Small Budget? How to Estimate Coffee consumption at your Conference

Here’s a great article I read on Cvent, written by Leigh Murdock about coffee consumption. I was just having this conversation with my client a few days ago about how much coffee she should order for her event. This article came at the perfect time. I shared it with her and now I’m sharing it with you. Enjoy.

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One of the most common conversations I encounter in the event planning industry is that of coffee consumption. How is my company charged? Per gallon or per cup? Can I put a cap on how much is consumed, so I don’t exceed my budget? What quantities of consumption should I expect with a group of my size?

Coffee Consumption

Let’s start with the basics. We (the hotels) brew coffee for you on a consumption basis, so you do not have to make the decision in advance. In this case, we are the experts and pull from our historical data to anticipate how much coffee will be needed by your group.

  • One gallon of coffee yields about ten mugs. Some individuals drink regular in the morning, some decaf, some tea, and some (few) nothing.
  • In the morning, you’ll usually find that about 60% of your group will drink at least one mug of the above. In the afternoon, this will drop to about 40%.
  • Two-thirds of the group, both in the morning and the afternoon, will go for the regular coffee versus decaf or tea. That being said, we’ll always brew more gallons of regular.
  • Coffee stays hot and fresh for about an hour and a half. For an all-day coffee service, this means that fresh gallons of coffee and tea will be replenished twice in the morning (three times if you aren’t already offering coffee and tea as part of a breakfast menu) and three times in the afternoon. Keep in mind that the charges incurred are (generally speaking) on a per gallon, per refresh basis.

So for a group of 100 folks, you’re looking at about 60 of those being coffee drinkers in the morning and 40 in the afternoon. Of the morning drinkers, 40 will have regular coffee. That’s four gallons of regular, 1-2 gallons of decaf and 1-2 gallons of tea. Of the afternoon drinkers, 24 will drink regular coffee. That’s 2.5 gallons of regular, 1 gallon of decaf, and 1 gallon of tea.

**All of the above are estimates only. The demographic of your group may change how much coffee is brewed and consumed. Furthermore, meal service or the lack-of will also change how much is consumed. Lastly, the agenda (i.e. a late or early start to the meetings) will affect how much is consumed. Starting your sessions earlier than 8:00 am will guarantee heavier consumption just as starting your sessions after 10:00am will guarantee lighter consumption.

2017-01-13T23:27:39+00:00

About the Author:

Aurice Guyton
Aurice is a Bay Area native, born and raised in Oakland, CA. After receiving my MBA in Marketing, Aurice joined the Peace Corps where she lived and worked in a rural village in Belize for 2+ years. After her Peace Corps term, Aurice moved back to California and began planning events for various organizations and developed a passion for it. She officially started her business in 2012. She specializes in business, tech and non-profit events.

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