An important consideration in food party planning is your budget. How much can you afford to spend? You may prepare the food yourself, or get friends or family members to help. Hiring a caterer is another option. Much of this depends on the type of party you are having. Once your budget has been established, you should decide exactly what you will serve.
The next important consideration in food party planning is the guest list. How many people will be attending your party? You cannot estimate adequate food quantities unless you know how many people will attend.
After you have created a budget and a menu, you will need to estimate the quantities of food you will need. If you plan to serve appetizers and finger foods, you can use the following guidelines:
– 5 appetizers per guest for the first two hours of the party
– 3 appetizers per guest for the latter portion of the party
Proper estimation of fondue quantities depends on what you serve. Here are some general guidelines:
– Meat: allow approximately 7 ounces per party guest
– Shrimp: allow approximately 7 ounces per party guest
– Cheese: allow approximately 6 ounces per party guest
– Fresh Fruit: allow approximately 7 ounces per party guest
If you are serving sweets or desserts:
– Allow 1 slice of pie or cake per guest
– 5 ounces per guest for pudding, custard, or mousse
– 6 ounces of ice cream or sorbet per person
– 4 cookies per guest
If serving a meal, you can decrease the appetizer quantities slightly. Allow approximately 1 ½ pounds of food per meal per person. If you are serving pizza, allow approximately 3 to 4 slices per party guest.
When estimating beverage quantities, remember to include ice for serving drinks and icing them down as well. A good rule of thumb for estimating ice is to allow one pound of ice per guest. If the party is outside and during the hot summer months, you will need to allow more.
One gallon of punch or tea will serve approximately 8 guests. If you are serving canned sodas, allow 3 per person. Expect party guests to consume approximately 2 cocktails per hour, less as the party progresses.
Decide early in your food party planning the type of serving dishes you plan to use. Be sure to include napkins, glasses, cups, toothpicks, and silverware. You will also need trays for appetizers.
Potential problems can be avoided by planning your party ahead of time. Create a checklist early in your food party planning. Know which foods can be prepared prior to the event date. Have your shopping done a few days before the actual party date. Do your food party planning efficiently and properly. Your party will be a success, and you will enjoy it more. Have fun!
Brady Smith is a party planning enthusiast. For information on Food Party Planning, visit http://www.planningpartyideas.com.