Catering for any size party, whether it’s small or not can be a daunting task for many people. Knowing how much food to buy is only a small part of the problem. A lot of details must be planned out to cater any party successfully. However, once you know the basics, it actually becomes pretty simple whether you’re just starting to dip your toes in the catering business or you’re trying to save money by catering your own event.
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How much food you’ll need for a small party will depend on what you are serving. Main courses are fairly simple – you need one for every guest, and it’s a good idea to have a little bit extra in case of any spills or accidents in the kitchen. Plan for about 12 oz. of side dishes and one to two pieces of bread per guest to go along with the entrees. The last thing you want to do is not have enough food for all of your guests. If you’re serving Hors D’oeuvres for a dinner party, you will need about five to seven pieces per guest. Some guests will eat more than others, but that’s a safe bet. If you aren’t going to serve dinner – in the case of a cocktail party, for example – you’ll need to increase your portions by about 50-percent per guest.
If you’re serving cold, buffet style foods, you can make these items ahead of time to cut down on what you’ll have to do on-site. Try to prepare grilled or hot items on-site right before you serve them for the best results. If you need to, pre-cook the food and finish it on-site if you won’t have time to do all of your cooking there. Your food will look and taste best when prepared in this manner.
You will need about 36 oz. of non-alcoholic beverages per guest. Remember, almost everyone will want water at some point throughout the evening, and many do not drink alcoholic beverages at all. If you are serving alcoholic beverages, plan on having enough to serve three to four drinks to each guest. This might seem like a high estimate, but you don’t want to kill the party by not having enough alcohol, especially if the event is going to last more than two or three hours. Plan to have about 50 lbs. of ice on hand per 10 guests for all types of beverages.
This artice was written by the experts who have been providing Baltimore catering, Atlanta GA, and many other locations since 2008, ezCater.com.