No one wants to have a party and run out of food and drinks. On the other hand, you don't want to over purchase either. Understanding your servings count is a little more than counting all those invited.
It is most likely that you want your invited guests to RSVP for your upcoming party. Even for the smallest party, you want and need to know who plans to attend. From these RSVP's you determine your Guest Count.
From and accurate guest count your can now determine your Servings Count. There is a formula to that. As Dessert Caterers, we like to consider the Time of Day to establish an accurate Servings Count.
There are 3 key Times of Day: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, let's talk about those...
BREAKFAST (usually between 5am to 11am) -
Dessert does not usually follow breakfast, however, a light pastry may be included or, be the actual breakfast served with a coffee.
Our Coffee cakes, muffins, quick breads, and danishes would be the perfect choices for this time of day. With morning pastries, expect your guests to have two (2) servings of pastries each since this will be their first meal of the day. (30 guests = 60 servings)
And alternative to this time of day you may want to consider take-home dessert options like dessert party favors. Take-home desserts allow your guests can enjoy their dessert later in the day and usually packaged in keepsake boxes and containers. With party favors, your servings count will be pretty exact to your guest count because they are taking home a single serving. (30 guests = 30 party favors)
LUNCH (usually between 12pm and 3pm) -
BRUNCH (usually between 10 am and 3pm) -
Lunch/Brunch may include desserts and even alcohol beverages like wine and champagne spritzers. During the lunch hours appetizers can replace a full lunch menu, accompanied by bite-sized desserts as well. With lunch/brunch, expect your guest to have 1 serving after a lunch menu. With an appetizer lunch/brunch menu expect your guests to have two (2) servings of bite-sized dessert since their aren't receiving a full meal. (30 guests = 60 servings)
Alternative to this time of day - you may consider having your event just after lunch hours and offering dessert-only options because your guests ate before arriving. (30 guests = 30 servings)
DINNER (usually 5pm to 9pm)
Dinner is of course the entire experience of appetizer, dinner, desserts, and an open host bar.
Alternatives to this time of day - just before, during, and after dinner hour appetizers could replace the full dinner menu as well. Moreso than on the food budget, you may find your savings on the labor/waitstaff instead. Consider offering Passed Desserts, Dessert Tables, Dessert Stations, and Dessert Bars are a trendy way to save big! (30 guests = 90 servings)