Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Planning development events creates so many decisions. Let’s make one choice simple: choose beef as your main entree over chicken. Sure, chicken is the cheaper option, but in the big picture beef is still the better option. It is worth the few extra dollars per person. So why beef over chicken?
When those amazingly served beef entrees come steaming out of the kitchen your guests are going to be impressed. As Americans, we consume a lot of chicken. In fact according to the USDA we each eat almost 92 lbs of chicken a year and most of that is probably cooked in our own homes. So being served beef at a luxury venue is a real treat. I’m from Texas, so believe me when I say that beef is king. Additionally, I believe that serving beef communicates to your ministry partners that you care enough about them to treat them to a special beef meal. The message that beef conveys is that you didn’t try to cut corners - your guests will notice that and will feel valued and appreciated.
I’m from Texas, so believe me when I say that beef is king.
Not only will your guests feel more valued by serving beef in general, but most guests prefer beef. An informal poll was taken by our Development staff of 30 guests who have attended our events. They were given the choice of seafood, beef and chicken as a main entree for an event. No one chose seafood because they weren’t sure how fresh the seafood was or how safely it was prepared. Three people chose chicken and 27 people chose beef. In fact, even the vegetarians in the group said that if they had to choose a meat it would be beef. So why do 90% of people prefer beef? Because it’s a status symbol. When you go out to dinner and someone buys you steak, you feel appreciated and that’s what our goal is.
BASICS OF BEEF
Before you go to your venue and discuss the menu it would be helpful to know a little about the various cuts of beef. At the high end of costs for steak you have filet mignon, ribeye, t-bone or porterhouse. These are all awesome cuts of steak to have at your dinner if you can find them for the right price. The size of the steak (ounces) and bone in or without the bone affects the price. If the steak is bone-in it tends to be heavier, can have more flavor and therefore it tends to be more expensive. At the mid-range you’ll find strip and sirloin steaks. These more affordable cuts of steak are probably the best option for you depending on your venue. Below that you have a skirt steak, flank steak, Denver cut, beef spare ribs and brisket. Since we encourage a plated, served meal at your event these beef options might not be available to you. Skirt or flank steak is typically used for beef fajitas, brisket is used for BBQ and these two are typically only available in a buffet style format. That’s just a quick overview and by no means exhaustive. Feel free to do a bit more research on your own if you want to dive deeper.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PRICE?
Finally here are a few tips to help you lower the extra cost of choosing a beef entree for your menu. First you could ask if your guests could be served the lunch portion rather than the dinner portion. Essentially you are just asking for a smaller portion that they are already prepared to provide. A sufficient amount of beef can be between 6-8 ounces. In fact the American Heart Association recommends only a 3 oz serving size of beef. Your guests really don’t need 10 oz. of steak to be satisfied.
The extra cost per person is worth it. Your guests will feel appreciated, honored and cared for by you.
Second you could see if they would serve a cheaper beef option. Ask the venue what they might be able to serve even if it isn’t listed on the menu. One example you might ask about is braised beef spare ribs, sometimes they are called short ribs. Typically this is more affordable than a steak. I have found that braised spare ribs are very tasty and not as expensive. If you go this route ask the venue if they are bone in. Removing the bone is easier for your guests to eat.
Between these two easy tips, you should be able to get the price down significantly from the original listed price. Imagine if your venue was offering, say, $35/person for an 8oz ribeye option. By negotiating down to a 6oz portion you could get that price around $30/person. Changing to a cheaper cut of meat might get you down closer to $25/person.
In conclusion I would highly recommend that you choose beef over chicken. The extra cost per person is worth it. Your guests will feel appreciated, honored and cared for by you. I encourage you to trust the Lord to provide the extra gifts to cover the difference. Hopefully this is one less decision you have to labor over.