Parties and events are in the works. Plans are being made and it’s time to start putting some serious time into deciding what to eat. Buffets are a great option for any gathering – especially if you want some flexibility in the numbers of your attendees. Here are a few tips for you to consider if you are thinking buffet, and in this economy, it can be a blessing in disguise:
One general rule is this: prepare (or order) more food if you are having a buffet rather than a sit-down meal; guests tend to eat more from buffets. However, the more selections available, the less people will take of any one item because they want to taste everything. This gives you the option of adding more appetizer types of offerings – and less heavy expensive meats. Don’t serve appetizers before – save the money and add a few smaller items to the buffet itself.
- For a buffet serving 25-30 people, a good basic menu includes two main dishes, two salads, bread rolls (one or two per person), and two to three desserts. Multiply this for every 25 people you add.
- Meat amounts can be tricky, but here is a general guide: for 25-30 people, have a fifteen- to eighteen- pound turkey, OR a six- to seven-pound boneless ham, OR a twelve-pound roast beef.
- For serving pasta, calculate about two ounces per person if it’s being served as a side dish or as one selection on a buffet table, about four if a main course.
- When planning beverages, know your crowd; in general, though, calculate about one drink per hour for each guest. For a party where guests will be standing/moving around a good deal, plan on four to five drinking cups per person. For ice, you’ll need about one pound for every four to six guests.
Want to really enjoy the event with your guests? Consider getting it catered. You will often be surprised at just how reasonable it can be. Discuss your budget and guest count with your caterer. They are known to be exceptionally flexible and willing to work with you – just remember they are the professionals and will take care of your needs if you allow them. Believe us when we say – having it catered will provide you the bonus of a true social gathering – without thought to anything other than having a great time!