Whether you are planning a private party or the big corporate bash, it can be challenging to determine how much food and drink to order. Event planners are good people to have in your corner and can help you nail it on the head. But if you’re planning it all on your own, we’ve come up with a few helpful hints that we’d like to share after years in the event planning and catering industry.
Guest List: For most events, you can (and should) expect approximately 75% of the invited guests invited to attend. It is always surprising who shows up and who doesn’t; don’t take it personally – life happens! Have you noticed that RSVPing is somewhat a thing of the past, even when requested? Not sure what happened, but people don’t seem to take it as seriously as they once did. Nevertheless, once you plan your own large party or wedding, you will understand why it is so important and will never NOT RSVP again! With all of that being said, however, about 20% of those who do RSVP will not attend. Again, life happens.
Overages: With approximately 20% of the RSVPers not coming, there is no need to stress out about running out of food. If you’ve hired a caterer, they are also always prepared for 5-10% more than the given total. Yes, you will generally be charged for every person over the total that was initially given to the caterer as well as those RSVPers that didn’t show. However, the guests that do come (that didn’t RSVP) will fill in the gaps and hopefully make up the difference.
Espresso Bar Catering: This is a great option for drinks, includes Italian Sodas or Smoothies for the non-coffee drinkers, and Pacific Perks Coffee LLC will tell you how many folks can be served per hour – it’s surprising! For weddings, one Espresso Bar should be enough in most cases, since alcohol and other beverage stations are generally available for guests. If the wedding or large event is “dry” and the focus is the Espresso Bar, you might want to consider 2 or more stations. This will ensure happy guests and avoid long lines.
All in all, don’t stress. Remember that your guests are going to have a good time, regardless, and who complains when something is free?! Well, we all get surprised with that one from time to time, but just don’t let that little voice inside your head get out of control as it is trying to scare you about running out of food and beverages. This rarely happens! If you are a true believer in things working out, which I have become after MULTIPLE real experiences, these tips will be useful for you. If not, and you need some real peace of mind, just go ahead and plan for lots of leftovers; there’s no harm in that either. Happy party planning!