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Cook Talk

Food Amounts - Wedding Reception for 100
Sandra
06/13/12
I'm self catering my daughter's wedding at the end of July. The wedding takes place at 7pm, with reception from 8-1. There will be approximately 100 adult guests and 20 children between 8-17 years old. Many of the guests are big eaters. My daughter's only requests were little ham biscuits (the dinner roll type buns) and Krispy Kreme donuts. :) This is the menu I've devised and wonder if you could check the amounts for me. I have access to one oven with 6 stove-top burners (maybe 8, I can't remember) and 2 helpers the day of the wedding.

Ham biscuits - 20 lbs ham and 14 dozen little rolls (making these 1 day ahead and refrigerating)
Chicken Salad using 10 lbs of chicken served with 100 mini-croissants (I thought I'd put the salad in a bowl on top of a 3-tier tray with the split croissants on the lower levels and a tray on the bottom as well)
Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta-6 loaves (32 pcs per loaf) We made this to try it yesterday, I baked some of the bread ahead. I have it in the freezer and will try it in a week or two to see how it holds up.
Vegetable tray with 13 lbs vegetable and 4 qts dip
Antipasto Vegetables-2 gallons
Buffalo chicken bites-150 1" pieces
Pizza Rolls- 2 boxes of 144 (kid friendly)
Mini Corn Dog bites- 2 boxes of 80 with 2 qts ketchup (kid friendly)
Sausage balls- 4x the bisquick recipe using 1 lb sausage and 12oz cheese, made ahead, frozen and baked the day of wedding
Assorted cheeses and spreads- 10 lbs total with
3 lbs crackers
Luscious Spinach Artichoke dip- 4 recipes with 6 lbs tortilla chips

Fruit platter using 24 lbs grapes
combined total 24 lbs melon and pineapple
16 qts strawberries and
4 qts chocolate dip (we were originally going to do a fountain, but after reading your wonderful article, decided to do dip instead)

7 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts
7 dozen S'mores cupcakes
90 mini pails (dixie cup sized) "Dirt Cake" made to look like beach sand (these are favors)
Wedding Cake

If needed,
Pasta Salad with 7 lbs dry pasta and 3 lbs vegetables
8 dozen cheesecake tartlets (can be frozen 1 month, then thaw, serve) and
8 dozen oat & toffee bars (can be frozen 3 months, thaw, serve)

5 gallons sweet tea
5 gallons pink lemonade
8 cases bottled water
17 1.5L bottle champagne for toasting
Signature cocktail- Lynchburg Lemonade (no idea how much)

Also, should I plan on 4 plates per person? I'd like to use 6" or 7" plates.

This sounds like a lot of food to me, but I'm unsure of the amounts and variety. Thank you so much for developing this forum to help with event planning for the inexperienced, such as myself.

ellen
06/13/12
First, I want to talk to you as mother of the bride;

On the wedding day, you and she want to have the day to yourselves. It is really important to find or hire a manager for the food so neither of you have to be in the kitchen- or the day becomes a food day, not a wedding day.

A buffet for 100 people takes about 3 kitchen people and at least 6 servers to set up, serve and clear away. These can be volunteers, hired, church ladies, etc; but there needs to be some experience there. And none should be members of the wedding party. Any money you spend on this, will be among your best investments for the event.

Now, about the food.

Ham biscuits - 20 lbs ham and 14 dozen little rolls (making these 1 day ahead and refrigerating)- OK, probably none left
Chicken Salad using 10 lbs of chicken served with 100 mini-croissants 20 pounds chicken
(I thought I'd put the salad in a bowl on top of a 3-tier tray with the split croissants on the lower levels and a tray on the bottom as well) the salad needs to be iced
Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta-6 loaves (32 pcs per loaf) We made this to try it yesterday, I baked some of the bread ahead. I have it in the freezer and will try it in a week or two to see how it holds up. OK. How about a second flavor, maybe pesto for color, and to add a starch
Vegetable tray with 13 lbs vegetable and 4 qts dip- OK
Antipasto Vegetables-2 gallons- OK probably none left
Buffalo chicken bites-150 1" pieces
Pizza Rolls- 2 boxes of 144 (kid friendly)-OK
Mini Corn Dog bites- 2 boxes of 80 with 2 qts ketchup (kid friendly)-OK most of the grown ups will take one, too...
Sausage balls- 4x the bisquick recipe using 1 lb sausage and 12oz cheese, made ahead, frozen and baked the day of wedding VERY popular, make at least double
Assorted cheeses and spreads- 10 lbs total with
3 lbs crackers- go 16 pounds with 8 pounds crackers
Luscious Spinach Artichoke dip- 4 recipes with 6 lbs tortilla chips- need 1/4 to 1/3 cup per person

