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  • Tessa Gietzen

How much should I serve at my party?

Updated: Apr 10, 2019

Many people feel food preparation is the most daunting part of hosting.

Of course, all that chopping and baking is challenging enough, but the nagging concern is usually whether or not there will be enough food for all the guests. It’s a legitimate concern — a party is a bust without food.

Before you put pen to grocery-list paper, though, think critically about the type of party you want to host. Is it a formal affair? Will you serve appetizers only? Questions like these will help inform your food purchases, as will considerations about the type of guests you’ll serve. Are they a wine-loving crowd? Is it mostly vegans? You get the point.

Most important, remember to consult this guide and always round up.


A few things to remember:

When buying wine, purchase more white than red (1 bottle per two people/2 hour party

Use bulk items like rolls, chips, cheese or olives to cushion against under-serving

Always round up when you're estimating

Order more of the items you anticipate will be most popular, like spring rolls or crab cakes

Have someone you can call for help if food reserves look low

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