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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 12-17-2011, 02:03 AM   #1
Phrasty
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Default Amount of servings per 1/2 pan

Just curious for sides like mac & cheese... How many servings do you guys get out of a 1/2 or full pan?

Cheers
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Unread 12-17-2011, 07:53 AM   #2
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As usual - the key to answering this question depends not on the size of the pan but on the size of your portion & how full the tray is0.

We use 1/2 trays at the Hut filled about 3/4 & usually get around 10 - 12 small servings served in 8oz deli containers. Not precisely 8oz each but pretty damn close.
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Unread 12-17-2011, 09:11 AM   #3
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Standard half pans yield about 25 servings...
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Unread 12-17-2011, 01:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrasty View Post
Just curious for sides like mac & cheese... How many servings do you guys get out of a 1/2 or full pan?

Cheers
Half pans can come in various sizes, I have 2.5", 4", and 6" deep in standard stainless steam table pans, foil pans sizes also vary.

Your best bet is to buy an electronic scale and weigh out what you think is a reasonable portion (applies to any food item). Once you have the portion amount you can easily estimate any needed amount if you know how many servings are requested/required.

You will find that different foods may yield different portion sizes and weights and these will in turn vary with the likes and dislikes of individuals in attendance.

Also the amount of available selections (multiple sides) will also create variances.

Keep track and make a spread sheet to calculate amounts for future events. Just plug in the number needed and your spreadsheet will calculate the total amount needed.
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Unread 12-17-2011, 01:08 PM   #5
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Hey Jeff - are you willing to back your statement up with a "It's 25 servings or you can kick me in the sack" guarantee?

Sorry - but YOU might get 25 servings but that COMPLETELY depends on the size of the serving & how full the tray is. As I am guessing Phrasty is asking in relation to working out quantities for a commercial gig - it is not as simple as saying "25" or "10" or "1000". Without knowing how large the serving size & how full the tray (a 1/2 1/2 tray will serve less than a 3/4 1/2 tray or a full 1/2 tray) the question needs to be answered as "I use a (insert ounces) serving from a (insert how full the tray) that is (insert how deep the 1/2 tray)" Anything else risks giving advice that will ultimately screw the estimate for the OPer.

So - to correct my answer:

We use an 8oz serving from a mostly full 1/2 tray that is 2 1/2 inches deep and get 10 - 12 servings.
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Unread 12-17-2011, 02:25 PM   #6
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We typically use the 1/2 size steam table pans from Sam's. They hold 1 gallon when level full. I tested that theory with a gallon jug when I first started out so that I could do the math properly. There are 128 fluid ounces in a gallon. If you start with a full pan and do 4oz servings you will get 32. If you start 3/4 full and do 8oz servings you will get 12. For planning purposes I go with a 1/2 pan per 25 people. Some take more than 4 oz and some take none at all when going through the line so it averages out. That rule of thumb has worked out well for me.
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Unread 12-17-2011, 02:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chachahut View Post
Hey Jeff - are you willing to back your statement up with a "It's 25 servings or you can kick me in the sack" guarantee?

We use an 8oz serving from a mostly full 1/2 tray that is 2 1/2 inches deep and get 10 - 12 servings.
I'll serve 25 out of a half pan all day long.

8 oz sides seem awfully generous.
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Unread 12-17-2011, 04:14 PM   #8
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BBS supports^^^^statement!
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Unread 12-18-2011, 07:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
8 oz sides seem awfully generous.
I prefer to serve meat & one 8oz side as opposed to two 4 oz sides.

To me - a 4 oz side isn't nothing but a tasting sample.

Just the way we roll in upstate NY...
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Unread 12-18-2011, 05:41 PM   #10
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When I cater I do so buffet style and let guests serve portions themselves. I'd say the average take is 4oz because I will get 22 to 28 people through a line on a half pan.
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Unread 12-19-2011, 08:26 AM   #11
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I guess I will join in the catering chatter, having served hundreds of thousands in banquets over the years. I may add some babble sense.

You guys are all real close, would you agree it is a matter of individual portioning skills. If your eye balling it with a spoon everyone is gonna yield different.

Mac N Cheese, Mashed Potatoes and say Diced Roasted Veges take up some decent plate coverage.
If I was using a halfhotel 2" deep metal pan filled to the top. I would safely count it as 15-17 Portions depending on group and are you plating of buffet?
I can't speak for the Foil Pans Medium Deep, never served a banquet out of those.

Tip I used to plan by: If I had 100 people and it was a corporate Party with say a industrial company or something. I would plan on 1.5LBS of food to be consumed per person in a two hr period.

We would calculate and consider everything for or final production by weight, then by group proifile, history, serving time and most liked on the menu.
Veges were always one less pan than potatoes.
-The goal I wanted maybe 1/3 pan or less of leftovers at the end of the night without running out.
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Unread 12-19-2011, 09:09 AM   #12
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Flavor - love the idea of total food weight for calculation rather than X amount of meat + X amount of sides.

I will add - when catering we do not use the 8oz side as a calculation. That is only for serving at our joint. Catering portion depends (right now) mostly on number of sides requested. As side choice increases, portion size generally falls.

Though you do have to watch out for the vegetarians. A couple of them will kill a 1/2 tray of mac faster than a hot knife through butter.
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Unread 12-20-2011, 09:15 PM   #13
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Word. the vegetable ravioli works well too.
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