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timing and beverages.....

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I've had an interesting learning curve recently and thought I'd share.....please follow up with your experiences.

event #1, 130 guests at 8:30am in a hospital......coffee, green tea, water in glasses, oj, cranberry juice were the bev. fruit/baked goods....grab and go into the conference hall. total time 30 minutes.

So prepourred juices (oj hit decently, not alot of leftover....aprox 50ish) Cranberry barely touched. Coffee about 50 served, green tea ran out of 1 gallon, water moved too.


next event, similar group only now 9:30 start......cranberry flew out of there, very little coffee served, green tea and water popular. So, just an hour difference makes a big difference in beverage selection. Apparently most coffee drinkers have had their quota by 9:30ish.

To my amazement though people were taking multiple usually 2 sometimes 3 pieces of baked goods as well as fruit cups. Piggies. Really surprised me.


These are academics and docs.

Older wealthy in STL drink hard liquor....some during dinner.....
Most want decaf.....middle aged usually don't even have coffee with dessert.

I'm finding it interesting planning volume for regular events.....it'll be interesting to see if cold weather will bring a change in drinking habits.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #2 of 12
I wouldn't say based on two groups that 8:30-9:30 plays that much of a difference but it is definitely an interesting observation. Was there any difference at all in placement? Or the age of the crowd that you were serving?

Please update this thread as you notice more and more occurances, it would be interesting to note.

I see your website is back up, :)
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
crossover crowds same lecture different parts of the campus/hospital.

yes, now it'd be nice to get my food shots on the site...my web guy bummed some of the close ups that I would not have selected but oh well....until I have more to send him that's what I've got.

The kid in the chanterelles is my 20 year old son when he was 11. The booth and table with vibrant colors was a theatre buffet with costumes and bright bright cloth. The photo of the spainish cheese platter on wood is mine....the pix of me is me.....some of the others are just stock photos from the black computer hole.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 12
thats really cool shroomgirl, if you ever need any help just let me know. I am still updating my site with new incoming photos, I browsed your site for awhile at my day job today :)
post #5 of 12

beverages and breakfast observations

here in NYC
if we serve only decaf most people are very happy.
if we serve only regular - lots of complaints
but if we serve both then the decaf is barely touched???
go figure

also if there are 100-150 guests after a buffet
I expect to serve about 40-60 cups of coffee no more. The rest gets tossed.

If breakfast is later then peeps have already had their eye opener and not much goes unless its a bitter cold winter day.

basically oj is the juice of choice. Cranberry is second, grapefruit far third.
about 50% or less drink juice.

we cut our muffins and bagels in half. Seems to make them go further. Peeps like variety. This way, they can take 1/2 of this and half of that. How many pieces of baked goods do you give per guest. For larger groups (over 100) I figure 1.2 pieces per guest about 40% of it bagels and croissants, the rest sweet stuff like muffins, danish and donuts (depending on price point and crowd I will include donuts)

if you bake your own or use really high level pastries, expect people to takemore. Fresh fruit can be whole pieces for breakfast, eg apples, oranges and bananas or fruit salad or sliced fruit platter. Strawberries are not as popular as you would think, although they sure do look nice and need little assistance/work to them.

while yogurt and granola sound great on menu, they are not super popular choices. We have done strawberry yogurt cups (fresh strawberries, plain yogurt with honey & lime) like parfaits that seem to go over well. grab and go stuff already in a disposable squat clear cup or if you want to get fancy a disposable martini glass.

little quiches byte sized are another good breakfast alternative that look good and taste good sprinkled on a baked goods platter.

have you ever done breakfast hors d'oeuvres - that's a fun upsell for you and the client. can be passed or buffet style.

Mini biscuits with egg salad and bacon
mini smoked salmon biscuits with wasabi cream cheese

cherry tomatoes stuffed with bacon and scallions
cherry tomatoes stuffed with maple glazed sausage

mini quiches

yogurt and granola shooters

chocolate drizzled strawberries

french toast fingers glazed with maple sugar

mini pancakes with fresh raspberries and blueberries

you get the idea...
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I generally serve regular coffee in the morning, decaf only at night.
1/2 and 1/2, skim.....no soy....but raw sugar, and the yellow sweetner....braindead tonight, just finished serving a farmer dinner at my home and am not finding words....

my baked goods are made inhouse.....whole wheat mini-medium water bagels with cinnamon/raisin cream cheese between the halves.
biscuit/scones with fruit/nuts, quick breads made that morning.....usually a citrus one ie lemon poppyseed or orange, pumpkin or sweet potato bread, apricot almond bread, muffins.....

so squash something or other, citrus, bagels, fruit/nut breads

Green Tea is a new option, it's popular.

I'm using 8 oz clear lidded cups for fruit salad and fruit juices.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 12

Timing and bev

Tigerwoman,
Would you share the smoked salmon biscuit recipe?

I also find people want to taste more than one type of morning muffin or pastrie at any time. I have started making things more bitesize with the idea people will eat more different pieces, also seem to be eating less carbs/sweets in general. Even with the smaller pieces i seem to be able to cut down overall amounts.
pgr
post #8 of 12
If some insight on the mind sets of some of the participants (attendees) towards the presence of comestibles at a hosted event would be of benefit, I could offer my perspectives (attend many seminars/technical briefings/presentations).

