Party Planning Tips: Food And Drink Calculator

Monday, October 7, 2019

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How To Make Sure Your Guests Have Enough Food And Drink

When you’re planning an event, figuring out just how much food and drink you need to serve your guests is extremely important. Whether your guest list is relatively small or you’re throwing a large party, you want to make sure no one feels as though they’ve been forgotten. How can you make sure everyone feels satisfied?

General Tips And Guidelines

While some variables come into play when planning out the food options for your party, here are a few good rules of thumb to follow:

  • Always round up your estimates, don’t round them down.
  • Anticipate which food selections will be most popular and serve more of them than the general portion guidelines suggest. For example, shellfish appetizers are always popular, so serve as much as your budget allows.
  • The more choices you offer, the smaller your calculation of individual portion size should be.
  • You can assume your guests will taste everything on a buffet, but the tastes will be small. However, overall consumption per individual will be greater than if there were fewer choices.
  • Add “bulk” items to your menu. For a sit-down dinner have plenty of bread to fill in any hungry spots. When hosting a cocktail party, nuts, olives, pretzels, etc., provide a little extra security that you’ll have enough for all but requires no extra work.

Serving Sizes Per Guests

We mentioned variables when it comes to determining how much food you’ll serve. One of those variables is the type of food your offering. Here are some general guidelines for portion sizes. Multiply these estimates by your number of guests and be sure to round up your estimates.


Hors D’oeuvres Main Meal Desserts
  • 6 bites when preceding a meal.
  • 4 – 6 bites per hour when hors-d’oeuvres are the meal.
  • The longer your party and the larger your guest list, the greater the number of selections you should offer.

  • Poultry, meat or fish – 6 ounces when you have one main dish, 8 ounces when you offer two or more main courses.
  • Rice, grains – 1.5 ounces as a side dish, 2 ounces in a main dish such as risotto.
  • Potatoes – 5 ounces
  • Vegetables – 4 ounces
  • Beans – 2 ounces as a side dish
  • Pasta – 2 ounces for a side dish, 3 ounces for a first course, 4 ounces for a main dish
  • Green Salad – 1-ounce undressed weight
  • 1 slice cake, tart or pastry
  • 4 ounces creamy desserts such as pudding or mousse
  • 5 ounces of ice cream
  • When serving two of the above, reduce each by a little less than half.




Be Sure To Have Enough Service Ware And Dishware

In addition to food and drink, you’ll want to make sure you have enough service ware and dishes for whatever you plan to serve. Service ware is crucial for keeping your food at the proper temperature for the duration of the party, and of course dishes are needed for your guests to enjoy their meal. When you’re in need of quality service ware and dishware, consider renting through The Party Place. Renting necessities saves you time, money, and storage space. The Party Place also offers pick-up, drop-off, set-up, and take-down services for your convenience! Find all your party rental needs with our extensive rental catalog today!

For All The Best In Party Rental Items, Rent From The Party Place

Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or business parties – no matter the event, The Party Place has everything you need! Whether you need service ware to keep your food warm, lighting to brighten up your event, tables for your guests to sit at, or chairs for your guests to sit on, we have it all. To learn more about our amazing wedding rental items contact or call us at (503) 548-4880. The Party Place is the Portland area authority in event rentals. Contact The Party Place today to discuss our extensive rental catalog and find the rentals that are right for your event.


Categories: Party Rentals, Party Tips