A Guide To Catering

Here’s How To Entertain a Crowd…

Once the guests have been invited you’ll need to know how much food you will need for your event? Many factors play a part — the length of the event, the number of people attending and the types of food you’re serving. For example, a cocktail party requires much less food than an all-day affair.

Another tip when estimating food and drinks is to always round UP. Try to guess what items will be most popular and Remember that more options mean smaller individual portions.

Don’t Forget to Serve Safe!

  • No cooked dishes, soft cheeses, cut up fruits, lunch meats or dips should sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Use chafing dishes and beds of ice or coolers to maintain food temperatures


Evening function with no dinner:

  • 10-15 pieces per person.
  • Make sure it’s substantial.
  • When appetizers are served buffet-style vs. passed on trays, people tend to eat  more.

Evening function with dinner following:

  • 3-5 pieces per person.
  • Can be lighter foods such as cheese or vegetables and dip.

Late morning or early afternoon with a meal following:

  • 1-3 pieces per person.
  • Again, can be lighter, such as vegetables, fruit or cheese.


  • About 3 beverages per person at a party.
  •  A 2-liter of soda fills ten 8-Ounce glasses .
  •  Plan on guests consuming a cup of Coffee every 1.3 hours
  •  Coffee consumption peaks in the morning, late afternoons and after meals.
  • Coffee Drinkers  will usually consume 1½ cups each.
  •  Don’t forget cream and sugar and sugar substitutes


  • Offer juice, Champagne , mimosas (oj and champagne mixed), coffee or tea.
  • People will drink about 2 beverages each.
  • Offer a main entree (about 5 oz). Offer 2-3 side dishes (4 oz. each) with bread or a starch and dessert.
  • Fruit makes a great breakfast “dessert.” Estimate a half to one cup of fruit salad or 3-5 pieces of sliced fruit per person.
  • Serving pastry only? Estimate 2 pieces per person.


  • Offer soda, beer, wine, mixed drinks tea or lemon water.
  • If serving appetizers plan 2-4 per person.
  • Accompany your entrée (about 5 oz.) with 2-3 sides (4 oz each), bread or a starch and dessert .
  • For buffet-style, plan on 4 oz meat and 2 oz. cheese per person, allowing for one to two sandwiches each.


  • Serve water with a lemon slice in addition to any other beverages .
  • Plan 3-5 hors d’oeuvres per person, depending on your number of courses.
  • Offer your entrée dish , (5-7 oz.) and 2-3 sides (4 oz. each for veggies, 2 oz. for beans or pasta).
  • Of course, offer bread, salad (1 oz w/out dressing), possibly soup or an appetizer.


  • Plan 1 slice of cake, tart, or pastry.
  • 4 oz. of a creamy dessert, such as mousse or pudding, 5 oz if serving ice cream.
  • Remember, more people mean more courses and more choices.

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