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How Much Food Do You Need for Your Next Party?

You've picked out a theme, your invitations are sent, and the RSVPs are coming in. You're all set for your next party, except for one very important element - the food!

Getting the amount of food right can make or break a party. Here's everything you need to know to make sure no one goes hungry at your next gathering.

How to Calculate How Much Food You Need for Your Party

Step One: Decide What You're Serving: The amount of food you serve will depend on what kind of meal you're serving. Are you serving hors d'oeuvres? Are you having a sit down meal? Will dessert be involved? Plan out exactly what you want to serve before you decide how much of each dish to prepare.

Tip: Try not to repeat ingredients between courses. For example, if you serve a chicken-based appetizer, don't serve chicken as the main course.

Step Two: Determine Who's Coming: You can't decide how much food you need unless you know how many guests are coming. Get an RSVP from everyone you invited to estimate how many mouths you'll need to feed.

Tip: Always expect the unexpected when it comes to the amount of guests you'll have at your party. It's better to overestimate the guest count a little than risk running out of food.

Step Three: Calculate Your Food Needs: Use this guide to estimate how much food you'll need to keep your guests happy.

If You're Only Serving Hors D'oeuvres: Serve enough so that each guest can have 5 bites per hour. For example, if you have 10 guests and your party will last 2 hours, plan to serve roughly 100 bites.

If You're Serving Hors D'oeuvres Before a Meal: Serve 5-6 hors d'oeuvres per guest.  

If You're Serving Dinner: If your main course is meat-based, plan to serve a 6 ounce portion to each guest. If your main dish is pasta, 4 ounces per guest is perfect (2 ounces if it's a side dish). 5 ounces of potatoes, 4 ounces of vegetables, 2 ounces of beans, or 1 ounce of salad are all great sizes for sides.

If You're Serving Dessert: Plan to serve 1 slice of cake or pie per guest, 5 ounces of ice cream, or 4 ounces of a creamy dessert like pudding. If you choose to serve each guest two desserts, cut the amount of each serving in half.

Tip:  Don't forget drinks! Serve each drink in a high quality unbreakable glass for happy sipping without any party mishaps.

These portioning tips will keep your guests happy and well-fed. Best of luck for your next event!

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