In an ever-changing world, budgeting can be a confusing and sometimes frustrating undertaking – but we’re in the business of creating fun, so we’re here to clear the air! Whether for a large corporation, a family-owned company or your household, transparency, planning early and making small changes to your event are integral parts budgeting.
With upward pressure on wages, virtually every market is seeing increases – catering and special events included. Unfortunately, minimum wage increase influence not only the staff on your event, but in almost every aspect that goes into it. Kitchen staff who prepare food to be sent out to events, warehouse staff who clean and maintain equipment, as well as loading and unloading trucks, are subject to higher wages. Of course, this also affects wages along each step of the food supply chain, serving as one of several reasons for food cost increases.
In addition to wage increases, market prices for food are affected by an assortment of factors – from weather to changing demands. Some of these are completely environmental, like droughts reducing beef and dairy supply or contamination of crops, causing recalls. Others are human-driven, such as high land costs, changing tastes and animal husbandry practices. Because market increases are unpredictable, planning early and wisely is the best way to have an effective and efficient budget!
Creating a realistic budget is extremely difficult when there is no baseline to work from. Starting the planning process early is a simple way to not only create the perfect event for your team, but also create and maximize your budget. Even if you don’t have all of the details of your event locked down, you can absolutely start with an early quote for your event. An easy hint for budgeting after an initial quote is that the cost per guest generally decreases as the guest count increases and vice versa. The reason behind this is that there are items that are priced on a per person basis, like food and beverages, items that increase in increments, like staff members and prizes and items with fixed costs, like inflatables and entertainers. In addition, annual price increases should be expected, after all, the days of filling a gas tank with pocket change are far in the past! Having an early game plan is the best way to avoid every event planning committee’s worst nightmare – a vision and a budget that just don’t line up.
With the guesswork taken out by planning early, you have an opportunity to make decisions such as whether families will be included or if it will be an employee-only occasion. In addition, with a line item cost analysis, different items in which you are interested can be compared to maximize the fun, while reaching budget goals. Even the simplest of changes can save a surprising amount on your event! With the beach never far away, San Diegans are typically accustomed to having chairs and blankets available ready at a moment’s notice. Consider asking your guests to bring their own seating to mitigate risings costs. Another way to add to your event without increasing costs is to bring your own sports equipment. Playing catch with a football or passing a soccer ball around can entertain your guests for hours without adding to your costs at all. Making small changes like this ensures your event budget goes towards those items that can really make an impact.
Although few and far between, living in America’s Finest City does have its drawbacks – namely the highest inflation rate in the country over the last 5 years, with consumer buying power decreased by almost 20%. Unfortunately, that does mean that we’ve all lost some of our “bang for the buck”. Amidst these changes, having some insight with plenty of time to plan will allow you to put on a great event for your group – Contact us or call 858.586.1717 for help along the way!
It's never too early to start. Give us a shout to find out how we can deliver the most scrumptious picnic catering in town and help you throw an epic event from start to finish.