Labor is hotels' No. 1 cost. If you go into awith some solid ways to save on labor, that's good leverage, says Michael Dominguez, vice president, sales, Loews Hotels & Resorts. Here are five ideas.
Have your reception and dinner in the same venue. Using a ballroom and its foyer is much less expensive for the hotel to provide than the ballroom and, say, the poolside patio, which would require a whole separate crew.
Changing the rounds you had for breakfast into classroom seating for your general session is very labor intensive. Keep the rounds.
Give the hotel detailed information about guest arrivals. If everyone's coming at 11 a.m., the hotel won't overstaff the desk at 8 a.m.
When Loews surveyed guests about turndown, the majority of respondents said they don't want it. Consider the service for VIPs only.
With a smaller group, using the restaurant for meals means using labor that's already paid for. “This should count toward your F&B minimum,” Dominguez said (assuming the hotel owns the restaurant). Note also that buffets are less labor-intensive than plated meals.