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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 12-10-2012, 10:49 AM   #1
Michael Cowley
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Default So I am confused

I want to get a good stable calculation on food portions and I thought I was doing everything right but I had so much food left over after this party I catered it was rediculous

We had 160 people

I had
70lbs pulled pork cooked
15lbs shredded beef
5 Hotel Pans baked beans --5 117oz cans
5 Hotel Pans mac and cheese--15 lbs dry mac
2 Hotel Pans of slaw--18 lbs slaw

I came home with

about 50lbs pulled pork
3 Hotel Pans of Beans
3 Hotel Pans mac and Cheese
1 Hotel Pan of slaw
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Unread 12-10-2012, 10:56 AM   #2
cpw
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Can't really help you with those numbers, but I do know if you do a search for "catering spreadsheet" here, you'll come up with a couple of xls files that will calculate everything for you. They're real handy.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 11:04 AM   #3
PorkQPine
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I calculate based on a few factors

1. When two meats 1/4 lb. per person
2. A hotel pan serves 50

When you get over two meats and three side dishes you need to decrease the amounts for each item 10% at least. Keep records, the more you do the more tuned in you get. I've taken my share of stuff home, given it to my helpers and called the kids to come over and 'shop'. Hate overages but you will tune in as time goes along.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 11:10 AM   #4
Bigdog
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It also makes a big difference if you serve them or do a self serve buffet line.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 11:18 AM   #5
Michael Cowley
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it was all self serve so I assumed they would have eaten so much more than they did...
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Unread 12-10-2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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What was the make up of the 160 ( men, women, children )? Sometimes you are just surprized at how much they will eat or how little they will eat. Your never going to find a perfect formula.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 02:26 PM   #7
cynfulsmokersbbq
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Cowley View Post
I want to get a good stable calculation on food portions and I thought I was doing everything right but I had so much food left over after this party I catered it was rediculous

We had 160 people

I had
70lbs pulled pork cooked
15lbs shredded beef
5 Hotel Pans baked beans --5 117oz cans
5 Hotel Pans mac and cheese--15 lbs dry mac
2 Hotel Pans of slaw--18 lbs slaw

I came home with

about 50lbs pulled pork
3 Hotel Pans of Beans
3 Hotel Pans mac and Cheese
1 Hotel Pan of slaw
You had enough meat for 260 good sized sandwiches.
I figure three sandwiches per pound when catering.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 03:07 PM   #8
HBMTN
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I would have had the below and would have had leftovers


40lbs cooked pork
30lbs beef
3 pans bean
4 pan mac n cheese
4 1/2 gallons slaw
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Unread 12-27-2012, 08:34 AM   #9
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I use the "If 1 meat, estimate 1/2lb per person, if multiple meats, estimate 1/4lb per person." Use the same calculation for my sides as well and it works quite well. Hotel pan size would also depend on how many it would feed, if I'm not mistaking (2" deep, 4", etc) We typically use 4" full hotel pans and get 25-30 servings out of a pan.

Hope that helps. Remember as well, as my Mother taught me "It's always better to have too much, than not enough!"

Cheers!
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Unread 12-27-2012, 11:21 AM   #10
Pyle's BBQ
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70lbs pulled pork cooked = 224 5oz sand.
15lbs shredded beef = 48 5oz sand.
5 Hotel Pans baked beans --5 117oz cans = 146 4oz serv.
5 Hotel Pans mac and cheese--15 lbs dry mac
2 Hotel Pans of slaw--18 lbs slaw = 72 4 oz serv.

How big were your buns? On your sides 4 oz is a lot for a serving if they have a choice of 3. People will not take 4 oz of each. They may take a total of 6 oz.
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Unread 12-28-2012, 09:20 PM   #11
Boshizzle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyle's BBQ View Post
70lbs pulled pork cooked = 224 5oz sand.
15lbs shredded beef = 48 5oz sand.
5 Hotel Pans baked beans --5 117oz cans = 146 4oz serv.
5 Hotel Pans mac and cheese--15 lbs dry mac
2 Hotel Pans of slaw--18 lbs slaw = 72 4 oz serv.

How big were your buns? On your sides 4 oz is a lot for a serving if they have a choice of 3. People will not take 4 oz of each. They may take a total of 6 oz.
You got it going on, bro! Thanks!
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Unread 01-03-2013, 03:41 PM   #12
The Drill Sargent
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It an easy mistake to make, calculating everyone having full servings of everything, but Pyle's explanation is spot on.
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