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Estimating how much food or drink you'll need for your party can be one of the most difficult aspects of entertaining. We've looked to the experts (caterers) for help in putting together what we think are the best "rules of thumb" for you to follow when making your calculations. This Food and Beverage Estimator provides you per serving estimates for breakfast, lunch, cocktail and dinner parties. It's not foolproof, so keep in mind that you know your guests best, and should adapt portions accordingly. If, based on your experience, you can suggest items to add to our list please send us your comments.

Food & Beverage Estimator

Serving Sizes

  • Appetizers should be bite size. Consider 6 bites when the appetizer is preceding a meal. Consider 2‐3 bites proceeding lunch and 4‐6 bites per hour when the appetizers are the meal.
  • Poultry, meat or fish – 6 ounces when you have one main dish, 8 ounces total when you offer two or more main courses.
  • Rice, grains, ‐ 1/2 c as a side dish, 1 c in a main dish such as risotto.
  • Potatoes – 1/2 c   ounces
  • Vegetables – 1/2 c ounces
  • Beans – 1/2 c as a side dish
  • Pasta – 1/2 c for a side dish, 3/4 c ounces for a first course, 1 c  ounces for a main dish.
  • Green Salad – 1 c 
  • 1 slice cake, tart or pastry
  • 1/2 c creamy dessert such as a pudding or mousse
  • 1/2 c  ice cream
  • When serving 2 desserts, reduce each serving half

** We would always recommend that if you are serving alcohol that coffee be available.
** Although you may be serving alcohol, there may always be those individuals who do not wish to partake, so plan on juice, water, soda, coffee or tea for the non‐drinkers
*** The length of your party and the food that you will be serving can also help determine the amount of alcohol that you should factor for