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Looking for guidance..
Hi Ellen,
A local group was left stranded when the restaurant they booked for an event suddenly shut their doors. They have asked for my help to put on their dinner for 300 members. I am not a professional caterer but have done some large scale dinners for our church, etc. and I need help estimating the sides and salads for this size group. They are apparently fairly big eaters. I am making beef (6 oz per person) plus chicken cordon bleu, again estimating 6 oz. per person).

The sides are roast potates, rice pilaf, mixed veggies, 3 bean salad, pasta salad and green mixed salad.

I am thinking 120 lbs of potatoes
20 cups raw rice

18 lbs dried pasta for salad

14 lbs mixed green salad

For the steamed mixed veggies:

9 large heads cauliflower
10 lbs green beans
6 lbs. broccoli crowns
5 lbs. baby carrots
3 lbs snap peas

For dessert I have 6 - 12 x 16 slab cakes. Also, for assorted rolls, do you think 240 would be enough or should I plan on one per person?

Thanks for your help. Sincerely appreciated.

Hi, good luck with this.

Beef good. Chicken, you only need 4 ounces per person.

Potatoes plenty. Rice probably short; it is just 10 pounds, I would do at least 16.

Not nearly enough vegetables You need 60-65 pounds edible weight.

Not nearly enough dessert. Unless they are two layer, a 12x16 only serves about 20 people.

I allow 1.2 rolls per person, especially for heavy eaters. Don't forget the butter- at least 3 pounds per 100.

Thanks for the review. I'm still so confused trying to figure out my salads for 300 and sides even though I've looked at your chart.

Here's my figuring so far:

Spring Mix - 15 lbs.
Caesar Salad - 15 lbs.
Three Bean Salad - 75 cups
Pasta Salad - 10 lbs dried pasta?

Roast Potatoes - 120 lbs
Rice (Raw) - 40 cups?

Vegetable Medley Mix - do you think I'd still need 60 lbs pre-cooked weight?

Thanks again...this is so hard to figure out. Much appreciated.

I guess my confusion with the salads is this:

On your 100 plan page, if there's 300 people, do you times each of the salads to be made by 3 if there is multiple salads (in this case, tossed, caesar, 3 bean and pasta). So would I take each of your amounts for each salad and times them all by 3? or are those amounts multiplied by 3 only if you're serving one type of salad?

Thanks Ellen.

If there are 300 people and 3 very different salads, I make about 200 servings of each, as people will take more than 1.