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Catering Tip: How Much Food Is Enough for Your Party

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Hosting an event means you are dealing with many things at once from catering to décor to venue. Planning an event has enough challenges as is but one area you should make sure you have covered is food department and we all know that food at an event makes a lasting impression on guests. Making a wrong choice where food is concerned will completely ruin the look and feel of an event.

Hungry guests are difficult to please when they are promised food in advance through RSVP or word of mouth. You are going to be hiring on a caterer to handle the details involved in keeping your attendees fed and watered.

The guests have been invited and RSVP slips are in and some guests may not respond. Now that you have a final count and know the number of guest to expect, how much food to order to satisfy your guests?

This question begs some considerations. No host wants to run into an embarrassing situation where they have run out of food or over-order, over-pay and have to throw leftovers out.

It is just as important that as the host of the event, you must know the number of people attending. But just the number of guests isn’t the only factor that you should care about when it comes to catering food for an event. Many factors should be weighed when deciding on the right amount of food for your event.

Check out these tips to help you identify how much food is enough for your event. That is without starving or stuffing your guests.

  • You should also consider the type of the event, event’s duration, the type of food you’ll be serving. For example, cocktail party will require considerably less amount of food than lunch or dinner party. The longer guests remain, the more they’ll consume. Funny as it sounds people get hungry and thirsty over time over and over again so a variations of food in ample amount is needed.
  • Round up your food estimate to be on the safe side. Some will eat more, others less. As a host, your goal should be to balance it out in the end.
  • Anticipate which foods/drinks will be most popular and will disappear quickly. Order more of these selections.
  • More choices you offer, the smaller your individual portions served. As guests want to have taste of everything, offer bite-sized portions and still they’ll have sufficient.

Here are basic guidelines for individual serving sizes of various foods. Multiply these estimates by your number of guests and again round up your estimates.

Appetizers :

  • simple meet and greet with no evening function, 10 to 15 pieces per person
  • mid-day events with light lunch, plan 1 to 3 appetizers per guest
  • evening events with dinner, plan on 3 to 5 appetizers per guests with lighter food options

Beverages :

  • at least 3 beverages per person
  • coffee drinkers consume at least 1 – 3 cups of coffee

Breakfast :

  • beverages: plan on about 2 beverages( coffee, juices, tea etc) per person
  • main entrees should be about 150 gm. per person along with two side dishes, including bread
  • in case of serving pastries , have 2 pastries per person<
  • Estimate about 3 – 5 pieces of cut fruit per person, or one cup or less of fruit salad.

Lunch :

  • Appetizers – 2 to 4 per person
  • Main entrees- (about 5 -7 oz) with 2-3 sides, including a starch and a dessert
  • Beverages- 1 to 2 beverages per person

Dinner :

  • Have 3-5 appetizers per person, depending on number of courses
  • In case you are serving a starter, choose either soup or salad
  • Main meal about 200gms per person, along with side dish of 3 selection, including a starch and a vegetable
  • Beverages – 2 to 3 beverages (beer, wine, water, soft drinks) per person
  • Dessert – have 2 servings per guest. Some will come back for seconds while some will pass dessert altogether

While you should always rely on the advice of your catering company, it never hurts to have rough idea of catering procedures to ensure that costs are kept under control and that there is minimum food wastage.

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