendlier, not quite as cold.
slide4
Never book and confirm a catered event without a signed agreement.
  • Usually an unwritten contract cannot be legally enforced in a court of law unless you are dealing with an agreement worth $500 or less.
  • Even with small parties, it is good business practice to detail in writing both your and the caterer’s responsibilities and obligations.
banquet event order
Banquet Event Order
  • The banquet event order (BEO), also called the function sheet, is the basis of the property's internal communication system between departments.
  • It is the basic building block upon which the caterer's accounting and record-keeping systems are constructed.
  • A BEO is prepared for each meal and beverage function, and copies are sent to the departments that will be directly or indirectly involved with the events.
slide6
BEO
  • Usually all departments receive a copy of each BEO a week or more before the catered function is held.
  • This ensures that all department heads have enough time to schedule and complete the activities that support the events.
the typical beo contains
The typical BEO contains:
  • BEO number
  • Function day(s) and date(s)
  • Type of function
  • Client name with signature line
  • Client address
  • Client contact person, or person in charge
  • Person who booked the event and authorized signature(s)
  • Name of function room
beo contents con t
BEO Contents (con’t)
  • Beginning time of function
  • Expected ending time of function
  • Number of attendees expected
  • Number of attendees to prepare for
  • Menus
  • Style of service
  • Function room setup
beo contents con t9
BEO Contents (con’t)
  • Reference to other BEOs or other relevant records
  • Date BEO was completed
  • Signature of person preparing (or approving) the BEO
  • List of departments receiving a copy of the BEO
beo contents con t10
BEO Contents (con’t)
  • Special instructions (such as centerpieces, set-by times, parking details, miscellaneous labor charges, sleeping-room blocks, napery, tablescapes, bar arrangements, props, entertainment, electrical/engineering needs, unique underliners, VIPs, and other special amenities)
  • Prices charged
  • Master billing account number
  • Billing instructions
resume
Resume
  • A resume (also called a convention resume or meeting resume) is a summary of function room uses for a particular convention or meeting.
  • Normally it is used whenever a meeting planner books two or more catered events to be held consecutively.
  • The resume usually includes all BEOs.
resume12
Resume
  • The resume may more appropriately be referred to as the function room resume as this report details function room use for a particular client.
  • It focuses on the major highlights while deferring to the pertinent BEOs for specific details.
resume13
Resume
  • If you book a one-week convention, and there are 15 meal, beverage, and business-meeting functions, the resume will highlight each function, when the function rooms will be booked, and when they will be dark.
resumes include
Resumes Include:
  • Function day(s) and date(s)
  • Types of functions
  • Client name
  • Client contact information (address, e-mail address, and cell phone number)
  • Client contact person, or person in charge
  • Person who booked the events along with authorized signature(s)
resumes include con t
Resumes Include: (con’t)
  • Beginning times of functions
  • Expected ending times of functions
  • Number of attendees expected
  • Furniture and equipment needs
  • Function room names
  • Room setups
  • Special instructions
resumes include con t16
Resumes Include: (con’t)
  • Date resume was completed
  • Signature of person preparing (or approving) the resume
  • List of departments receiving a copy of the resume
resumes include con t17
Resumes Include: (con’t)
  • Room charges
  • Labor charges
  • Equipment charges
  • Master billing account number
  • Billing instructions
  • Reference to other relevant records
contract
Contract
  • Contract date
  • Function day(s) and dates
  • Function time(s)
  • Appropriate client and facility signatures
  • Function room(s) tentatively assigned
  • Menus
  • Style(s) of service
  • Function room setup(s)
contract19
Contract
  • Other client service(s)
  • Deposit(s)
  • Breakage
  • Head-count guarantee(s)
  • Overset
  • Attrition
  • Refunds, returns, and allowances
  • Outside food and beverage
contract20
Contract
  • Taxes
  • Gratuities
  • Tips
  • Service charge(s)
  • Cancellation penalty
  • Room setup charge(s)
  • Room rental rate(s)
  • Setup service charge(s)
contract21
Contract
  • Display restriction(s)
  • Responsibility for loss and/or damage
  • Underage or visibly intoxicated guests
  • Indemnification
  • Security
  • License(s) and permit(s)
  • Price quotation(s)
  • Uncontrollable acts
contract22
Contract
  • Substitutions
  • Change order(s)
  • Service ratios
  • Other extra charge(s)
  • Billing procedures
  • Collection procedures
guarantee
Guarantee
  • You will have to provide a head-count guarantee and/or dollar amount guarantee.
  • At the time specified by the agreement, the meeting planner must finalize the count of attendees.
  • A guarantee deposit is normally paid at this time.
guarantee24
Guarantee
  • A guarantee provides the information that will drive food production, staffing, and sales revenue.
  • With a guarantee, the caterer is assured of receiving payment based on either the guarantee or the number of attendees served (whichever is larger).
  • Without a guarantee, the caterer doesn’t know how much food and beverage to order and how much labor to call in.
guarantee25
Guarantee
  • Guarantees are generally required 48 hours in advance of the event.
  • Sometimes a 72-hour advance notice is required if the event is held over a weekend or in a location that doesn’t receive daily deliveries.
  • Sometimes a caterer will take a minimumguarantee 48 hours in advance, and the meeting planner can add to that number up until 24 hours prior to the event.
guarantee26
Guarantee
  • Caterers must charge for the guaranteed number of attendees regardless of how many attendees show up.
  • They still have labor, food, and beverage costs, but no compensation for them if the number falls below the guaranteed count and they did not charge for the guaranteed number.