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Where can I find the information on how much food per person should be allowed when figuring out how much will be needed on a party platter? For example, How many ounces or pounds of meat per child or adult should be allowed when making a meat tray? We are thinking of making a meat and cheese tray, a fresh vegetable tray, and a fresh fruit tray but have no idea how much we should allow per person. Any websites would be helpful.
My husband is a catering director and while there are factors like budget, time of day, etc. the guidelines are around 10 to 15 bites per person.
If you are trying to save money, have your party mid-day after lunch and before dinner. That way you can plan for fewer bites per person. If you have a party around dinnertime (approximately 7 p.m.) then plan on more bites.
Also, if you are doing actual bites, like little bite sized brownies and such, plan on more for dessert. People have a tendency to keep nibbling on them. If you're thinking budget wise, have a cake or something where you aren't just nibbling. People will think twice before going for a third piece of cake, but they don't think about the 20 brownie bites they nibble on as they pass the food table.
Also, I've always seen better success with more food, as opposed to less, but more expensive food. Most people are happy with finger sandwiches and don't care so much that you spent $500 on caviar.
As a personal chef and caterer, I think I can help. Here are a few guidelines:
This is based on the average eater.
Most people have challenges in trying to plan for parties and rather large gatherings of people. Years ago I purchased a book that has proved invaluable to me for such occasions. There are several books available of this type nowadays (but pricey), but my old Food For 50 by West, Shugart & Wilson is fantastic (it was published in the 70's).
It contains quantity recipes as well as how much to purchase for 50 servings which you can double or half those for however many people you will be serving. This and other books of this type should be available at a myriad of used book stores, possibly on eBay, or even regular booksellers have out of print books you can search for online. I know www.abe.com is a site for used books & am sure there are many others.
I'm busy right now planning my parents' 50th wedding anniversary so this question is right down my line. Because I'm a pastor's wife I've also had a lot of experience with planning for groups.
Somewhere along the years I picked up a party planner book and this is what they say on platters:
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