Getting the quantities of food and drinks right for a party can seem like a daunting task. Especially when you’re on a tight budget or just don’t want the embarrassment of running out before the party is over.
In today’s post we’ll cover the basics of how much to serve as well as provide some tips we’ve learnt when hosting parties.
If you’re serving appetizers in place of a main meal then you should allow 4-6 pieces, per person, per hour. In our experience, it’s best to serve a mixture of hot and cold appetizers so people feel as though they have had something substantial to eat. Also, the longer the party, the greater the selection of appetizers you should have.
Appetizers served before a meal should stimulate your guest’s appetite, so keep the portions small and allow 6 pieces per person.
If you’re new to entertaining we suggest having some appetizers in your freezer as backup. Great freezer to oven friendly foods can be anything from mini pies and sausage rolls to mini meatballs or quiche. Just pick one type of appetizer as your backup and if you find the food is running low, you can easily pop them in the oven. If you don’t end up needing them, just keep them in your freezer for a later date.
With a main meal, allow 1 ½ servings per person. For side dishes, allow 2 servings of each if you’re providing 1-2 options.
If you’re having 3 or more side dish options, then it’s only 1 serving of each dish per person.
If you’re hosting a BBQ, then you should allow for 1 piece of each type of meat per person. But remember that the greater the variety of meat, the smaller the portions sizes should be as guests will want to try them all.
There are so many varieties of desserts that it’s impossible to list them all. But for the classics you should allow 1 slice of cake per person, 3 cupcakes per person and 4 litres of ice-cream per 25 guests.
If you’re worried that your guests will have a strong sweet tooth and want extra servings of dessert, just keep some chocolates on hand as a backup.
For alcoholic drinks, allow for 2 drinks per person for the first hour and then 1 drink every hour after that.
For non-alcoholic drinks, allow 8 litres per 25 guests. However, if no alcohol is being served, double this quantity.
Regardless of whether you are serving alcohol or not, we have found that providing water for your guests is very important. Serve it in either a beverage dispenser clearly marked with ‘water’ or ‘h2o’ or put small bottles of water into a large tub of ice. Making it easy for children and adults to get water without having to constantly ask or risk spilling heavy water jugs will make your party run that much smoother.
Now that you know how to plan for food & drink quantities, your next party will be less stressful and more fun to prepare.