How To Estimate The Amount Of Food To Order For Your Holiday Party

The holiday season is just around the corner. And it is this time of the year when the merriment and festivities and can become too extravagant. As people are bursting with love and joy, it can’t be helped to go all-out when it comes to gift-giving and hosting feasts for family, friends, and colleagues (which is always a good thing for holiday caterers).

Nonetheless, any holiday party shouldn’t be necessarily an occasion wherein one can spend money carelessly. This holds especially true when it comes to preparing the food you’ll serve in this yearly gathering — going overboard with it and preparing too much isn’t just a wise thing to do.

But how can you correctly estimate the dishes you will need for your holiday party, making sure that everyone goes home fully satisfied while guaranteeing that not too much food goes wasted?

Read on because we’ve got you covered!

Things to Consider

Attendees. One of the most important things you need to confirm, or at least correctly estimate, is the number of your event’s attendees. From this statistic, you will have a good grasp on how much food and beverage you will need from holiday caterers.

Type of holiday party. You need to also to consider the type of event you’re hosting. Is it a cocktail party? Will you only serve appetizers and finger foods, or will you offer your guests a complete set of meals? Apart from this, you should also take into account how long will your party last.

Budget. Once you allocate a certain amount of budget for your holiday party, make sure you plan your event accordingly. Don’t go for expensive menus when you only have enough money to host a simple and modest dinner gathering.

Basic Guidelines

Most holiday caterers recommend people to follow this set of guidelines when it comes to ordering food and drinks for a holiday party:


Each person eats about six appetizers on the average. If it’ a cocktail party, he or she will have about 10 to 12.

Main meal

If you will offer a lot of main meal options (e.g. Meat, fish), you will need a smaller size for each portion. If you opt to provide hefty entrees and sides, use this as a guide:

Meat, fish, or poultry: six ounces per serving

Potatoes: five ounces

Veggies: four ounces

Pasta: four ounces

Grains: two ounces

Green salad without dressing: one ounce

Bread: one – two pieces


Pastry, cake: one slice per attendee

Ice cream: five ounces

Creamy desserts: four ounces


Non-alcoholic drinks (if there is an alcohol option): one drink per attendee

Non-alcoholic drinks (if there is no alcohol available): three drinks per attendee

Wine: one bottle for every two attendees

Beer: two servings per attendee

Champagne: three glasses per attendee

Before calling your caterer for your order, keep this one final tip in mind: it’s always safer to round up your estimates. It’s better to be left with just a bit than wallow in frustration because there’s not enough food on the table.

Saint Germain Catering is among the most trusted holiday caterers today. Whether be it for a company Christmas party or a private gathering of family and friends to celebrate the holidays, we’re here to serve good food!