Wondering how much food to serve at your next shindig so you’re not committing a major party foul? There’s nothing worse than attending a party where the host isn’t thinking about the amount of food or drink that’s needed. We’ve ALL been to a party that promises food and then you get there to find everyone scrambling over the one veggie tray.
Seriously. DON’T. BE. THAT. GUY.
While there is no perfect formula to calculate how much party food and drink you’ll need, there are some basic guidelines that usually ensure a successful party. Here’s our party food calculator.
For Christmas, make sure to check out our huge list of Christmas Party Themes.
ONE POUND RULE:
The easiest rule is the “One Pound Rule.” Provide one pound of food for each adult guest (not including drinks or dessert).
1 Adult = 1 Pound of Food
1 Child = 1/2 Pound of Food
Calculate two drinks the first hour and then an additional drink for every hour after that.
The more options you have, the less you need of each; decrease the main course portion sizes by 1 to 2 ounces if served on a buffet.
Before the party, make sure your Home Bar is set up and ready to go!
Calculate 1 alcoholic beverage per guest per hour.
Guests will always eat — and drink — more at night than during the day.
Wine – One 750-milliliter bottle of wine provides five to six glasses. Pick up one bottle for every two guests.
Beer – Guests will drink about 1 bottle every half hour to hour
Cocktails – A 750-milliliter bottle makes about 16 drinks. Pick up a quart of mixer for every three guests.
Make sure you have enough mixers for your event!
Here are a few drink recipes to consider serving:
HORS D’OEUVRES AND APPETIZERS:
Each guest will eat 4 – 6 bites per hour during an appetizer-only event. If a main meal is to be served, calculate 6 bites total per person.
Here are some appetizer recipes to consider:
- Candied Jalapeños
- Cranberry Jalapeño Dip
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- Steamer Clams with Garlic
- Little Smokies Recipe
- Grilled Artichoke Dipping Sauce
- Grilled Chicken Wings
- Grilled Brie
- Pulled Pork Potato Skins
- Shrimp Cocktail
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken
- Air Fryer Pizza Rolls
- Air Fryer French Fries
Serve each adult guest 6 – 8 ounces of protein (meat or seafood). For barbecues, that equates to one hamburger patty.
Awesome Main Dish Ideas:
- Carne Asada Tacos
- Instant Pot Ribs
- Baked Lobster Tails
- Smoked Prime Rib
- Garlic Herb Prime Rib Recipe
- Flank Steak Tacos
BBQ SIDE DISHES:
Pasta/Potato Salad- 1 cup per guest
Baked Beans- 1/2 cup per guest
Small – 2 per guest
Large (cake, pie) – 1 4 oz slice per guest