How Much to Serve for a Party?

How Much to Serve For a Party? If you’re planning to host a party or family gathering, you definitely don’t want to run out of food. So, to ensure you have enough food for everyone, it’s important to consider how much food to serve. Here are some helpful tips and ideas.

How much to serve for a party table of contents:

  • how much do we need to serve for a party?
  • next, know your guests
  • do the math
  • plan to have extras
  • when serving, start slowly
  • planning the cocktails and drinks
  • do the shopping, days before
  • additional great ideas and tips

How Much Do We Need To Serve For a Party?

First off, you will need to make a list of how many guests you are planning to invite. Plus, a list of the types of food you would like to serve for your party. Start your party with a simple cheese board or choose from our easy party appetizers.

Two photos with little bites of pastry pups and stuffed mushrooms. by

Next, Know Your Guests…

Consider who’s coming to your party, and take into consideration things you know about your guests.

  • Do they have allergies and what kind? It’s a good idea to send out an email or text, requesting if anyone has a food allergy. Then you can plan to serve a few items for them.
  • Are your family and friends foodies? Do they eat a lot of food?
  • What are they mostly interested in? Are they more interested in cocktails, little bites, and just socializing?
  • Keep this in mind when planning your party.

Do the Math…

First, you need to figure out that each guest will eat at least 5 pieces of appetizers or food per hour of the party.

1. Hearty Appetizers: like mini sandwiches, or roasted ribs, you can count at least one piece each. Just make sure you have enough total pieces.

2. Cold Appetizers: such as a charcuterie board, a great idea to start out with. Calculate 2 to 3 pieces per person for sliced cheeses, cured meats, along with some olives on the board. Also, add a fig jam to spread on some cheeses.

3. For Warm or Chilled Dips: you can calculate about 2 tablespoons, or 2 to 3 pieces per person.

4. Length of Time: multiply 5 by the number of guests and hours for the party.

A large charcuterie board filled with cured meats, cheeses and crackers. by

Plan to Have Extras…

Stock up on other pantry items in case your crowd eats more than you anticipated. Items to stock on like crackers, gluten-free crackers, olives, mixed nuts, and hard cheeses along with crusty bread.

Plus, always have extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on the food, if needed.

When Serving, Start Slowly…

If you’re serving a dish whose leftovers won’t keep well after sitting out for a while, serve only half of it, and keep some in the refrigerator, or reheat the rest, when you need to replenish.

How Much to Serve For a Party? by

Planning the Cocktails and Drinks…

  • If you’re having a party for at least 2 to 3 hours, you must aim for a half bottle of wine and up to 4 beers per person, depending on your guest’s preferences.
  • If you are serving cocktails, it’s safe with three cocktails per person. Keep in mind, that some people drink more, while others drink less.
  • To figure out how much liquor to buy, for a signature cocktail, use the calculator app on your phone and multiply the amount by the number of guests, times by 3.
  • By the Pitcher: It’s a good idea to double or triple the recipe as needed so you will have enough for about 3 drinks per person.
  • Other: Also, it’s a good idea to have plenty of sodas and seltzers on hand.

Do the Shopping, Days Before…

Before the party, make a list of necessary paper goods, and plastic utensils, along with sodas and seltzers, and buy them a week in advance. This way, you’ll have time to purchase any forgotten essentials.

2 photos of party supplies, paper goods, plastic utensils etc. by

Additional Great Ideas and Tips:

  • You can provide the food and ask guests to bring their own drinks. This helps cut costs and accommodates varying alcohol preferences.
  • Plus, stock up on ice cubes. Or buy a bag (or 2 bags) of ice at your local gas station the morning of your party, and keep them inside a large cooler.
  • Also, allow yourself enough time to set up and prepare for your party, so that you’re not under stress and pressure before your guests arrive.

Additional Ideas & Favorites…

Yield: many guests

How Much To Serve For A Party

How Much to Serve For a Party? by

How Much to Serve for a Party or for a Family Gathering? No host wants to run out of food. So if you are planning to have a party or some kind of gathering, and looking for some helpful tips and ideas, look no further.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours


  • Make a list for the Invites
  • Know Your Guests
  • Do the Math
  • Plan on Having Extras
  • When Serving, Start Slowly
  • Planning the Cocktails and Drinks
  • Do the Shopping Days Before


  1. Make a list of items you will need to serve for your party, such as napkins, utensils, paper goods, cups, and bags of ice.
  2. Have plenty of sodas, beer, wine (if serving), and seltzers.
  3. Prep and prepare as much as you can ahead of time, so you can enjoy your guests.
  4. Start slowly, then add additional food to your buffet as needed.


Additional Ideas and Tips...

  • You can supply all the food, and ask your guests to bring what they want to drink.
  • Some people want alcohol and others don't. Sometimes this is easier, not to mention, it helps to cut the cost down.

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Welcome! From Anna and Liz

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