What will you eat on your retreat


For some of us (myself included) food is a big deal.

When we’re away for the weekend and we don’t have to cook, we want to enjoy the food we eat.

We don’t just want it to be okay, we want it to be good! Really good, if possible!

Today I’m going to talk through various food situations and offer a few tips.

No matter where you’re staying, chances are you’ll have some choices to make about what your women eat.

Things to consider when making your food selections:

  1. Lunch should be on the lighter side. A grilled chicken on a salad is a popular choice.
  2. Provide options for special diets and allergies. It’s one way you can love on those women!
  3. Buffets provide women with the most options. Always offer at least two different entrée options.
  4. Women expect dessert! It doesn’t always have to be a chocolate dessert at every meal.
  5. Find out if there is going to be an additional service charge, tips, and/or taxes applied above the price you’ve been quoted. That can drastically impact your bottom line!

Most women want dessert!

If you’re renting a house, you may want to divide up cooking duties. Catering in some or all of your meals may be an option. I’ve also heard of groups hiring a chef for the weekend that prepares all their foods.

You may choose not to include every meal in your retreat price. Just be certain to clearly disclose what will be covered and what will not be covered.

At one of our retreats we chose not to offer dinner on Saturday night. We were all meeting up at the theater for a Christmas show at 7 PM. Dinner was also the most expensive meal at our hotel. Allowing our women to choose where they wanted to eat gave them some control over their budget. No one seemed to mind.

You may also find your retreat location doesn’t provide every meal your group needs.

baked potato bar and salad

The facility for this year’s fall retreat offered only breakfast and dinner. We had to provide our own lunch on Saturday. Our rooms were without refrigerators and there were few places nearby to cater a meal from. The owners were more than happy to lend us some refrigerator space and even cooked our baked potatoes for us. We put out a baked potato bar and made a couple big salads. It was perfect and pretty inexpensive.

A few thoughts on snacks:

  • We always encourage our women to bring snacks to share in their rooms and for late night munching while we play games.
  • Hotels and some retreat centers generally won’t allow you to bring in your own snacks to serve. They tend to be bit pricey if you have to purchase them.
  • However, if breakfast is early and lunch is late, consider providing a small snack or at least put something in their goodie bags that they can munch on that day.

Your turn to share: What food ideas do you have for other leaders? What are some other food-related issues you’ve encountered?

You may also want to read:
1o Tips for Serving Food Faster
Addressing Food Allergies & Special Diets
Food Bars
Revealing What’s for Dinner


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