Hi All! I've got an order for a dessert buffet table for 200 people. It will be an open house type thing, and there will be fruits and cheeseball/crackers as well. I would just like to know how many pieces per person of "sweets" I should plan. What would you plan for for this number of people?
Thanks for any help!
For finger food type servings, a caterer once told me that if there is other food, 6 pieces per person. If no other food 12 pieces per person. That is how I plan and it seems to work.
Wow! 6 to 12 pieces per person seems like an awful lot! I work with several high end caterers who seem to believe that 2.5 - 3 pieces per person is sufficient if it is dessert after a meal, and a few more than that if it is just sweets. I tell people they need to know their guests a little bit. I've done dessert buffets where there were two pieces per person and there were leftovers and other times when there were 7 pieces per person and not a crumb was left--and I make sure I always tell my clients this.
Ultimately, I believe it is almost as bad to have too much left as not enough, because then the client might think you oversold on purpose. For a dessert buffet with fruit and cheese, I don't think I'd offer more than 5 -7 pieces per person--and my pieces are always pretty small.
I'm sure there are also regional differences. For example, I believe Texas eats more and larger amounts of sweets than California (where I am ) so take that into account as well.
I did a dessert table for my daughter's wedding: 23 separate items; 100 of each; all in individual servings; each with an attractive, unique garnish; entire thing presented beautifully on two 8' tables. We had 90 guests and very few leftovers (after a substantial buffet meal and wedding cake). Once my husband opened it to the guests--who had politely been eying it for two hours--they swooped in like a flock of vultures. One woman told me she managed to make it through 18 of them!
I'm getting ready to do one for my friends non-profit so trying to keep costs down. One thing I told her that if you keep the variety/options down people won't want to try to sample everything! However, if it's really, really good as I know all of everyone's desserts here are you still may get people taking more than planned. Also, if there are kids - kids will take everything and take a bite and then not eat it. So factor that in as well.
It will also depend on the other factors that the other posters mentioned - other food, time of day even.
I've been doing sweet tables professionally for 25* years.....the standard banquet halls, country clubs and bakeries use is 2.5 per person.
It also depends on the size of the item. With minis, I can definitely see 6 per person. For larger desserts, I would say 2-3 per person.
I tried writing a post days ago, but it didn't post. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks a lot for all the help. It does give me a direction to go. I've decided to go with minis and shoot for 4 pieces/ person. There will also be fruit and a cheese plate there.
Thanks a lot!