HOW MUCH FOOD TO SERVE IN A BUFFET

Food is often the highlight of a party – and you want it to be one of the highlights of yours. It doesn’t just need to taste great and look great… you need to have enough of it.

Figuring out how much food to serve for a buffet can seem daunting but it really just boils down to simple mathematics. Here are guides on the weights of your dishes to serve on a buffet.

How much food to serve in a buffet

DISHAMOUNT COOKED (PER PERSON)
Meat/fish (1 type)180-200g
Meat/fish (2 types)110g
Meat/fish (3 types)80g
Heavy side (potatoes, creamy pastas)140g
Medium side (rice, pasta, quinoa)50g
Light Side (rocket, baby spinach)30g
Vegetables as a side with 1 other side115g
Beans as a side dish50g
Bread rollsNumber of guests x 0.75
i.e. 100 guests = 75 bread rolls
Dessert1 slice of pie/cake or 120g mousse/rice pudding
Mini desserts3-4 per person
Cheese platter30g per person
Ice cream140g

Remember: a group of men will eat more and elderly folk will eat less, so adjust the quantities accordingly. Also take into consideration meats with bones and remember that slow-cooked meats reduce a lot during the cooking process.

For higher guest numbers you should provide a wider variety of foods. Follow these rules for the amount of variety of meats/fish and sides versus guests.

How many varieties of dishes to serve

Number of guestsVariety of dishes
0-15 guests1 main and 2 sides + bread
15-30 guests2 mains and 3 sides + bread
30-65 guests3 mains and 4 sides + bread
65+ guests4 mains and 5 sides + bread

Note: If you are serving many different items on the buffet, you will need less quantity of each item per guest.

Think about your guests and whether they tend to be big eaters or not. Don’t skimp on food. Sending your guest’s home hungry isn’t going to make them rush to your next shindig!

Don’t worry if you slightly over cater. It’s great to have leftovers in case people end up staying long after the celebrating ends and what’s better than not having to cook the day after your party?

If you would like information on how many beverages you should serve at your special occasion, check out our drinks calculator.

Happy entertaining!

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