Fruit platter using 24 lbs grapes- 20 OK
combined total 24 lbs melon and pineapple
16 qts strawberries and
4 qts chocolate dip (we were originally going to do a fountain, but after reading your wonderful article, decided to do dip instead)

7 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts- suggest you get lots of the donut holes? unless her heart is set on the full size.
7 dozen S'mores cupcakes
90 mini pails (dixie cup sized) "Dirt Cake" made to look like beach sand (these are favors)
Wedding Cake

All OK desserts

If needed,
Pasta Salad with 7 lbs dry pasta and 3 lbs vegetables
8 dozen cheesecake tartlets (can be frozen 1 month, then thaw, serve) and
8 dozen oat & toffee bars (can be frozen 3 months, thaw, serve)

5 gallons sweet tea have at least 2 gallons unsweet- maybe green- very popular these days
5 gallons pink lemonade
8 cases bottled water
17 1.5L bottle champagne for toasting
Signature cocktail- Lynchburg Lemonade (no idea how much)- plan on 2 per drinker- consider a punch style
Do not forget ice.

Also, should I plan on 4 plates per person? I'd like to use 6" or 7" plates. Yes. At least 3 cups and 2 forks, 4 napkins

Sandra
06/13/12
Thank you, Ellen!
I will get more people to help and increase the food amounts as you suggested. She really wants the full-sized donuts. She can't get them fresh where she lives, and since she's getting married in her hometown, she wants the full-sized, melt in your mouth, fresh donuts. She also wants to introduce her out of town guests to this wonderful treat. Will 7 dozen be enough?

How much pesto should I get for the bread?

ellen
06/13/12
You need about 1/2 pound per loaf/pound of bread for the pesto.

As to the donut amounts; with all the other desserts, it "should" be, but I would get several more boxes for the dressing rooms and maybe an extra one for the honeymoon suite...

sylvia
06/01/14
feeding about 150 people chicken biscuit dinner
need help figuring out how many pounds of chicken to feed about 150 people and would it be better just using whole chicken or chicken breast? Thanks for your help
ellen
06/01/14
Sylvia, if this is a chicken in gravy dish with some mushrooms or other veg, sometimes called "chicken shortcake", 1 pound (2 cups)diced cooked chicken serves 4. 1 pound whole chicken makes 1 cup. 1 pound boneless makes 2 cups. So, you have to compare sale prices in your area

If you get whole chickens, use the carcasses to make chicken broth for your gravy.

Teresa
06/25/15
how much country ham would I need to make 100 2 inch biscuits
ellen
06/25/15
About 1 ounce per biscuit, or 13-14 pounds
Delores
08/26/16
Thanks for the heads up.
MaryAnn Heimburg
11/22/16
We are planning an association New Years party to be attended by 120 ppl.

we are planning 4 packages of smoked salmon
2 8 oz. pkg cream creese
6 baguettes
1 jar capers
300 meatballs
sauce made with 6 cans cranberry and 6 bottles Heinz
chili
12 lbs large peeled and deveined shrimp
2 jars cocktail sauce
4 pounds sliced ham
4 lbs. slice turkey
105 small rolls
2 lbs. sliced provolone
2 lbs. sliced swiss
mayo
2 mustards
10 lbs chicken salad
96 mini croissant
2 spinach artichoke dips
2 large bags of scoops
2 large bags of Ruffle
2 containers French onion dip
4 pineapples sliced and served quartered
2 lbs. grapes
2 lbs. strawberries
2 premade vege trays
2 24 oz. baked brie
3 large pizzas in 2 inch cut
1 can green olive
1 can black olive
100 mini eclair
100 mini cream puff
96 mini cheese cakes
72 fancy selection brownies
The association will provide coffee, creamer and paper goods.
please advise

ellen
11/22/16
How much does the salmon weigh per package? How long is the party and when does it start. Is there any alcohol served? Please write back.

Heads up, with shrimp, if you can't provide at least 1 pound per 6 guests, don't serve it at all. This is not even3 per person, and people are greedy about shrimp. It's enough to make a good shrimp dip for this many people.

