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Cook Talk

Needing help with exact amounts
Sharida
08/01/11
First Ellen I think your amazing for being so willing to offer all of your great advice!
I am attempting catering for a wedding for a guest count of 200. I've read through your sandwiches page and still have some questions....

I am serving dollar roll sandwiches with 3 kinds of meat. I wasn't sure if your 5 sandwiches per pound was for dollar sandwiches or bigger.... I will be preparing the sandwiches with (the layer of butter of course) meat & cheese ahead of time to help control my portions. How many pounds of each (shaved) should I buy?
Turkey
Ham
Roast Beef

Along side I am only serving a vegetarian pasta salad and then 3 varieties of desserts. I figured a nice good serving size on the pasta (1/2 - 3/4C per person) and 2 desserts per person.

I think I'll only serve lettuce, pickles and possibly tomatoes on the side with Dijon Mustard, Horseradish Mayo (for the roast beef) and Regular Mayo. But how many heads of lettuce, pickles and tomatoes will I need?

Also, The reception is from 6-10pm. We've estimated 60-70% will be drinking alcohol. (Not sure if that makes them eat more or less.) My biggest concern is that they are only ordering food for 200 but if we run out then it looks bad on me. Should I plan the 130 per 100 guests or 2 per guest or more?? I'm trying to find that balance of budget and not looking bad if there isn't enough food (even though they didn't pay for more).

ellen
08/01/11
Sharida, it is ALWAYS the caterer's fault if you run out of food; it doesn't matter if they didn't order enough; part of your job as a pro is not to accept a job where they are not willing to order enough food, because the fastest way to RUIN your rep as a caterer is to run out of food at a major event, and a wedding reception is the most major of major events.

If you are responsible for setting up serving and cleaning up, you need at least 10 people (at $100 or more per person) to serve this large a crowd.

In most states it is illegal for you to serve food for sale unless it is prepared in a licensed kitchen or the kitchen of the host.

Also, you need event insurance, as you are legally liable for any sickness or injury to guests or staff, even if it is "not your fault". You need event insurance; you can be sued (lose your house, etc.) if someone is injured cooking or serving or eating the food.

In addition, this is much too light a menu for this event, especially for 4 hours. At a minimum, I would add an appetizer table, plus two to three other dishes.

See this discussion- I sent this new caterer to this pro board, and you could post there too;

www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/66326/low-budget-wedding-for-175

And please also read these two threads:
www.ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/27018.html

www.ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/24310.html

Sharida
08/01/11
I have all the insurance and licensing in place. We are the venue (A golf course) and set up with a full kitchen and pub, for weddings I have hired an outside caterer, just due to the ease of it. This is the same menu that the outside caterer has served in the past but the cost of food has gone up and so this will be my deciding factor on whether to bring the catering in house or not. Of course next year I will allow the pricing to include a better selection for food. I just have one wedding to finish out this season that has chosen the sandwich option. Once I figure my quantities needed for meat and condiments I'm hoping that will leave me some wiggle room to include at least veggies if not another salad option.
ellen
08/01/11
That is really great!

For dollar sandwiches, only 1 1/2 ounces of meat, so a pound makes about 10. Women tend to eat 2, men 3, and I add 10% for extra. So an example of the estimate would be 100 women= 200 plus 100 men=300 total 500 plus 10%=550. At 10 per pound, 55 pounds. With these three meats, I would do 30 pounds (300 sandwiches) beef, and split the rest between the other 2.

What I would NOT do, is add the cheese. Instead, I would allow 1 ounce per sandwich (550 sandwiches =34 pounds, cut in 1 ounce squares that would fit the buns, and served on trays. This will fill the tables better, it look like more. It acts as an appetizer type tray. It allows people choice of cheese (Swiss, mild cheddar and jack at a minimum) and allows the many people who don't eat cheese on their sandwiches to do avoid it (otherwise you will likely find yourself throwing away cheese that has been removed).

I would also do at least 1 tray of peanut butter and jam, unless there are no kids in the party.

Condiments needed for 100 people are about the same regardless of the size of the sandwiches, see the condiment table on the sandwich page for amounts.