There are many factors which influence what goes on at the feed trough...
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
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I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
Reply
post #9 of 12

timing and bev

sure... why not!
pgr
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
DMT that sounds valuable to us, we do profile as a profession.....honestly it does make a difference what profession the attendees are, it would be interesting to see variences and similarities from around the world.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 12

Good portioning suggestions so far

Much of what you folks have mentioned is spot on, and while this next bit is going to be quite long, it may give some other insights...

And while there is probably more to add, the following is a start...

While this perspective of things that impact food consumption at seminars and meetings is primarily from an engineer’s perspective, much of it will hold true for groups that exhibit more refined social skills.

The “General Audience” – Men eat more than women. Period. We don’t worry about anyone secretly monitoring out caloric intake, nor does it concern us that the food gets mixed together on the plate (it’s all going to the same place anyway, isn’t it?). And we’re more likely to go back for another lap around the food line…

The “Layout” – If there is a large amount of food placed out on the serving table, the logical mind of an engineer will tell him that the there’s plenty to go around, and a double plate armload of food is a “balanced” meal. During the construction of this heaping helping, the reminders of his mother’s voice saying, “Don’t be such a pig. Leave some for the others!” is conveniently ignored.

The point of this is, twofold. Smaller bits would encourage discretionary consumption, yet allow the oinker to sample some of everything that suits their tastes. Nobody really “needs” a whole full sized pastry, and a slice of melon, plus an entire bagel, and that delicious sticky bun, but if that’s the only serving sizes, that’s what will be put on a plate (or napkin or two). Additionally, having all the product out all at once encourages the mind set of “there’s plenty”. If the pickin’s look a little slim, the guilt factor sets in. If possible, smaller platters of food, which can be restocked/put out as the first one(s) empty out can give the impression of a somewhat limited availability.

The “Customers” – If this even is hosting a company’s customers from out of town, there are a number of variables that come into play.

Are they on a “per diem”?? That daily allowance must cover all meals, and what better way to leverage a better dinner that by grabbing a free breakfast??

Government attendees, or “civilian”?? Government folks are usually on a per diem, while the civilians usually have an expense report to file later. And while the “rules” for civilians are less stringent, they too have daily “caps”. This “cap” also includes alcohol, so that “free” breakfast can translate into a couple of “free” drinks later on.

Where are they staying? If their hotel offers a complimentary breakfast, secondary consumption will be down. If not, regardless of a per diem, my favorite motto, “If it’s for free, it’s for ME!!” applies.

Nationality plays into this too, but I don’t really have a fix on what unique foods trip their taste triggers. Some things are simply unique, and therefore a new “delicacy”.

The “Locals” (AKA The Weasels) – It’s funny how the word of free eats gets around the office hot line. If I’m holding a meeting with customers for a particular project, it amazes me how many weasels pop up that claim to be involved with the project and/or feel the need to be there for the introductions, which coincidentally is the first thing on the agenda, right after refreshments are provided. I’ve planned for 20 participants, and all of a sudden I’ve got 60. Short of a Taser, I’m not able to control the immigrants. Additionally, it’s not a good career enhancing practice to suggest to a VP of a completely unrelated business function that he (or she) shouldn’t be eating the food we’ve allocated to our customers. They just don’t understand…

Client/Host familiarity – If the attendees are comfortable in the host’s presence (and vice versa) the shroud of decency and manners may be not so tightly drawn. Sort of how the “Mother may I?” thing in your head goes away when you’re at a good friends house, as opposed to visiting someone for the first time. Our best behavior only lasts so long.

What to serve is always a balancing act. While hospitality is expected, an overly opulent array of food may suggest to a customer that the hosting company is entirely too lavish, and squandering the money being spent on a program. While this doesn’t exactly fit into the “Timing and Beverages” topic, it might be good to keep in mind when helping a host plan the catering…

As far as beverages, time of day does factor in, as well as the clientele. Good coffee is a must, be it decaf or regular. Two or three cups should be enough to get the motors running, and much more than that, and the “jangles” start up. Afternoon coffee is a crap shoot. Unless the weather is cold and dreary, then a little something to warm the soul is a really good thing. OJ is a staple, and apple juice goes fairly well with just about any food offering (well, to me anyway). Cranberry (straight) is a little bitter for some folks in the morning, but by midday or afternoon, it’s a nice refreshing drink. Cran-Grape, or Cran-Apple seems to be less biting, and may move well. Especially if mixed with some 7-Up. Ice water with lemon slices is also good…

The subject matter of the meeting or type of presentation will also dictate the gravitational pull of the refreshment table. Anytime the attendees have to participate (whether it be flipping through the pages of a briefing handout, or fondling examples of the product under discussion, or taking notes, etc.) the available time for idle hands is reduced, and therefore face stuffing is diminished. Not eliminated, just delayed to the “break”…

Bored = hungry/fidgety.

Actively engaged = preoccupied with matters at hand, and will only discover hunger when stimuli has ended (or growling noises are heard/felt).

I’m starting to ramble here, so I’ll quit while I’m still alive…
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
Reply
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
Reply
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
men are pigs....ok. as the mom of 3 sons I trully understand that statement and am so glad I didn't make it.

smaller portions good, but more of um.

coffee good in the morning....optional later on

opulance not so good.....simpler better than whiz bang.

/Thank you DMT.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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