8-10 Hours


Ask God to give you wisdom in choosing your venue and negotiating your contract.


8-9 months out,

32-36 weeks out


Matthew 10:16


Remember your big dreams? You’ll remember from Lap 1 that the dinner is your best vehicle at this point to raise the money needed to make your dreams a reality. In order to have a dinner, you’ll need a place, a date, and many other details. A lot of those details require a contract and negotiations. Please pray through Matthew 10:16. As Jesus asked his disciples to be wise and innocent, we must be the same!


As you begin to narrow down a site for your venue, consult the Site Inspection Checklist. After you've searched the internet and visited a couple of possible venues, take time as a team to finalize these things: Date, Venue & Pricing.



You need to make the most of your time and money! You need to get the best food and the best service for the best price. Almost every venue is willing to negotiate their prices, so you should plan to get the price as low as possible. You can learn more about the process of negotiating by checking out Contract Negotiations. If you haven't ever negotiated a contract, talk to your local Development coach beforehand as this is not for the faint of heart.


Here are examples of the two most frequently seen types of contracts, i.e. a large hotel and a smaller club venue. See Hotel Contract and Small Venue Contract.


See Arrowhead – Catering Contract Protection for some tips to make sure the right clauses are included in your contact to legally protect you. These are suggested clauses but not required. Never sign a contract until you have negotiated and settled on a per plate price and/or minimum food and beverage guarantee because once you've signed the contract you lose most, if not all, of your negotiating power.


Remember that most per plate prices do not include gratuity and taxes. If you are Cru staff, check 50 States Sales Tax Summary to see if your dinner is tax exempt. If your dinner is tax exempt, use this link to find and print off the necessary information for Tax Exemption Status. Ask your Finance Analyst about a method of payment for the deposit and/or final payment.


If you are doing a Cru dinner, all final contracts must be reviewed and approved by the Contracts Department at headquarters. Please use these forms to start the process along:


Contract Routing Slip

Contract Routing Slip Procedures

- Request Direct Bill


Watch How to Fill Out a Contract Routing Slip


























Your dinner’s menu will set the stage for your evening. If you choose rubbery chicken, it will communicate to your guests that this is a lame, average event. For some reason, prime rib (or another fancy beef option) says, “We care about you! We love you for more than your money!” Read Fancy Beef for a brief overview of the different cuts of meat and some of the prices and terms associated with each. See the FAQ  for a more detailed explanation of why you should choose beef.




  • Water, Iced Tea, Coffee

  • Salad (Pre-set)

  • 6-8oz. Prime Rib

  • Oven Roasted Potatoes

  • Seasonal Veggies

  • Rolls

  • Dessert (Pre-set)


Make sure that your venue can offer gluten-free or vegetarian options upon request.



  • Why do you provide complimentary meals? Wouldn’t it be much better if you decided to sell tickets or tables? 

  • Why is it recommended that the dinner menu be prime rib (or a nice “fancy cut” of beef) rather than a more healthy chicken or fish?

  • Why is it important that we negotiate the menu price before signing the hotel contract?

©2019 Cru. These materials cannot be duplicated in any form without the permission of James W. Dempsey, with the exception of worksheets and forms. None of these materials should be used for profit.