Guidelines for Calculating How Much Food to Have Catered

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There's only one thing worse than ending your event with way too much food and that is running out of food in the middle of your event. Catering companies use formulas to help them calculate the amount of food that they need to prepare for the event. Use the following guidelines to help you determine the amount of food you should have catered:

Guest List

If you haven't already sent out invitations, sit down and list all of the people that will be invited to the event. You should get a rough estimate of the number of people that you will need to feed. A good rule of thumb when using this number is that you should prepare 1/2-pound of uncooked meat per person and 1/4-pound of each side per person with 2-3 side dishes to choose from.

Time of Event

If you're only serving appetizers throughout the evening, you should prepare 7-8 appetizers per person. This number will decrease to 5-7 per person if you plan on serving a main course. Think about when your event will take place, and if it's going to occur during a meal time, you should make the necessary adjustments.

Length of Event

Caterers can calculate the number of "bites" that people take every hour. For example, appetizers are consumed at a rate of 3-4 per hour per person if you're serving a meal. If you have 100 people at a three-hour event, you should plan on 900-1200 appetizers.

Think about these 3 variables as you start calculating how much food you'll need for your event. Coburn Catering can help answer your questions to determine the right amount of food that you should prepare so you don't end up with way too much or too little food.

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