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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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Old 09-24-2018, 09:25 AM   #1
nachos4life
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Join Date: 01-15-13
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Default Help me not run out of meat

Hello brethren. Another how much to cook thread here....We run a successful food truck and mainly do beer events, festivals, and stuff like that which we know how to plan for pretty well. But we are now getting into catering (more than just drop off and run stuff). We have our first wedding coming up soon where we are doing an actual buffet set up (self serve). Wedding count is 200 guests.
Menu is brisket, pulled pork, chicken wings/legs, salad, slaw, beans, and corn casserole. Hamburger buns and tortillas also on the buffet.

I am trying to determine how much meat to prepare. My initial thoughts are:

60lbs cooked brisket
60lbs cooked pulled pork
220 pieces of chicken (whole wings and drumsticks mix)

This would give everyone 4oz of each meat per person and a piece of chicken with some extra. then plus all the sides that seems like a bunch of food to me. I don't want to run out of any meat but also don't want to go crazy with cooking way too much. Having some leftover is not a big deal as I can use it for other things. As far as meat preference in Indiana, we tend to sell pork and brisket about equally.

any feedback would be awesome. thanks!
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:01 AM   #2
seangoggin
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At my last place (Sandfly BBQ) when we had large self serve events like this our go to was 2-3 servings per lb. I'd shoot for less, In total you should only need around 120-130# of meat total to feed everyone. If it were me I'd try to hit maybe, 50# & 50#. 220 pieces of chicken might not be a bad idea because people are likely to double up on that than anything (or gut the white meat depending on where you are).

With that everyones getting 8oz of meat and a piece of chicken. Some will eat less, some will eat more but it'll level out.

Catered my wedding of 80 with 30# and we had PANS left over.

Rules of thumb for us
Pound of meat:
2-3 people as entree
3-4 people as sandwiches

Pint of side: 2-3 people
Quart of side: 4-6 people

Last edited by seangoggin; 09-24-2018 at 10:04 AM.. Reason: Adding info
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:12 AM   #3
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thank you. How much sauce should I have on hand? couple gallons?
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:20 PM   #4
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Two things I've learned on here and from catering...


Set up the buffet so they get the sides first and meat last. Less room on the plate means they'll take a little less meat.


Cut the brisket into smaller slices instead of the long single slice. It looks like more and people take less.
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachos4life View Post
thank you. How much sauce should I have on hand? couple gallons?
Couple or three Gallons just to be safe.

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Old 09-24-2018, 01:57 PM   #6
seangoggin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medic92 View Post
Two things I've learned on here and from catering...


Set up the buffet so they get the sides first and meat last. Less room on the plate means they'll take a little less meat.


Cut the brisket into smaller slices instead of the long single slice. It looks like more and people take less.
If you put an attendant on your meat too they'll naturally take less. We use that little trick at buffets for high cost items.

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Old 09-25-2018, 08:28 PM   #7
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If your numbers above are cooked weight you are good. You will have leftovers for sure but you shouldn't run into a situation where one meat is gone before all guests have a pass.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBMTN View Post
If your numbers above are cooked weight you are good. You will have leftovers for sure but you shouldn't run into a situation where one meat is gone before all guests have a pass.
thanks! yea that is cooked weight.
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Old 09-28-2018, 06:50 AM   #9
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what about sides? we have beans, slaw, and a corn casserole. was thinking be prepared for 4oz per side per person?
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:54 AM   #10
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We cooked a little bit less than above. Had leftovers for sure. This was not a heavy eating crowd though.
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