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How do you calculate catering per person?

Catering for an event can be a daunting task. One of the biggest challenges is to determine how much food is needed to feed the number of guests. To make matters even more complicated, there are a variety of factors that could influence how much food is needed per person. In this blog post, we will explore the process of calculating catering per person, including the quantity of food you need, factors that affect the amount of food, and tips on how to save money when catering for a large event.

The Quantity of Food

So, how much food do you need per person? As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended to have 1.5 pounds of food per person. For instance, if you are catering for 100 people, you should consider purchasing 150 pounds of food. This seems like a large amount of food, but keep in mind that this should include both main courses and side dishes.

Most catering companies use the estimated number of guests plus a contingency factor of 5-10%, to be sure that there is always enough food for everyone. The actual serving sizes should be measured based on the dishes served, and the budget set for the event. It’s important to avoid over-catering, as it can waste food and money.

Factors That Affect the Amount of Food

There are several factors that could affect how much food is needed per person, and this should be carefully considered in your catering calculations. Some of these factors include:

Type of Event

The type of event being catered for, whether it is a wedding reception, a corporate event, or a casual party, will affect the amount of food required per person. For example, a corporate event where guests are likely to be served light snacks or finger foods may require less food per person, compared to a wedding reception where a full dinner course is served.

Time of Day

The time of day that the event is hosted also plays a key role in determining how much catering is needed. For example, a breakfast event may require less food than a lunch or dinner event, as guests are less likely to eat as much during breakfast hours.


The type of dishes served also impacts the amount of food required per person. For instance, a buffet-style menu will allow guests to have a wider variety of choices, which means they are likely to consume more food than if they were served a pre-determined set of meal options.

Length of Event

The length of an event will also determine the amount of food required per person. The longer the event, the more food is likely to be consumed by guests. A three-hour event may not require as much food as an eight-hour event.

Tips on How to Save Money on Catering

Catering can be expensive, and it is important to find ways to save money without compromising on quality. Here are some tips to help you save money on catering:

Set a Budget

Before contacting a caterer, it is important to set a budget and stick to it. Communicate your budget with the caterer, so that they can work within the constraints while still meeting your needs.

Serve a Limited Menu

Serving a limited menu can help to reduce the cost of catering. Choose a few core dishes, and then supplement this with a range of less expensive (but still delicious) side dishes.

Opt for Local Produce

Using locally-sourced produce can help to reduce the cost of catering, as locally-sourced produce is generally less expensive than imported produce.

DIY Your Own Catering

If you’re hosting a smaller event, consider doing the catering yourself. This will not only save you money but will also give you more flexibility and control over the menu.


In conclusion, catering for an event requires careful consideration of the quantity of food, the type of dishes, the time of day, and the length of the event. By keeping all these factors in mind and applying the tips on how to save money, you can be sure that your catering requirements will be taken care of adequately, at an affordable cost.


How much finger food for 50 guests?

When planning a party or event, it’s important to consider how much food you will need for your guests. Finger foods are a popular choice for parties as they are easy to eat and require little to no utensils. However, figuring out how much finger food to serve can be a daunting task. A good rule of thumb when serving finger food at a party is to plan for each guest to eat around 5-6 bites per hour.

If you have 50 guests at your party, you should plan on serving around 250-300 bites of food per hour. This means that over the course of a 2-hour party, you will need to prepare around 500-600 bites of finger food.

When choosing which finger foods to serve, it’s a good idea to select a variety of options to appeal to all tastes. You can include a mix of hot and cold options, as well as savory and sweet. Popular options include cheese and crackers, mini quiches, meatballs, vegetable platters, fruit skewers, and mini desserts such as cupcakes or brownies.

As for how many different types of finger foods to serve, it’s recommended to offer at least 13 different selections for a party with 50 guests. This will provide enough variety for guests to choose from, without overwhelming them with too many options.

When planning a party with 50 guests, aim for around 500-600 bites of finger food over the course of a 2-hour party, and offer at least 13 different selections to provide enough variety for guests to enjoy.