Ang
03/02/17
Catering a wedding for a friend. She has 100 people. How much should I make of....
Roasted Chicken,
Pork Chops.
Mashed Potatoes,
Steamed Brocolli,
Bow Tie Pasta Salad with cucumbers and grape tomatoes
Mostiocolli
Dinner rolls
ellen
03/21/17
Roasted Chicken, 12 chickens
Pork Chops, about 30 pounds

Steamed Broccoli, 24 pounds ready to cook

Bow Tie Pasta Salad with cucumbers and grape tomatoes, 6 pounds dry pasta

Mostaccioli
Mashed Potatoes, 35 pounds
With the pasta salad, too much pasta/starch. Either skip and increase potatoes to 45 pounds or change pasta salad to green salad (use plan for 100 list) and do the 6 pounds pasta here, or do rice instead of mostaccioli, 5 pounds dry.
You will need about 7 quarts gravy for the potatoes

Dinner rolls, 12 pounds and 3 pounds butter

Ruby
06/02/17
Making 125 chicken salad croissants. Do you suggest making the chicken or using a store rotesserie. How many chickens do I need to buy.
ellen
06/02/17
Each full size croissant uses about 1/2 cup of chicken salad, which is usually made of 1/2 part chicken and the rest add ins and dressing.

1 pound of boneless skinless chicken makes 2 cups of meat or about 4 cups of salad, so 8 sandwiches. You are looking at 18-20 pounds meat. Bone in, you want twice as much chicken 36-40 pounds.

I would ciik it myself, much cheaper. See the roast chicken melee for how to roast 6 at a time. Or consider doing whole turkey instead- easy and popular.

Hope this helps. If this is a paid gig or I saved you time, trouble or money, please make a donationm to support the site. Thanks.

Crystal
08/12/17
Im making buffalo chicken dip with actual chicken breast...NOT canned for 100 to 125 people. How many lbs of chicken breast is needed?
ellen
08/14/17
Usual for these dips is 1 pound (2 cups) chicken per 1 pound cream cheese, plus add-ins, and this amount is good for about 2 pounds of chips. You would plan 8 pounds of chips per 100, which is 4 pounds of chicken. You would do 1/4 to 1/3 more fore 125.
Nancy
08/25/17
I am self catering my wedding and it is a picnic reception. How much should I make for 110 people.
pulled pork sandwiches
pulled chicken sandwiches
corn on the cob (1/2 cobs)
potato salad
coleslaw
pasta salad
cut up fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, pineapple & honeydew)
sliced tomatoes
We will be having wedding cake which consists of 1 6", 1 8", 1 10", 1 14" & 1/4 sheet cake
8 lbs. of assorted cookies.
I am thinking I should make the Sloppy Joe recipe from your website to increase the meats. I am having a hard time figuring out how much meat to buy for the pork and chicken. How much meat would I need if we make the Sloppy Joes with the chicken and pork?
ellen
08/25/17
Food Amounts - Picnic Wedding Reception for 110
1 pound of pulled meat makes 5 buns or 12 sliders, serves 4+. Usually the split depends on whether you are n a pork eating area, in which case it is about 2/3 pork/ 1/3 chicken, or not in which case it is about 3 to 2 chicken to pork. I recommend you do about 44 pounds raw boneless meats for 110. In addition, 1 crock pot of vegetarian sausages (I like field roast brand), veggie burgers, or unchicken bites for any non-meat eaters. Have at least 1 gallon pickles, 8-10 pounds sliced onions, 2 gallons table sauce.

corn on the cob (1/2 cobs), about130, 4 pounds butter
potato salad, 4-5 gallons (40 pounds potatoes)
coleslaw, 3 gallons
pasta salad, 5 pounds dry noodles
cut up fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, pineapple & honeydew), use the fruit tray page, the deluxe tray for 100 would be excellent, or use as a gude for amouns
sliced tomatoes, at least 28 pounds if you will have dressing so some will be salad. Shredded parsley or basil over the dish is pretty and tasty
We will be having wedding cake which consists of 1 6", 1 8", 1 10", 1 14" & 1/4 sheet cake
Consider having at least a half sheet kitchen cake (same flavors, undecorated) to make sure you don't run out.
8 lbs. of assorted cookies. OK

Have coffee for 50, see breakfast planning page or beverage planning page.

