When you are planning your event you take into account what type of function it is, the time of day it is being held, how many people will be attending and how long you expect it to last by briefing
your caterer fully they will be able to guide you through the process and should provide you with the correct quantity of food to make your function stress free.
Time of day
Breakfast should allow a variety of items we recommend 4-5 small items including baked goods such as mini muffins, protein based items such as salmon or ham filled mini bagels or croissants and some refreshing fruit kebabs , or try some mini muesli and yoghurt cups. These items are easy to manage for a standing buffet style or seated presentation.
Lunch menus should provide variety and colour and keep your guests satisfied without needing an afternoon nap. Generally this involves a sandwich, one or two savoury items a sweet and some fruit. For hungry workers or lighter lunches look at our menus for some inspiration.
Standing reception catering over dinner time keep in mind if you are catering between 5pm -9pm that you will need to provide more items to keep people satisfied. Keep the party going by bringing out new items to surprise your guests, start with interesting canapés, later in the evening you could offer something a little more substantial such as tapas or small plates dishes to allow people to feel that they have eaten well. Allow for something sweet to bring the evening to its conclusion. Generally after the sweet is served people tend to begin to disperse quite quickly.
Quantities for canapés for a cocktail party:
6 items per person for a function lasting 2 hours
8 items per person for a function lasting 3 hours
10 items per person for a function lasting 4 hours
There are many formats of feeding large and small dinner parties, at all dinner parties you would expect to have canapés to start with.
Plated menus Generally you would offer an entree ( 2 options) main course ( with 2-3 options ) and a dessert ( 2-3 options ) plated menus require a smaller amount of food on the plate but if you want to offer choices to your guests there will be wastage as the caterer will need to ensure that there is enough food for the guests to have their first choice. This service style requires a larger number of staff for preparation and service
French Family style is where the food is plated on larger platters on the centre of the table and the guests help themselves from the centre just like at home. This is nice for the guests as there is minimal wait for the table to be served. Slightly more food is required as back up food will be kept as the plates are traditionally replenished throughout the meal, but there will be less wastage than in the plated style. You will need to keep in mind that you will need a large wide table to allow for all of the extra crockery that is required.
Buffet an efficient way to feed a large number of guests with the least amount of staff. The buffet is all about variety but there can often be a large amount of food wastage.