I thought I just saw a discussion here about how to plan the number of servings for dishes on a party buffet, but I can't find it now.
It went something like -- figure on servings for 2/3 of the guests for each dish.
A friend is planning a party in a couple of weeks and could use that information.
Did I only imagine seeing it here?
No -- it was on here. A caterer told me this "formula" for multi, like items. (i.e. chicken AND beef)(3 kinds of salads) BUT if you're only serving chicken then you would plan on a piece per guest not 2/3 of the guests. If you're just serving one kind of potato, you would make enough servings so each guest could have some. Obviously, some will take more than others and some may take none so a normal serving size should work.
(Of course, I remember the wedding I catered and one of the guests EARLY ON filled half his plate with meat (piled) and the other half with potatoes (and of course he took nothing else) and I'm looking at the line and thinking OMG -- I won't have enough -- but I did!!!! Not many leftovers but enough!
Also, if you are serving chicken and another meat, I always cut the breasts in half -- if a chicken eater wants chicken, they can take 2 pieces. And those that prefer a little of each have enough.
If your friend has any other questions, I'll be happy to help.
I will admit with that 2/3 formula I NEVER ran out of food and always had some left or enough left that people could get seconds.
And on the second round I really don't care how much they pile on their plate!!! LOL!!!
View my blog:
Thanks so much, Martha.
She's making multiple varieties of vegetable and fruit salads and relishes for 45-50 people. She understandably wants to have plenty, but doesn't want to end up with mountains of uneaten, wasted salad. This will help. I'll pass it on to her today.
nettiejay, I'm sure ALL of us here would love to see her menu, especially me ;0) since I'm in the same position! Post away any ideas she comes up with. On my post, "I'm very excited!", there were a lot of very kind individuals who posted great ideas and recipes!
I'm dogged about portion control when buffets are my responsibility.
I have several suggestions:
If you have plenty of a dish, put a larger serving spoon in it.
When the item being served is cut close to the number servings you've prepared to the number of guests present, use a smaller serving spoon.
To control portions of meat which are the costliest and guests are being fed FREE, have the meat served onto the buffet guest's plate; if you offer two meats, inquire which they'd prefer, or serve smaller pieces of both for those who want.
Or portion meat serving onto plate and set plates at the beginning of line for guests to pick up entree of their choice.
Keep serving dishes on smaller side and refill or replace them often. Folks can tell if the crowd is large and food bowls are of modest size that they shouldn't heap their plates full the first time through.
When you set a huge roaster of food on the buffet it's like saying -dig in and take as much as you want.
Use crockpots rather than roasters on the buffet.
Or portion all the food onto guests plates like the lunch ladies did in school. Make sure those serving understand how overfull or exactly full the serving spoon can be. Guests can walk along and defer any items they prefer not to have, omit gravy, skip the roll, etc.
Plate single dessert portions out on the smallest individual plates at a separate table. This cuts down on folks taking 3 -4 pieces of pie, cake, brownies, etc.
There is no excuse except the guest who heaped his plate with all meat and potatoes and took nothing else was obviously a clod.
However, I do have to tell this little story...when a close family member's funeral lunch was served we were first in line. It had been a horrible long ordeal. Our day began very early with a 2 hour drive, arriving 2 hours before service as required, a huge funeral that lasted 90 minutes to accommodate all guests, an extensively long procession to & from cemetery with a lengthy graveside service. By the time everyone got back to church dining room and grace was said the family was not quite starving, but good and hungry.
An older parish member had butted into food line amongst family members (who generally are asked to go first) and made a snide comment to my college age nephew about how much food he was putting on his plate. Moral of the story - please don't admonish family members at a funeral until you've walked in their shoes that day.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Lurah,
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