Nana
12/10/17
Help please!
I'm catering for 100 people.
Her menu is:
Chicken Strips..175
Hot & Ham & cheese served on Hawaii Rolls..50
Chicken Salad served on croissants..75
Little smokies in Bar B Q sauce..300
Pasta Salad..5 lbs
Rotel Dip..3 gallons..6 bags of chips
Spinach Dip..4 making..Hawaii bread..I used the tools cut in squares...4 packs
Fruit tray..how much of...strawberry, grapes, canalope, strawberries
Veg..tray..how much...broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes

Tea..6 gallons
Water..50 bottles

ellen
12/10/17
Nana, an experienced caterer would no accept this job with this menu; example- 5 pounds of pasta salad is less than 1 ounce per person.

Please tell me the time of day- this is not enough variety or the right variety for a full meal.

Remember that if the wedding food is not satisfactory, it is ALWAYS the caterers fault, even if she did exactly what the family requested. The wedding meal is the most difficult to cater of any, and it has to be perfect, or it can permanently crash your rep. Please rethink this plan

ellen
12/10/17
Nana, please read the vert first discussion on this thread for a better understanding of menu and amounts for 100/
Nana
12/11/17
The wedding is @3:00p.m. Her guest list is 100. I need to fix for 125.
Nana
12/11/17
The wedding is @3:00p.m. Her guest list is 100. I need to fix for 125. I told them they need to do for extra. They said if we run out we run out. I told them it would look bad on me.
ellen
12/12/17
Don't take this job. It could run you and they don't care.
Nikki
07/27/18
I'm catering wedding reception for 300 people chicken salad croissants ham and cheese rolls chicken nuggets sausage balls ham and cheese pineapple cheese ball chips and salsa chips and dip thumbprint cookies punch lemonade and tea how much of each well I need
ellen
07/27/18
Nikki for a paid job please consult the pro catering board at:

cheftalk.com/forums/professional-catering.27/

I am sorry, but a wedding reception is he MOST difficult assignment for any caterer. If you don't have enough experience to recognize that this menu is not adequate as it stands, or even to offer proposed amounts for review as seen on the first post of this thread, I can't help you.

his is not enough variety or the right variety for a full meal.

Remember that if the wedding food is not satisfactory, it is ALWAYS the caterers fault, even if she did exactly what the family requested. The wedding meal is the most difficult to cater of any, and it has to be perfect, or it can permanently crash your rep. Please rethink this plan.

A buffet for 100 people takes about 3 kitchen people and at least 6 servers to set up, serve and clear away. Triple his for 300. There needs to be some experience there.

Most caters charge 3-4 times the cost of the food, depending on how much set up, service, and rental is involved in the contracts (you do have a written contract, yes?); 1/2 up front and 1/2 on delivery day of.
Do check your liability insurance; you could be responsible for any claim of food related illness, plus any injury to guests or staff.

In the contract you specify, number of guests, charges for extra guests, who owns leftover food, etc. Many caterers do not leave extra food with clients do to liability issues if stored incorrectly.

Also, you have to prepare these foods in a licensed kitchen or at site to be legal, and for your own protection, get event liability insurance. If a guest or worker believes they are sick or injured at the party, you can be sued. If the wedding party is unsatisfied, you can be sued, or they may refuse to pay you!

Smart commercial caterers have a nailed down written contract where they are paid 1/2 before the event and 1/2 at the event (not later...) and it specifies the number of guests and how much will be served, who the leftovers belong to (usually the caterer, NOT the party givers), the fee for each extra guest, no discount for no shows, and so on. So how much food is not the only, or even the first, question.

Judi
07/27/18
Need to make sausage balls for 75 people. How many recipes do I need to make? Any ideas on how to charge over the price of ingredients?
Judi
07/27/18
Need to make sausage balls for 75 people. How many recipes do I need to make? Any ideas on how to charge over the price of ingredients?
ellen
07/28/18
Judi, it depends on what else is being served and what time, for example after work uses twice as much as before a meal. Please tell me a little more?
ellen
07/28/18
Overall, the Bisquick recipe with a pound of sausage serves 10-12 with other choices.
Megan
08/15/18
Chicken and Biscuits for 250, church dinner
Chicken lbs? And best way to cook.
Bisquits (500)
Frozen peas/carrots/onions lbs?
Gravy
Iced tea
Lemonade
ellen
08/16/18
Chicken biscuits and veggies for 250
Assuming you are making chicken and veggies in gravy to pour over the biscuits, this would do it:

PER 100 people- about 8-9 gallons
200 biscuits

Poach or roast 48 pounds raw bone in chicken (16 3-1/2 pound chickens) or 24 pounds raw boneless chicken. If poaching, save the broth for part of the gravy. If roasting, add the drippings to the broth as part of the gravy.

