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Cook Talk

Tacos for 400 people
Hello Ellen. Doing a lunch for 400 at church. Having two hard taco shells per person along with 1/2 cup beans and 1/2 cup rice. Here is my breakdown using your Taco Bar figures.

800 shells
50 pounds hamburger
13 pounds diced tomatoes
13 pounds shredded lettuce
2 #10 cans black olives
6 pounds sour cream
2 gallons salsa
4 #10 cans refried beans
30 pounds dry rice for Spanish rice
100 avocados for quacomole

Does this sound correct to you? Looking forward to hearing from you. Have a great weekend.

This is not enough food for 400 people, even the rice would be short, and the rest is barely adequate for about 200 people. The figures on the taco bar are for 100 people, and you need about 4 times that much for 400. Are you under some kind of constraint?
I thought that the figures were for 100 people but each having two hard shells and two soft tacos. Is this not correct? If so then it is enough for 400 tacos right? And I would need 800 tacos.
Normal for a taco meal, as opposed to a snack, to have 2 tacos and 2 soft tortillas. The table for 100 is not for 4 tacos, the amounts are for 2 tacos and 2 extra plain tortillas.
So sorry Ellen for the misunderstanding. Let me try this again.

36 cups rice
8 #10 cans refried beans
800 crisp taco shells
24 lbs tomatoes, diced
24 lbs lettuce, chopped
15 lbs cheese, shredded
100 lbs hamburger
12 lbs sour cream
1 gallon salsa
3 #10 cans olives

Are these closer to what I will need to feed 400 people?


36 cups rice- OK
8 #10 cans refried beans- OK
800 crisp taco shells- add about 60- they get broken
24 lbs tomatoes, diced- 26
24 lbs lettuce, chopped- 26
15 lbs cheese, shredded- at least 20-24 would be usual
100 lbs hamburger- good
12 lbs sour cream- at least 20-24 would be usual, especially if self serve
1 gallon salsa- need 13 quarts- 3+ gallons
3 #10 cans olives- I would do 4
Guacamole- at least 32 quarts, and use small serving spoons.

If you are plating this, as opposed to self serve, you will use a bit less.

I am cooking shredded beef tacos and shredded chicken for 400 people. How much meat should I order?
Will 20lbs rice and 20lbs beans be enough?
I usually plan 8 pounds each raw rice and dried beans per 100. Put these ahead of the meats in the serving lines, to moderate the amounts of meat. For serving, you will need at least 4 serving lines and 6 would be better (3 double sided lines OK).

I do 25 pounds raw meat per 100.

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By the way, usually 2/3 beef, 1/3 chicken
Amy Baker
Chicken and pork tacos for 300 people
I am having a graduation party for about 300 people and have no idea how much I will need. We are serving chicken and pork tacos along with diced onions, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa and chips. Can you maybe give me an idea! Thanks a million.


Amy, good choice for his size party, BUT you will need at least 4 full serving lines, and 6, or 3 double-sided, would be better, At least 4 people in the kitchen and about 15 out front to set up, serve, and clean up this size party, and you will need more than one standard size kitchen and at least 3 refrigerators.

Look at the taco/potato bar article. Just multiply x3 for 300. Strongly suggest you add a bean dish and a rice dish unless it is a very short party or you have lots of meat.

You can prepare some estimates and write back- if I have saved you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation to support this site, Thanks.

Tacos for 800 people
Hi Ellen,
I’m doing an RV Appreciation Day tacos, rice, refried beans (beef and chicken) for our residents.
To have enough food if I doubled the breakdown for 400, would that give me enough food? Does 2/3 beef, 1/3 chicken still apply?

Thank you for your help!

Yes, the amounts for 400 doubled will be plenty for 800. Yes, 2/3 beef 1/3 chicken. Consider doing some of he beans whole, not refried, as this makes better vegetarian tacos.
Tacos for 300 people
Meats: season beef and chopped up chicken
Bean and potatoes
Shells and street taco flour tortilla
Suggest you look at he taco/potato bar for 100 page. It will vary widely if i is plated versus buffet versus sale, so you can write back with more info.
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