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43 Food & Beverage Statistics Planners Should Know

Kaitlyn Tatulli |

Business people at the meeting at the lunch buffetThink of where some of the best connections happen at meetings and events. During breaks, or meals like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Food and drink provide a great opportunity for attendees to foster connections with each other.

If you’re hungry to learn how you can leverage your F&B minimums to drive more value for your meeting and event attendees, you’ll need to stay up to date on all that is happening in the food and beverage industry. Check out the top 43 statistics that meeting and event planners need to know.

General F&B Industry Statistics

1. 1 million—the number of restaurant locations in the United States (Restaurant).

2. 8,121.6 million—the amount of projected revenue event catering in the United Kingdom (Statista).

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F&B and Sustainability

3. 51 percent of people said they would choose a restaurant that offered environmentally friendly over another (Restaurant).

4. 62 percent of respondents said that the option of locally sourced food would make them choose one restaurant over another (Restaurant).


F&B and Health

Portion cups and spoons of healthy ingredients on wooden table

5. 78 percent of consumers report meat as their main source of protein (Statista).

6. 73 percent of the brain is comprised of water and 60 percent of the human body is comprised of water, so make sure you serve your attendees enough water throughout your event (Medical News).

7. 71 percent of people in the U.S. report that they could eat healthier (Statista).

8. 70 percent or more of consumers use food labels to make a healthy decision about the food they consume (KSL).

9. 61 percent of respondents said they choose more healthy food options at restaurants than they did two years ago (Restaurant).

10. 50 percent of people try to avoid eating sugar (Statista).

11. 44 percent of people consider the ingredients in the foods and beverages they drink and eat a lot (Statista).

12. 33 percent of venues include nutritional information on their menus (Meetings Net).


F&B and Events

people group catering buffet food indoor in luxury restaurant with meat colorful fruits  and vegetables

13. 79 percent of planners receive more dietary requests now than two years ago (Meetings Net).

14. 75 percent—the number of attendees you should order one breakfast item for (e.g. bagel, muffin, pastry) (Meetings Conventions).

15. 75 percent of venues train their staff to serve attendees’ with food allergies (Meetings Net).

16. 75 percent of planners say catering to attendees dietary needs is challenging (Meetings Net).

17. 70 percent of your attendees will consume coffee, while only 20 percent will drink decaf coffee, and 10 percent will drink tea (Marquette).

18. 63 percent of planners were asked to cut food and beverage expenses in 2018 (PCMA).

19. 60 percent of attendees tend to drink a hot beverage in the morning, while only 30 percent drink a hot beverage in the afternoon (MeetingPlanningKnowHow).

20. 33 percent of planners’ budgets are taken up by food and beverage expenses (MPI).

21. 31 percent—the total amount of food and beverage spend in the convention industry, which amounts to the single largest portion (TandFOnline).

22. 25 percent—the average amount of no-shows for a free event, while ticketed events see an average of 10 percent no-shows, which should be calculated into your food and beverage plan (TheBalanceSmb).

23. 25-30 percent of chairs for attendees is the recommended number if you want to encourage networking (NIU).

24. 25 percent of your attendance population on average drinks soda during the morning, but 70 percent of your attendance population drinks soda during the afternoon (NIU).

25. 20 percent is the typical service and local tax fee that planners should anticipate  (TheBalanceSmb).

26. 1.5-2 hours—the amount of time plated meals tends to take (TheBalanceSmb).

27. 1 hour—the amount of time a buffet meal takes (TheBalanceSmb).

28. 90-120—the suggested amount of minutes between each break (TastyCatering).

29. 45 minutes—the recommended time for a refreshment break for over 1,000 people (Eventinterface).

30. 30 to 40 minutes—the recommended time for breakfast (Eventinterface).

31. 45-60 minutes—the recommended time for lunch (Eventinterface).

32. 15 minutes—the recommended time for a refreshment break for 100 people (Eventinterface).

33. 30 minutes—the recommended time for a refreshment break for 1,000 people (Eventinterface).

34. 2nd—planners report food and beverage being the second-highest costing budget item after guest rooms (Statista).

Click here to download the Stretching Your Event Budget - 3 Cost Saving Tactics eBook

35. 5—the number of pours a soft bar (e.g. beer and wine) gets vs. a liquor bottle, which gets 15 to 18 pours per hour (Planning Helper).

36. 9 gallons—the minimum amount of coffee that should be ordered for a 100-person event (EventInterface).

37. 4 gallons—the amount of juice that should be ordered for an average of 150 attendees for breakfast (GriffinConferenceGroup).

38. $1,000—for every $1,000 a planner spends on food and beverage, a hotel pays approximately $300 in hard costs (Aventri).

39. $100—the amount per gallon coffee costs for planners in major convention hotels (Meetings Today).

40. $24-$13—the range of an event catering cost per person (Aventri).

41. $3+— the amount a hotel typically charges for each hors-d’oeuvre (TheBalanceSmb).

42. 2-3—the number of Hors-d’oeuvre pieces per person per hour, if followed by a meal (Planning Helper).

43. 2.5—the number of alcoholic drinks per person you should have per hour at an open bar at your event (Meetings Conventions).

Food and Beverage Tips_CTA1

This Post was Written by Kaitlyn Tatulli

Kaitlyn Tatulli is a graduate from Fairfield University with majors in Digital Journalism and Psychology and minors in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Computer Science. Currently, she is receiving her MFA from Fairfield University. Kaitlyn...

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