According to Kuren Kennedy, the director of events at the 103 West special events facility, the economy is affecting everybody’s corporate business.
“The social business is always going to be there because people are still getting married, still getting engaged, still having bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs,” she said. “Everybody has to put together some creative menus and offers to entice the corporate business.”
For the holiday season, Kennedy said 103 West, located at 103 W. Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead, is giving free hors d’oeuvres for any party booked in December. “Going forward into January, the beginning of the next quarter, we are probably going to have some percentage discount for groups. And lots of times nowadays I just ask them what their budget is upfront and work up something backwards for them to fit their budget.”
She said the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s events facility had three major parties cancel recently. “Two of them just couldn’t afford it and lost their deposit, and the other decided to give the money to their employees instead. We don’t charge a room rental here. We just work off of food and beverage minimums, but we haven’t even been doing that lately.”
She said the parties also are smaller. “They are even booking for 200 and then coming in with their guarantees at 130 or from 60 down to 30 people.”
Kennedy’s forecast: “I think people are waiting to get through the holidays and see what the new year is going to bring. Once people are more confident with their business, then I think we will get a lot of quick business on the books that normally would have been booked in advance.”
— John Schaffner