Budget permitting, the first thing I would add is fruit trays and the second is classic relish tray (see the veggie tray page).

robin
04/26/12
I need to know how much " au jus " I will need to use when heating up 45 pounds of beef. It's already cooked and tied I just need to warm it up. thanks
Tim
04/26/12
Hi I need to know how many trays of ( already prepared) red skin potatoes we need to order for 130 people. I was told that the trays are 25 pounds of potatoes and that it would serve 100 people. Is this correct?
ellen
04/26/12
Robin, If you are serving it with the beef, allow 1 cup for each 4 to 5 people.

Tim, I would order 2; I find that 35 pounds per 100 is more usual, up to 50 for teens and big eaters.

Donna
07/29/14
I am putting out sandwiches for my sons wedding dance around 11-1130 pm they are having a full catered dinner at 6:30 pm, I am looking at shaved ham and turkey, also a marinated pulled turkey (hot) breast. shaved meat sandwiches will be pre made with the other as make your own, estimating 250 people at that time (there are over 300 for supper) I plan on doing more of the prepared sandwiches. there will also be potato chips out. can you give me a rough estimate of buns & meat I need. thank you.
ellen
07/29/14
Slider buns would be perfect for this task. All a dozen per 10 people expected.

1 pound shaved or pulled makes 12 sliders, enough for 5 people. For each dozen, I would plan 5 pulled, 4 ham and 3 turkey if the party is not dressy, or 5 turkey, 4 pulled and 3 ham if it is- the drip factor.

Put out a platter of quartered cheese slices next to it, 1/2 ounce (2 squares) per person.

Do 3 classic relish trays, see the veggie tray page. Squirt bottles of regular and spicy mustard.

1 pound chips per 12- 15, 1 pint dip or salsa per pound

If there is alcohol served, plan dinner level coffee with the sandwiches, see the beverage planning page.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

starr corson
04/19/16
3oo slidder sandwiches with ham salad,chicken salad, egg salad. How much do I need for each one 100 people each kind How many pounds for each kind at 100 people
ellen
04/19/16
A pound of filling makes 10-12 sliders, serves about 5 people, so you are looking at 20 pounds for a single flavor. However with several flavors, people tend to take more, so I suggest 24 pounds.
If you do not butter or mayo the top and bottom before adding the filling, the sandwiches will tend to get soggy. 240 sandwiches, about 100 each ham and chicken, 40 egg.

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Deidrinel
03/10/17
How may pounds of cheese and cold cuts for 250 hawaiian bread sliders?
ellen
03/10/17
Each sandwich uses about 1 ounce of meat and 1/2 ounce of cheese if you make them. If people make their own, add 10% more of each. 1/2 tablespoon mayo, put mustard on the side. Have a dozen cheese only for any non-meat eaters.

Most ladies eat 2 and many men/teens eat 3.

Cindy
09/24/17
Need help with wedding food amounts!
We have 170 people that replied. We are having shedded Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cheesy potatoes, beans and two salads. I bought 4 turkeys one 17,and 3 that are about 16 pounds. We are serving on regular size fresh bakery buns.
My stuffing is made in batches of 2 pounds hamburger, 4 loafsbread 4 eggs onion, lipion soup soaked in hot water, one big container of chicken broth, salt pepper and sage. I have no clue how much to make.
ellen
09/24/17
65 pounds whole turkey is 65 cups, approximately.

If these are standard 1 pound loaves, the recipe you give would be about 20 people.

You do need a pan or 2 of non-meat stuffing and a crock pot of vegetarian chicken or turkey for he non-meat eaters in your party; with that many guests there will be some.

Darlyne
11/08/17
How much turkey would be needed to feed 25 4th grade students. They will have dressing, potatoes, a vegetable.
ellen
11/20/17
A 12-14 pound turkey would be pl,enty
Beverly
11/29/17
I am helping with my niece's brunch wedding reception and will be making ham sliders for 175 guests. Other food being served will be quiche, grits, fruit, and wedding cake. How many sliders should I prepare? Also how much ham and cheese should I get to make them?
ellen
11/29/17
What is the rest of the menu? Plz write back.
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