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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I am catering multiple events a month from now for a conference being held over a weeks time. My greatest obstacle now is doing a lot on a small budget. To begin to wrap my head around amounts I need to get my menu together so that I can wrap my mind around the budget.

I need to provide staff lunches for 150 people. The direction is that there should be enough to feed everyone but there is no commitment to having everyone walk away with a full plate, it is more of a courtesy. So my plan is to provided 75 sandwiches, cut them in half. Then provide a huge bowl of grain or pasta, huge bowl of salad, 75 pieces for dessert and lots of flavored popcorn to munch all day.

So the question is how much meat per sandwich.and what kind of meat is most cost effective? Figure turkey but is that the case? Then  I would love to add my own touch even at such a small budget, so what is the best way to do that? Flavored mayo's? How much mayo per sandwich? How far in advance can I prep theses sandwiches? Can I slice the meat the day before? Can I slice the tomatoes in advance? How should I build the sandwiches so they aren't a soggy mess by the time ready for consumption.

I'm asking a lot so any feedback would be very helpful, thanks in advance.

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Dutch Loaf, Braunsweiger,,Inexpensive Ham and cheese, Egg salad, Tuna salad, Ham salad etc

 . So you are aware you are giving to much food with a large pasta and salad and dessert besides

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eggs are a cheap source of protein, chicken salad, you can mix the mixture on these the night before and use a disher to assemble them that morning.

use lavash in substitution for bread on one type. Lavash is an Armenian flat bread that makes great pinwheel sandwiches and is cheap at the Armenian grocery store. put a spread down on it first to prevent the bread from getting soggy.

washing the lettuce and tomatoes the night before is fine. I wouldn't slice tomatoes til ready to assemble (but that is just me)

I agree with Chef EdB, one or the other on salad, make bar cookies and cut them small so you have 150. even though some folks may pass on dessert others will take 2. Your perfect on the popcorn idea.  

If your doing multiple lunches, you might consider a taco salad bar, with homemade pico de gallo and guac, tres leches cake squares.

good luck


Granola Girl

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4,468 Posts
Assemble the sandwiches without running it thru the garden.
Use the green salad for a separate tray let them do their own assembly.
You just saved a ton of money by not needing separate condiment dressings.
Just need a dish of mustard and mayo or whatever for the bread.
Let a couple of the guests be privy to the set up.....
1. Select sandwich (IMO you will need a full sandwich until you figure out how they will eat)
2. Select veg
3. A spoon or two of dressing of choice.
4. Scoop of pasta salad.
Go back to table to assemble.

Order of line... pasta, veg , sandwiches then condiment.
The first two will make the plate look full thus saving on protein cost.
Don't use huge platter type plates.
A nine in should work......

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