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Can this be right?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I just looked on the Waitrose website and they have a canape calculator. You type in the type of apps you want, the # of guests, and how many hours the party lasts and they give you the # of canapes you need.

I entered 40 guests for 3 hours and it told me 400 items per hour. Can that be right? That would be 1200 items.:crazy:
post #2 of 22
40, 17 year old boys.....that have hiked 10 miles and haven't eaten in the last hour....yep they got it right.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #3 of 22

right?

Ah, my 17yr old sone when he has just hiked 10 miles would eat that alone schroom! lol! 1200??? Who's cooking those? Pass on the job! lmao
post #4 of 22
Ah yes! but if you look at their website - along with these bogus figures - they are also heavily advertising their party canapes!! They also seem to make the assumption that guests are going to spend the WHOLE 3 hours stuffing their faces!!
What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~Lin Yutang
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What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~Lin Yutang
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post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ah ha! Just what I thought. They're selling their product, of course they want you to think you need more!

I have that party for 40 coming up and got a little fright!
post #6 of 22
basically if you have forty people and you are making 5 or 6 different things - then you are looking at 6-7 pieces per person. Also if there are going to be things like sausage rolls, pork pies and the regular staples - then you can have a few extra as they always get eaten and are quite filling
What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~Lin Yutang
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What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~Lin Yutang
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post #7 of 22
Trully depends on the group and timing.
What I would serve to 40 atheletic men would vary dramatically from what I would serve 40 ladies for tea or lunch or afternoon meeting.....

Right now I've got a "cocktail dinner" with tenderloin for big men....it's really interesting trying to figure out how many ounces of meat I'm going to have for these guys....pork loin too not as much worry on that front.
Whoever cuts for the sanwiches has got to have a VERY sharp knife.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #8 of 22
Which, I suppose, brings up the question... Do you have a sure-fire way of calculating quantities? I have comes across some methods in the past (ie. 2oz of cheese per guest for a cheese display, etc). Often, depending on the item, I figure 1-2 pieces per guest per half hour of service if butlered. You?

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #9 of 22
no standard formula......just educated guessing.....time of day, profile of guests, is there something afterwards... such as tomorrow's breakfast will be 20 minutes of being slammed. I made larger bagels/scones so they'll only take one.....fruit will be interesting, we'll see how piggy they are. I've got 2 pineapples, 4 bags of grapes, 4# of strawberries for 40 people.....about 30 bagels, 30 scones. There will be leftovers, but I will not run out. Right afterwards is a meeting about the Food and Wine Show 2008.

Last week I did a 2 hour open house median age was mid 60's-mid 80's....they ate, seriously I would not have planned more for 20 year olds.

Meat for the 70 older atheletes, 25# of shrimp, 10# crab, 18# of tenderloin, 20# pork loin.....lots of meat....big guys with an open bar and open food.
kinda wanna stand out of the way....may even throw in a ribeye just to cover the beef thoroughly.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 22
Along with time of day and demographic profile, you can control what is eaten and how much by the order in which they are presented. I like to align it so we cut down on the amount of labor intensive appetizers we need, therefore I roll out the smoked salmon and the crackers first. The guests that arrive first and there to eat. I like the heavy protein like salmon to fill them up so they go easy on my labor intensive appetizers. (I make our smoked salmon so we don't have a huge food cost with it.)
I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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post #11 of 22
And there is always the option of having a staff serve protein on the buffet line......
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #12 of 22
Yeah, 30 items per person is quite excessive unless it's a party of freeloading grad students (in particular the Arts or Humanities) or late night computer programming monkeys.

Learned my first real lesson of portioning this Sunday. I was supposed to prepare enough food for a running party (around 8 hours) for around 70 and I realized that I prepared enough food for triple that number. So a $4.50pp food cost could've been knocked down by around one half (assuming I had still planned conservatively).
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Don't you just hate it when you do something like that?! It makes me crazy! Still not having enough is much worse....
post #14 of 22
And having lots of food left over because people thought it was crap is even worse :). Fortunately, I did get very positive feedback, so I'm not worried on that front.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
That only happens at home....:cry:
post #16 of 22
Butler pass, well you can monitor the food way more closely than on a buffet.

Some caterers sell an amount of food, some sell a package.....timing of an event is important....

So, Tuesday's event.....passed aps the first 30 minutes while people show up
then carving and Asian stations for 1.5 hours, then dessert table goes up the last hour.
There is plenty of time to have meat out.....everyone will have had their fill.
But it will not drag through the whole evening, which would just be gross toward the end.


So, what do you teach your students about catering amounts Jim?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #17 of 22
I think that it's great that there's some intuitive, shoot from the hip ideas here...they are great!
post #18 of 22
shoot from the hip, but know your gun well and hopefully profile your target....but as the posts illuminate, not all is what you may perceive.

Interesting party this weekend.....should have read it better....the non-profit client birthday party/benefit was chaired by a young part time catering waitstaff.....read into that "thinks since she's been a waitress for a couple of gigs she knows it all, and does not want to spend $ on staff"........

Special diet menu.....again a birthday so some special things, shrimp no bread at all....so no filler.....

6-9pm....dinner....young 20's group, many students. Hungry group.

40 supposed to show, 50 RSVP'd I found out later, at least 80 showed......within 25 minutes the buffet was totally wiped out and they were still hungry, (well duh?!).....got desserts out....
Place was a mess......the volunteers they said would monitor the bar/cookie station weren't......it was just a mess. I hate when people try to save money and don't give the caterer all the info they have.....

I can make an inexpensive party work, I can prepare food that is glutin free...when you have 2x the amount of hungry guests I cannot help you out....when you choose to staff your own party it's going to be difficult to maintain......
So at the end of the day, several left to go find food elsewhere.....the place was flooded with dirty napkins/cups/plates.......there was no good flow.....

There needs to be a followup conversation....this non-profit does great work and I really want to work with them....plus they are my building neighbors/friends....BUT......
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #19 of 22

Can this be right?

Sorry Shroom, This is that same old, they lower the numbers to save $$$ and it is our reputation as much as or more than their event that suffers. Makes me CRAZY!!!

NO this is NOT right!
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Oh, Shroom! People are simply unbelievable, aren't they?! Sorry you had such an evening...
post #21 of 22
tomorrow I cook for a new hockey hall of famer....Lordy, now to remember his name. It'll be an interesting evening too.....as you can see it's almost midnight and I'm still awake.....just got in from peeling 25# of 31-40 count shrimp, making rolls for the carving station, caramelizing onions, making chutney......and that was after personal cheffing this morning.....long long day, I could not do this on a regular basis. No way no how. Those guys that are in restaurant kitchens pulling the monster hours have my renewed respect.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
I think the difference, and that's not to say that restaurant kitchen people work any less hard because THAT IS NOT what I'm saying at all, is that in restaurants, the job is more predictable. In restaurants, there's an expectation that on Monday you do so many covers and on Saturday you triple that. In catering, I find myself taking on jobs at the last minute or doing as you do, working late into the evening making pieces of the next day's job.

Or maybe the difference is that in catering, most of us don't have the staff to help pick up the slack, whereas in a rest, there's more help around. It's hard to keep a full or even part time on the payroll in my catering business. Right now I have 3 pt people, but it's only because I've added daily lunches and twice weekly delivery of baked goods to my repertoire.
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