One of the most difficult aspects of catering your party is to know how much food you should order. Whether it is a wedding reception, birthday party, fundraising event, small networking function, or any other event catering, ordering foods for your event is not always a straightforward and easy task.

It’s a fact that most people planning such events aren’t exactly professionals or specialists in Foods and Beverages. It can actually get tricky as you navigate through the list of menus trying to find which foods to get or how much.

An effective yet simple way of calculating catering portions is to know how many people will be going to attend the event. For instance, if you’re looking to serve tossed salad, you may plan on a cup of salad for each person.

For some cooked vegetables such as baked beans, etc. you may consider half cup servings, for meats, you can plan on three to four ounces for each person, and for breads, plan on one slice or roll each.

Another factor to consider when determining how much food you’ll need is to consider how long your event will be, the time for the courses as well as the kinds of foods you’re serving. To land on the safe side, always consider rounding up when trying to determine how much drink and food you’ll need.

Beverages

For parties, people will surely drink about 3 beverages each. If you’re serving coffee, always remember that it is usually consumed in morning, after meal, and later afternoon. Those coffee drinkers often consumer three to four drinks every four hours. And it is also essential to bring sugar and cream substitutes intended for those who don’t eat real sugar or dairy products.

Breakfast

When you serve breakfast, expect that your guests will eat about five ounces of your main course and also 2 to 3 side dishes at about four ounces each. You may add sweet dessert, bread, or starch. If you’re serving fruit salad, your guests will eat one half to one cup per person. If you’re serving pastry, plan on serving 2 pieces for each person.

Appetizers

Portions of appetizers varies from the kind of event you’re having. If you plan on catering a no dinner function, offer enough food of ten to fifteen pieces for each person. Remember that people usually eat more if appetizers are being served in a buffet-style rather than being passed on a tray.

Lunch

Service four ounces for each person for the main course with 2 to 3 side dishes in four ounces each. Remember to serve 1 to 2 slices of bread and one dessert per person. If you’re planning on serving buffet-style sandwich, expect that each guest will eat four ounces of meat as well as two ounces of cheese for each person.

Dinner

If you’re serving dinner, allot a five to seven ounces portion of the main course and 2 to 3 side dishes. If you plan on serving vegetables as side dish, allow four ounces. If you’re serving pasta or beans, serve only two ounces portions. Remember to serve 1 ounce of salad and bread.

Dessert

If you’re planning to serve a pasty dessert like tart or cake, expect that you guest will consume one slice each. If you’re serving creamy dessert like mousse or pudding, serve four ounces per guest and allot five ounces portions of ice cream.

These quick tips should give you a better idea on portion sizes when you order your event catering. Feel free to share your experience with Simply Elegant or other Calgary caterers. Tell us what worked and what didn’t in the comments below. And don’t forget to share with your friends and colleagues if you find this article useful.

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