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# Some calculation help

Hello. I'm catering a New Year's Eve party this year and I have a simple menu of beef stroganoff, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, etc. I'd like a little help with my calculations. I have a count of 65 people. Will 20 pounds of beef and 20 pounds of potatoes be enough? I'd also like a general idea of salad. I'm doing a spring salad. I'm pretty sure I have the green beans covered, but I wanted to make sure I was okay on my meat and potatoes. Any help will be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks so much!!!
Is there such a thing as Queen
of the Grill? Why do men only
get a royal title over the
barbeque? I should be queen.
Girls like to play with fire too.
Is there such a thing as Queen
of the Grill? Why do men only
get a royal title over the
barbeque? I should be queen.
Girls like to play with fire too.

### Portion Calculation

JENNI BELLE:
Good morning. Jenni, You can safely assume 17.5 oz of beef roast per 2 persons. I am allowing for evaporation or reduction due to the fat melting while cooking. That equates to 8, oz per person or 36 pounds worth. POTATOES, you did not say how you were going to prepare them. Assume 9, oz per person if you are going to bake them. They should be close to equal size. That amounts to (4), 10 pound bags. If you are going to mash them you should assume 11, oz un-peeled per person or (5) 10 pound bags, plus butter/margerine & milk to whip them up. I hope someone else can help you about your salad requirements. Good luck & have a nice day young lady.
~Z~BESTUS.
I appreciate the advice, however 50 pounds of potatoes for 65 people??? That sounds like an awful lot of tots! And yes, they will be mashed. I just read somewhere else that a pound raw of potato for each 3 persons for mashed potatoes was a good calculation. That would make just over 20 pounds, which was close to my original guestimate. Would anyone care to comment on that for me?
Is there such a thing as Queen
of the Grill? Why do men only
get a royal title over the
barbeque? I should be queen.
Girls like to play with fire too.
Is there such a thing as Queen
of the Grill? Why do men only
get a royal title over the
barbeque? I should be queen.
Girls like to play with fire too.

### calculations

Are you using a baker size? If so then 3 per person should hold and 20 pounds should be just enough. I always throw a few more in. Are you going to be piping the potatoes or spooning it on the plate or is this a buffet? if it is a buffet then you need to add more potatoes. Peoples eyes are usually bigger then their plates on buffets. The tendency is that they put far more on then they need.
Spring salad=plate up=1 case to 35 people on regular 7 inch salad plates
Buffet salad=1 case to 45-50 people ( some just don't eat that rabbit food)
Beef, is it trimmed? If you are purchasing trimmed beef then you should have a higher yield. Without the excess fat there should be more protien and you don't see that much shrinkage. You can also calculate much easier with trimmed beef. Did you take into consideration of the amount of stroganoff sauce vs beef? I.E. 8 oz of cooked beef plus 6 oz of sauce = 14oz of beef stroganoff. That is almost 2 cups on the entree itself not including the two starches of green beans and mash potatoes. I know, Americans consider beans and corn vegetables. So what. Any ways 6 ounces of cooked trimmed beef should equal 8 ounces raw trimmed beef. (about 20-25% loss when cooked) That comes to 32.5 pounds of trimmed raw beef when cooked should yield 24.38 Lbs of beef. Now this will be a hearty stew. 6 oz of beef and 6 oz of sauce will be 12 oz of stew or 1 cup and 1/2. That is plenty if it is a buffet.
On a plate up you can actually serve 10 oz and get away with it easily. Just cut your raw beef down to 27 Lbs. That should yield around 20-21 Lbs cooked. Remember to portion out for a plate up. Don't allow some daffy prep or dishwasher to toss the food on the plate without using the correct measuring utensil. This will result in either too little being served or too much being served which will cause you to run out of food if it isn't controlled from the start. you will be serving about 5 oz of beef and 5 oz of sauce.
Have fun
David
Hard work never killed anybody but it sure has scared a lot of them.
Hard work never killed anybody but it sure has scared a lot of them.
Or cut the stroganoff with mushrooms and onions which are alot cheaper and are actually standard stroganoff ingrediants.

