How much should your Christmas party cost?
Written by Phil Lardi, Wed 14 September 2022
Determining your holiday party budget is vital, and should be agreed before you start thinking about the venue, food or drinks. But it’s often hard to know what to spend - too much is costly for the organisation, but too little and employees may feel their year’s worth of hard work isn’t being rewarded.
By the numbers
While businesses obviously vary hugely in both size and success, the average spend is around £70 per person - this includes the venue, decorations, food and drinks.
If you’ve got room to spend more, it’s worth keeping the cost below £150 per head. Many new businesses aren’t aware that HMRC provides tax relief against the cost of holding an annual event providing certain conditions are met - the party must be annual, it must be available to all employees and the cost must cover all expenses and not exceed £150 per head. Get more info here.
It's all about the food
When it comes to the holidays, food is often what most people look forward to the most. There are plenty of different options to consider and different ways to budget, we've outlined a rough idea below.
Canapés and finger food - Expect to spend around £6 per person
Street food truck or pop up stall - Expect to spend around £12 per person
Sit down Christmas dinner with all the trimmings - Expect to spend £60 per person for 3 courses and £48 per person for 2 courses
Keeping costs down
Without a doubt, the best way to keep costs down is to hold the party in your office. This gives you more budget to spend on decorations, food and drink.
If this isn’t possible, consider hiring a dry hire venue so you're not tied to the venue’s food and drink options and costs. With dry hire, you have a blank canvas and can get creative with new flavours, formats and have more control over the price.
Whether it's in the office or an external venue, if you’re looking to hire in caterers, street food, cocktail bars, or even photographers, we have thousands ready and available. With all of our suppliers you can prepay and select menu options in advance to maintain control of the budget.
Another way to save costs is if you are prepared to take a Monday/Tuesday date, which will cost on average 20% less. You can also get better prices per head if you book close to the maximum capacity, so find a venue that's the right size for your party.