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I noted a post on the MPI Discussion Board about AV Staff
meals. The planner has a 5 day conference coming up and wanted to know if she
should pay a per diem and have the AV staff get their own meals or have catered
meals brought to them.

When we work with AV staff for lengthy hours or days, we provide
meals and breaks for the AV staff, including at least one hot meal a day.
Sandwiches and Danish get a little old. Pizza does too. A decent salad, yes, I
said salad, and pasta is an easy set up and appreciated.  It may be a little pricier than if they
went to the corner diner or fast food joint, but there are several important
things to consider.

 

1)   
An AV staff works in an intense environment and needs to eat
properly so they’re well nourished. Eating correctly will keep them not just
healthy, but able to work efficiently.

2)   
An AV staff probably wouldn’t know where to find a restaurant
or fast food place near your venue

3)   
And, they probably wouldn’t be able to return from the meal in
a reasonable amount of time. Generally when the staff has catered food brought
to them, they take breaks as they wish, don’t waste much time and get right
back to work. They want to do the best that they can do. When they know that
the event or meeting company that hired them, cares enough to make sure that
they’re fed, they return the favor with outstanding service. They also, in most
cases, enjoy the comradery. Not that they wouldn’t do a good job anyway, but
you certainly don’t want anyone grumbling or over tired or wishing he had been
able to eat dinner before your gala with all that wonderful smelling food.

4)   
Often the AV staff meals are at odd hours and a restaurant
kitchen in the neighborhood might not be open.

5)   It’s the right thing to do.

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