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Re: [hox] Food - one option sat/sun....

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If we go the oh la la as Stefan *might *be suggesting then
- they would like the work

but to be very specific about this (sorry but we must be precise here)

   1. Yuwei must be happy that we are using non university caters - or we
   find a way around the fact that we use non-university caters, eg Oh la la
   parks a van in the street outside and we all walk out to collect our lunch,
   which in this case would I guess be sandwitch packs, fruit and yogurt - in
   either case Yuwai must be happy as the interface to the University, after
   all she does work for them and has a dual role in this matter, and needs to
   be on the right side of the university
   2. We need to *very definitely* guarantee the cost of all the meals
   3. We preferably need to organise some money up front for oh la la's
   materials, or I can do that myself, its not a problem if we sort out 2

Or we do the subway pre-order kind of thing as Stefan suggests


Mark van Harmelen
Personal Learning Environments Ltd
School of Computer Science, University of Manchester
cell/mobile            07830 212 464
skype                   markvanharmelen

On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 11:20 PM, Yuwei Lin <yuwei> wrote:

As said, I am unable to take on this task of arranging social events and
food on site (including ordering take-away). Please deliver this task to
whoever volunteers to do them.

Sorry for being so frank but I have to prioritise various things I'm
engaged with at the moment.

Best wishes,

Stefan Merten wrote:

Hi Mark, Yuwei, all!

Yesterday Mark van Harmelen wrote:


Yes. Important topic. Here are the requirements as I see them:

1. On-site lunch on Saturday

  As Yuwei said I discussed this with Yuwei already. I know she
  doesn't like that but from experience I know that there is no such
  thing like a one-hour-lunch-break if people leave the site. It is
  minimum two hours.

  I witnessed this often enough. At least 15 minutes pass by until
  the last visitor leaves the venue. Until the last one found a place
  to eat another 15 minutes passed by. Then people start to order
  meals which typically is at least another 10 minutes but often
  longer. Let's assume the food needs 30 minutes for being perpared
  in worst case - which is little. Then peope eat another 30 minutes
  and have paid another 15 minutes later. Until they return to the
  venue you can estimate another 20 minutes. That's even more than
  two hours...

  But I also had an idea which seems simple and viable to me. Here is
  my idea. I use Subway as an example but some other vendor with a
  similar offer would of course also work - for instance a pizza.
  However, I figured out that there is a Subway just around the corner
  - I just don't know whether it is open Saturday noon.

  The idea is to have a list of options where visitors can choose from
  - for instance an assortment of typical Subway sandwiches. At 12:00
  we close this list and the respective food maintainer orders the
  result by phone. Of course this has to be pre-arranged with Subway
  but as I know they offer such services.

  At 13:00 someone walks up to Subway and gets and pays all the
  sandwiches with the money people gave during making their choice.
  Then s/he brings them back to the conference venue. Then at 13:30
  everyone who has ordered something gets it, can eat it on-site and
  is ready to start again at 14:30.

  All this needs is a bit of pre-arrangement with Subway and caring
  for the list and collecting money during list maintaining. Also
  cleaning up is next to no effort and no special infrastructure is
  needed because people can eat with their fingers. That sounds easy
  and viable to me - don't you think? After all it's a suggestion.

  Please note: We don't need first class in any way for Saturday
  lunch. If some single people don't feel comfortable with our offer
  they can still find food on their own. However, I think Subway
  would suit most of them and it's important that this applies to the
  bulk of the visitors.

Well, that's in fact the only real requirement I see as far as edible
food is concerned (drinks are another topic...). Anything else is

2. Dinner on Saturday

  It would be nive to have a dinner together on Saturday evening. It
  needs to be after 19:00 - say start at 20:00 - but otherwise there
  are little constraints. At the moment we have 40 registrations and
  ~25 speakers. I guess at most 40 persons would use such an offer.

  Probably it is possible to find a restaurant in Manchester with a
  side room for this. Any ideas?

2. Post-conference dinner on Sunday

  For those who want to stay a bit longer after cleaning the site up.
  There is a thread on [spox] about it:

 So questions for discussion please:

  - Do we want to use them for sat or sun lunch

I understand that they would deliver the food to the site. Right?

What would be mandatory is that it is easy to eat their food. We have
probably no infrastructure for this on site. No plates, forks, knives,

Also Yuwei says that we need to order at a pre-selected caterer. For
something like Subway I personally would not have a problem because
that is the same as ordering a pizza. But for a real caterer...

   - If so what would the numbers be (or how can we find that out), and

I'd estimate 40-50 meals.

   - How can we assure payment? thanks....

We had a similar situation during the 3rd Oekonux Conference in
Vienna. Then we had the following arrangement: We guaranteed to buy a
certain amount of food (40) but asked for a bit more (60). This way
the risk was shared and this worked very well.

May be such an arrangement would be possible with Oh La La Catering as
well? If this would make Saturday lunch easy I think Oekonux can
guarantee a minimum amount.

How soon do we need to know exact numbers?

 I believe that they may have paypal if people wanted to organise payment
individually in advance, or maybe someone could take care of that?

That would be taken care of on Saturday morning as part of the normal
conference bureau business.

 I can
interface and find out meal options and prices if we want to go down that

It would be good to have at least an idea.




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