There was a cosplay event, the hotel didn't 'bother' catering for food or drink separately. Lunch Break! -- Anon Guest
Among the many mistakes the organisers made was to hold a high-nerditry event in an extremely non-nerdy city. On the other hand, the place was usefully central to all available modes of transport. The conservative citizens were busy holding protests near the main convention entrance and the hotel complex wished to deny to everyone else that they were holding host to weirdos.
There were people dressed up as animals. There were people dressed up as monsters. There were people dressed up as demons, and that was way too much for the conservative general populace to face in -say- the Hotel's free buffet. The hotel really should have thought about that before indulging the staff's reluctance to bring an entire convention the fruits of a proper dining hall. Food and beverages laid out before the weirdos arrived en masse... quickly ran out as hungry hordes of cosplayers descended on the limited offerings.
Then someone said, "There's a free buffet downstairs off the lobby," and the hungry multitude charged downstairs. Vampires, robots, demons, elves, heroes, villains, and fur-suited creatures in all hues achievable by makeup and mankind. Everything strange, unfamiliar, and foreign to conservative minds came swarming down to the more public buffet zone.