How to calculate catering for 45 people

Updated April 17, 2017

A party of 45 people can be doable for a single caterer and even a caterer that utilises a home kitchen. As a caterer, you never want to be embarrassed by running out of food. At the same time, you never want to front the bill for more food than you actually need to serve your guests. Depending on the menu that is planned, the amount of food needed will vary.

Calculate appetizers based on whether you will serve an entrée. Plan 10 to 15 appetizers per person if there will be no entrée served. Plan on three to five appetizers per person if there will be an entrée, or one to three pieces per person if you are serving before lunch. Remember that buffet appetizers will be eaten faster than appetizers served from a tray.

Plan at least three drinks per person. Estimate at least a cup of coffee per person for every hour of the party. Remember that there will be a need for more coffee if your party is in the morning instead of the evening. Plan on at least one serving of water per person per hour at the party as well, especially if the party will have activities such as dancing.

Calculate your main courses for the party. Breakfast should have one main entrée with at least two sides per person. Plan one entrée for lunch service with two to three side dishes as well as a starch. Use at least 113gr of meat per person for buffet lunch entrées. Plan dinner catering with at least one main entrée that is 142 to 198gr per person and two to three sides that are at least 113gr for vegetables and 56.7gr for starches. Do not forget bread and salad with at least 28.4gr of dressing per serving.

Calculate your desserts for the party. Expect one slice of cake, one pastry or one tart per person at the party. Plan on at least 113gr per person when serving a mousse- style dessert and at least 142gr per person if serving ice cream or sundaes.

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About the Author

Shailynn Krow began writing professionally in 2002. She has contributed articles on food, weddings, travel, human resources/management and parenting to numerous online and offline publications. Krow holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an Associate of Science in pastry arts from the International Culinary Institute of America.