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Feb 1, 2008 03:00 AM

Help! I'm having 150 people over how much food do I buy?

Hi everyone!
So saturday night I'm hosting a fundraiser and 150 people have signed up to go. I'm going to costco tonight to buy food, but it's really hard for me to conceptualize how much to get. I'm thinking cheese, dips, italian meats—and anything else I can get my hands on. Is there a rule of thumb? It's not dinner, but it is from 7-10. Is four cases of wine enough? Also I'm going to get beer (anythoughts on how much)? Thank you in advance! Perhaps you can read the panic between the lines of my post!

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    That's a site which will help you determine the quantities you need.

    1 Reply
    1. Here is a site where you can figure out how much beer and wine to purchase. Don't forget about juices, sodas, and waters for the non-drinkers.
      I am a huge planner and list maker, and the thought of having 150 people tomorrow without a detailed food plan makes me a wreck just thinking about all you have to do in less than a day! Good luck to you!

      1. You can figure 5 glasses to a bottle of wine, but if people are pouring for themselves, AND if the glasses are large, you might not make it. Too many folks over-pour. Are you having a bartender/wine-liquor server?

        2 Replies
        1. re: ChefJune

          Yes, I have 3 servers...I have six cases of wine and i'm getting beer and water/juice soda!
          @mschow: I am a wreck!!! Because it's a fundraiser I had know idea it would spiral into such a big event...I've never done such a thing in my life. It's bigger than my own wedding. All I can do at this point is just go Costco and buy 100lbs of food and hope for the best. But any more tips, please bring them on!!! Thank you everyone so much!!!!!

          1. re: judybrune

            I did this recently for 250, some kids, and Costco all the way as we had to shop the afternoon of the party - no freezer space. We had 6 hot hors doeuvres per person and they were served on passed trays. This kept everyone busy and we had the right amount.Then we had 2 veggie platters, cheese(selection of 8) and crackers, dips (this was overkill) and chips and a huge antipasto on buffet tables. We had a dessert table at the end- three Coscto cakes. We had more than enough food.

          1. Paging Chef Robert Irvine from Dinner Impossible! Truthfully, Judy, sounds like if you invest a little upfront planning time, you can buy everything you need at Costco. You might need some transportation and food storage help. Gio's web link to determining food quantities looks great and I will keep that for future reference.

            Having hosted a few big bashes in the past, 7-10 p.m. may not include dinner on the invitation, but more than likely there will be some very hungry people who are planning to MAKE it dinner.

            Step 1 - plan your menu. You want large trays of food, otherwise you will need 2,000 canapes & hors d'oevres. Such short notice, I wouldn't make anything myself nor have high expectations for a "chowish" menu. This is the time for the veggies & dip, shrimp w/ cocktail sauce, slabs of smoked salmon w/ pumpernickel, large jloints of roast beef, ham, turkey, deli meat and cheese trays. Are you serving dessert? This is the time for full sheet cakes or those huge carrot cakes I always see at Costco. What is your budget? My game plan is always to craft my "dream" menu, estimate and trim/substitute items based on the budget.

            Step 2 - now that you have your menu, figure out serving tables/tableclothes, cutlery, glasses, salad, dinner & appetizer plates, platters, paper doilies, what ever you will need to serve your menu. If you are hiring servers, cleaners or a bartender, figure out that cost as well.

            Step 3 - what to drink with your food? Figure 4 glasses wine to each bottle and 6-8 glasses soda per 2 liter bottle. We are not beer drinkers, but I would estimate 1 1/2 beers for each person if they are all adults, you will know your crowd and can do that better. Will you need coffee? Rent a coffeemaker? Write down your drink garnishments - limes, lemons, tons of ice, cherries, paper umbrellas, whatever. Make your list, estimate cost and move on.

            Take your 3 lists and try to think of which store in your area is most likely to have all the items you need. Sounds like you already decided on Costco (I would have chosen them too). Visualize all the stuff you need - unless you have a semi truck as a personal vehicle, sounds like you need to enlist some help buying & transporting (and probably storing) all this. Where will you keep the beer & sodas cold? Although here in Ohio, it is cold enough to keep in my unheated garage (LOL!)

            If you invest the up front time in a little planning, use a little ingenuity/innovation, make some detailed lists, enlist some help, you should be able to have enough time to put on makeup and lipstick prior to the event. Good Luck!