5 pounds onions, finely chopped
16 celery ribs, finely chopped (1 bunch with leaves)
24 pounds (about 40 cups) mixed veggies
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons black pepper
3 cups unsalted butter
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour (depends on how thick you like it)
7 quarts reduced-sodium chicken broth (16 regular 14 ounce cans) OR same amount broth from poaching the chicken
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
8 cups half-and-half
48 cups chopped cooked chicken (from 48 pounds bone in chicken OR 16 3 to 3 1/2-lb rotisserie chicken)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Cook onion, celery, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and wiled, 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook, stirring, 3+ minutes. Stir in broth until smooth, add mixed veggies and thyme and bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce heat to hold a simmer, stirring occasionally, until gravy thickens about 20-30 minutes.
Add half-and-half and chicken to gravy, stir well and gently simmer until chicken is heated through. Fast if chicken is fresh-cooked, can take 20+ minutes if cold.
Stir in lemon juice, correct the seasonings.
When plating, 1 generous cup per plate.

Angie
08/19/18
Food Amounts -50th wedding anniversary
Help. My sisters and I are throwing a surprise wedding anniversary for our parents. We are wanting to do a pasta bar. Could you give me any guidance or suggestions. I was thinking pans of baked mostacccioli. Then Alfredo sauce with pasta and chicken on the side. We are having a salad. Which how much lettuce would you recommend. And breadsticks. We will also be haveping lights apps. Such as cheese crackers. Veggies and some fruit. Looking forward to your input
ellen
08/19/18
Hi, how many people?
Angela Phillips
09/24/18
I am catering my daughters wedding on a Saturday at 4 pm for 120 people. Please let me know the amount on each I would need. Thank you in advance!

Roasted Chicken (I'd like to use whole chickens)
Port Roast
Rice
Mac n Cheese
Corn
Green Beans
Rolls
Tea
Lemonade
Pasta Salad
Chicken Salad
Meatballs

ellen
10/07/18
Food Amounts - Wedding Reception for 120
Angela, I hope this is not so late you don't need it.

First, I want to talk to you as mother of the bride;

On the wedding day, you and she want to have the day to celebrate. It is really important to find or hire a manager for the food so neither of you have to be in the kitchen- or the day becomes a food day, not a wedding day.

A buffet for 100 people takes about 3 kitchen people and at least 6 servers to set up, serve and clear away. These can be volunteers, hired, church ladies, etc; but there needs to be some experience there. And none should be members of the wedding party, since hey will be setting up while the service occurs. Any money you spend on this, will be among your best investments for the event.

Now about the food

A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, plus a punch, or two if one punch is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread; or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex with chips, salsas, Texas caviar and guacamole; maybe shrimps if budget permits.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests.

You can see amounts on the fruit tray page and the veggie tray page. For dips/spreads, 1 pound bread or chips per 10, 1/3 cup per person if there is only 1, or 1/4 cup each for 2. I would not put the appetizers on the tables but in a separate foyer/bar/waiting area, I would keep the guests out of the serving area until the buffet is ready to serve.

Dinner

Roasted Chicken (I'd like to use whole chickens), 12 chickens
Pork Roast, 30 pounds
Chicken Salad, i would omit this, if you include, do a gallon
Meatballs, you consider moving to appetizer, 10 pounds small, 3 quarts sauce

Rice, 10 pounds

Mac n Cheese
Pasta Salad
Since people will not usually eat both, figure about 15 pounds dry pasta and divide by your best estimate, prob around 10/5

Corn- 28 pounds
Green Beans-28 pounds

Rolls- 15 pounds, 3-4 pounds butter or olive oil for dipping

Tea about 6 gallons, 4 sweet 2 unsweet
Lemonade about 4 gallons
Add big dispenser of fruit or cucumber mint ice water

You can write back. If this is a paid gig or I save you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation to support the site.

ellen
10/07/18
PS Anna, people really like coffee with their dessert.
KAREN M SMITH
10/15/18
Food Amounts - Wedding Reception for 175
I am catering a wedding for 175 ppl
Please help with the quantity, menu below:
BAKED CHICKEN-(LEGS AND THIGHS)
BBQ CHICKEN -(LEGS AND THIGHS)
PAN-SEARED TILAPIA
YELLOW RICE
GREEN BEANS
HOUSE SALAD
ROLLS
FRUIT TRAY
VEGGIE TRAY
THANK YOU
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