Tips for Feeding a Crowd at Your Next Gathering
If you are in charge of planning dinner for a large crowd, you may think that all that planning is a bit intimidating and kind of stressful. However, there are some tips you can follow to make things a bit easier when planning on feeding a large crowd.
Consider your guests and their ages
The first thing you will need to consider is how much food you will need exactly. The number of people that you are having over for dinner is not the only consideration when it comes to the food. The age of the people and the length of the dinner party also needs to be taken into consideration. For instance, teenagers eat more food than seniors do. If you are making dishes that are often well-liked such as potato salad, you want to make a bit extra since people may take an extra helping. Also, be sure you have more than just the entrée, you also want to add a side dish, salad, dessert (mmmm, I can smell the apple pie and fresh easy cobbler, yum!) and possibly a few appetizers.
Before planning your menu
If you’re planning on hosting a dinner party, it’s important to take into account any dietary restrictions your guests may have. This means making sure there are enough options for everyone to choose from, whether it’s vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or anything else. Even more importantly, be sure you do not serve items such as seafood or nuts if anyone has even the slightest allergy to them. The last thing you want is for someone to feel left out or like they can’t participate fully in the meal. With a little bit of extra effort, you can make sure everyone feels included and enjoys the evening.
Decide portion sizes
As a general rule, there are some guidelines you can follow when it comes to figuring out individual portion sizes for your dinner guests. If you are doing appetizers, plan for 6-7 appetizer pieces per person. Plan one cup of soup per person, six ounces of chicken or meat per person, five ounces of potatoes or pasta per person and 1-2 pieces of dessert per person. For beverages, plan on two drinks per hour per person. If you are serving punch, plan on one gallon for every 10 dinner guests. Of course, this may be a little different if you have half of your guests under the age of 10 or if you have all of your guests as teens and middle aged adults.
Keep it simple
Keep your menu simple and easy. You will want to choose food items that have minimal preparation times. Everyone has different tastes so be sure you stick to food favorites like chicken, potatoes, salad, pasta and veggies, for instance. You can also choose foods to freeze ahead of time so they can be reheated at dinner.
This includes things like chili, casseroles, and soups.
Plan ahead and be prepared
One of the best tips to follow when you are feeding a crowd is to plan ahead as much as possible. This means getting all of your ingredients together and doing as much preparation work as you can before the day of the big event. This will help to minimize stress and make things go more smoothly on the day of the party. It is also a good idea to have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. For instance, if you are serving pasta salad and the pasta is not cooked all the way through, you will want to have another dish that can be served instead.
By following these tips, you can make sure your dinner party goes off without a hitch. Just remember to plan ahead, keep things simple, and be prepared for anything. With a little bit of effort, you can make sure everyone has a great time.