I have had my staff serve center of the plate on buffets.

So, 6oz pp on meat should be ok ....with alot left over. Depends of course on who your crowd is.....young males eat alot. Older folks or veg heads obviously don't.

Potatoes, I go with 25 #s that way if you have a couple to throw out and peelings....your covered.

Lining up a buffet in the order you want things is very important, having staff to serve what you want to portion out is the way to go.

sorry this was so late.
Thanks for all the help. I started with 25 pounds of potatoes and cooked another 5 pounds because it just didn't look like enough. I would have had plenty though. I should have trusted the calculations.

I went with the 30 pounds of beef and learned that that was far too much. At least with this crowd. I could have easily done it with 25, maybe even 20 pounds.

I had far too much salad left over and am hoping I will be able to return it as it is un-opened. Otherwise, I'll be eating a lot of salad within the next week!!!!!

I did learn one thing with which I'd like to ask a question. My original recipe I created to make about 8 servings. When I upped it to make enough servings for 65, I just multiplied the recipe. I found out that the liquid ingredients didn't multiply up equally to the meats and other ingredients. Why is this? If I upped my recipe equally, I would have needed 5 gallons of cream, however, I only used about 2.5 gallons of cream. Why is this? Just curious, because I really don't want to do this again! Fortunately I can return the unused cream, but I'd really like to be able to figure this out the first time!!! Thanks for all your help!
Is there such a thing as Queen
of the Grill? Why do men only
get a royal title over the
barbeque? I should be queen.
Girls like to play with fire too.
Is there such a thing as Queen
of the Grill? Why do men only
get a royal title over the
barbeque? I should be queen.
Girls like to play with fire too.
Make recipe notes....I always take notes after events. Several of my clients are regulars and have most of the same guests each year.
Obviously a teenage boy is going to eat a whole lot more than an 80 year old woman....knowing your audience is important.

Running out of food for a caterer is one of the worst things to happen, the extra food is wasting profit but having alittle more than desired is a safety net.

All that said.....When I judge how much to cook I look at the whole menu and guest profile.

Your putting a really rich sauce on beef, hopefully with loads of shrooms and onions. The cream, stock and wine will stretch the portions. 20 pounds of trimed meat sounds about right....that's about 5 oz of meat pp...so it's generous.

Potatoes are cheap. You don't want to scrape the btm of a chafer to get the last scoop.....25 pounds was generous.

Salad, I'm usually way overboard on salad but that being said visualize a buffet and if you aren't having separate salad plates figure there won't be alot of space for salad on their plates. Once dressed or set out it's shot.

Typically I have more vegetables than most caterers.....seems like the vegetarians, dieters, religious are always appreciative.

There are rules of thumb but learned experience is priceless.
Lining up a buffet in the order you want things is very important, having staff to serve what you want to portion out is the way to go.

I agree with you wholeheartedly on this one! I tend to put the more expensive entree, or one I may be short on, toward the middle or end of the buffet line unless I have someone serving it. This way, people won't have as much room on their plates and won't be able to load up on the pricey items. Plating it in the center is a great idea- one I'lll use for sure!

I find that I sometimes have a lot of an item left over no matter how I plan. I'm horrified at the thought of running out of food. The tricky part is not to let the host know how much is left or they want to take it home (or at least I've found that at my smaller parties). If they've paid for it, they think they're entitled to it even though I run the risk of getting into trouble should they store it improperly and get sick as a result. My food inspector was adament that caterers should NEVER allow their food to be sent home with the guests. My hosts think I'm wonderful because I take the trash with me even if I haven't contracted to do that. They don't know it's because I'm hiding that extra pound of shrimp cocktail to a few servings of steak tips....:o
Other caterers I know sell amounts...ie...2oz of shrimp pp, 3oz of top round,
when it runs out it runs out....no doggie bags.

I'm careful about product. If there is an overage that has not seen the buffet table and has been kept at the right temp then it usually goes home with me.

if it's seen hands or has set out adios