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Which Days Are Best for Holding Off-Site F&B Events?

The partial return of office workers to downtown districts is leaving gaps in restaurant demand that meeting planners can leverage.

With the cost for just about everything related to meetings considerably higher in the post-pandemic environment, planners will be excited to know this: Big-city restaurants want your business on Mondays and Fridays.

This article from notes that in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Atlanta, Phoenix, San Francisco, Boston, Houston, and Miami, “the three-day in-person work week has posed challenges for hospitality businesses. With fewer workers in offices on Mondays and Fridays—which for some restaurants were once their strongest sales days—many of them have been forced to launch initiatives to pull in customers at the start and end of the week.”

Overall, remote work is costing cities billions of dollars in lost business revenue. A recent report form WFH Research finds that only 59 percent of workers with offices in large cities are back to being full-time in an office. And among the 41 percent who are not full-time in office, about 30 percent of their work week is remote, on average. One result: The 12 largest U.S. cities have seen annual spending in or near the workplace drop by more than $2,000 per office worker compared to 2019.

One other element of cost savings when holding off-site F&B events: Service charges could be lower than what hotels are charging these days. With some properties levying “gratuities” or “service fees” of as much as 28 percent of banquet spend—but with no guarantee that any of it actually goes to the staff—planners might want to research the neighborhood where the host property is located to find alternative venues for a meal or reception.

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