The Truth About the Banquet

Do you remember when you used to be able to pay $35 or $40 for the Unity Banquet?  Unfortunately, those days are no more.  At least not a the major hotel chains (Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, etc.)  The truth is that we cannot charge $35-$50 at any of these hotels and expect to make a profit.  In fact, at only $50 per plate at these hotels, there is a 99% chance we are at a $5 – $7 loss per plate – minimum.  While we are doing everything in our power to keep the costs of the banquet at a minimum, if we are to achieve a level of excellence that is expected of an organization at its national level, we must charge appropriately.   
 
Fact:  The average hotel chain’s (Dallas/Fort Worth area) pricing for dinner starts at $42 – $45 per plate and some even require a minimum of $6,000.  This is before tax (8.25%) and gratuity of 22%. 
Hotels, like any other business, are in business to make money – not give everything away.  For-profit corporations (many of you work for these type of entities) can easily afford to pay hotel pricing as they are “for profit” and they pass the costs of doing business to you and me.  That’s what Capitalism is about and the fine hotel workers deserve to make a descent living just like everyone else.  Unfortunately, many churches and other non-profit entities cannot pay the costs without charging higher ticket prices.
 
Fact:  There are several church fellowship halls (including CHSC facilities), banquet facilities and the like that are wonderful venues.
CHSC could contract an outside caterer for less money; however, we must provide adequate staffing (minimum of 30 individuals) in order to set-up, decorate, serve, host (registration, door-prizes, etc.) and tear down and provide you with excellent service.  Unfortunately, we do not have the number of individuals requiredat this point in time. 
 
Myth:  CHSC doesn’t have to pay tax and gratuity at hotels because we are a non-profit (religious) organization.
Hotels and other establishments do not care that we are non-profit. While there are some taxes/fees non-profits are not required to pay, everyone must pay the appropriate gratuity and sometimes other hotel/luxury taxes.
 
Myth:  CHSC receives special pricing at hotels because they know people who give them special discounts/pricing. 
The truth is that hotel pricing is published (applies to everyone) and any special pricing is generally dictated at the corporate level above the local franchise.  The good news is that there are one or two local franchises that offer “non-profit” pricing.  That is, CHSC may have able to take advantage of discount pricing that is available to all organizations that meet non-profit requirements.  However, CHSC still must pay the gratuity, which, in most cases, is higher because non-profits are receiving a discount.  Translation, the hotels are going to get theirs – one way or another.
 
Do know that the committee is doing everything to make the Unity and Honors banquet an enjoyable, memorable, and “first-class” experience at an affordable yet profitable price.  If you would like to volunteer on the committee, please contact Kimberly Williams at kwilliams@chschurch.org or you may contact her at 916.207.0684.