Living in the so-called age of austerity hasn’t been good for the annual office Christmas party, with many bosses cancelling them altogether or setting a scrooge-like limit of £10 per person.
The thing is, the office Christmas party has come to represent a pat on the back for employees – a reward for all their hard work and perseverance even though pay rises and bonuses are rare these days.
Some companies worry about how it will look to the outside world and their competitors if they throw a big festive bash at a time when people are struggling.
There is a way for the boss to have his Christmas cake and eat it.
Javeed Anwar of Sleeperz Hotels, a fast growing budget hotel business specialising in stylish stays for smaller spends, has come up with five money-saving tips for bosses booking the Christmas bash.
Bubbles that won’t break the bank
In years gone by, you might have expected Champagne to flow at the work Christmas party when bonus time arrived and staff were laughing all the way to the bank.
You can still put the fizz in your festive bash and save money without scrimping on style. A high quality Prosecco looks and tastes just as good as Champagne for a third of the price.
Finger Food beats Fine Dining
Sitting down for a three course dinner at a posh hotel or restaurant is all well and good but it’s formal, frumpy and pricey, with an average cost per head of between £30 and £50.
Party food is called that for a reason – because it doesn’t stop the party.
So why not go for a finger-buffet of cool canapés and quirky hors d’oeuvres, such as sliders (mini-burgers), fish and chip cones, zingy chicken kebabs, dim sum and profiteroles for pud.
This way, the food is great, and you are still free to network and mingle rather than being stuck in a seat next to the office bore.
Deafening Disco vs Chilled Out Lounge vibe
Keeping the whole workforce happy at a Christmas night out is virtually impossible, some love to boogie on the dance floor, others like to cower in the corner.
Rather than being deafened by an amateur disc jockey that cost you an arm and a leg, hold your party at a venue that can supply music as part of the package.
We like to use the airy open bar and dining spaces at our hotels in Cardiff and Newcastle to create a laid-back lounge vibe. We find our guests love to relax to a soundtrack of contemporary chill-out music, soul, jazz and funk.
Bar Prices that won’t bankrupt you
Christmas is expensive full stop. The last thing you need at the office Christmas party is a bar bill that has you running to the nearest pay-day lender.
Buying wine by the bottle for groups of colleagues or teams is a great way to save. Rather than pay £5 per glass, buy a bottle for £12 and share out the four glasses. That’s £2 per person per glass you are saving.
Obviously you need a lot of wine lovers for this to work, but another way to save is to choose a venue that doesn’t charge premium prices for drinks, such as five star hotels or high class restaurants. They may impress people on arrival but your staff won’t be smiling when the barman delivers the bad news.
Our money-saving tip – seek out a stylish venue with sensible prices.
Set up a Car or Taxi-Pool
Ordering a cab to get you home after a boozy office Christmas party can be expensive. In the days leading up to the party we suggest finding out how many people are going to be DD (designated drivers), or non-drinkers, and see if they are willing to provide lifts to people who live in their areas. If nobody is driving then find out who lives nearest each other and order a shared taxi home, splitting the cost between three or four people.
Sleeperz Hotels operates stylish premium budget hotels in Cardiff and Newcastle, close to mainline rail stations, with a big focus on interior design and excellent architecture.
It uses its open plan dining areas, lounges and bars to cater for groups of up to 80 people and intimate private rooms for groups of 20 or less.Its finger-food buffets start from £13.95 a head, Italian Prosecco from £17.95 per bottle and Chilean wines from £12.95 a bottle.
For more about how Sleeperz Hotels run events and functions: click here