Everything you need to know about food and beverage minimums

What is a food and beverage minimum?
It’s the minimum amount of revenue venues expect to make for renting out their function space.

How does it work?
Your event’s total charges for food and beverage must meet that minimum, otherwise you owe the difference.

Let’s look at an example
Let’s say the venue’s food and beverage minimum is $35,000
And let’s say you’re having 350 people at your wedding reception.
And the venue charges $50/person for the outside catering fee.

350 people*$50/person = $17,500
Thus far, half of the food and beverage minimum is accounted for.
$35,000 F&B min – $17,500 outside catering fee = $17,500 left.

We still have $17,500 to account for.

Now let’s say you set up a consumption-based bar for your reception and the total comes out to $10,000.

Now, $27,500, out of the $35,000 minimum is accounted for, with $7, 500 left.  At this point you could:

  1. include a lunch, order non-alcoholic beverages to serve at the ceremony, order a few hors d’oeuvres from the the venue for cocktail hour, order your cake, desserts, and/or specialty drinks to reach the minimum of $35,000.
  2. You could just pay the difference without ordering anything, but why would anyone do that? You might as well get something for it.

Some things to note:

  1. The service charge and tax are NOT included in the food and beverage minimum. So let’s say the venue’s service charges are 20% and tax is 8%. We already assumed a per person outside catering fee of $50/person.

The total per person fee you’re paying is $50*1.20*1.08 = $64.80, but only $50 of that applies to the food and beverage minimum. This goes for everything not just the outside catering fee.

2. The food and beverage minimum only applies to food and beverages – anything you can eat and drink. Parking, hotel rooms at a hotel, décor upgrades etc. do not apply.

3. How much is the Food and beverage minimum? It varies by day of the week, season and can be negotiated. If you’re planning to have your sangeet/garba, wedding and reception all at one venue, they can be more flexible about minimums and pricing.

Most South Asian weddings have no issue meeting the food and beverage minimum. Dry weddings are where it can get a bit tricky to meet minimums. Venues don’t want to make life hard for you and are willing to work with you. If a venue is within your ballpark range, it’s worth talking to them.

4. Some venues don’t call it a food and beverage minimum, but instead have a minimum guest count requirement. For example if you’re expecting 400 guests, at least 350 must be paid for, regardless of whether that many actually attend or not. Contact ShaadiShop and we’ll help you figure all of this out.

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