Hors d'Oeuvres Guide

8 to 10 guests serve 3 types of appetizers
12 to 16 guests serve 4 or 5 types of appetizers
18 to 30 guests serve 6 types of appetizers (include a minimum of 1 hot offering)
32 to 46 guests serve 7 types of appetizers (include a minimum of 1 hot offering)
46+ guests serve 8 types (include a minimum of 2 hot offerings)


Amount of Reception Food

  • To keep the chart simple - 1 piece of anything (small or large) counts as “1”
  • The more options you offer, the more likely people are to take “1 of each”
  • Smaller plates or no plates reduce consumption
  • Passed appetizers reduce consumption
  • Fewer appetizer stations in a big room reduces consumption
  • A hosted bar increases consumption as people stay longer
Length & Type of Reception Type of Eater Servings Per Person
Less than 1.5 hours with dinner following Light
Medium
Heavy
4-5 pieces
7-8 pieces
10+ pieces
Less than 2 hours no dinner following Light
Medium
Heavy
6-8 pieces
10-12 pieces
14+ pieces
2 to 3 hours no dinner following Light
Medium
Heavy
8-10 pieces
10-12 pieces
16+ pieces


Break Beverages

The number of gallons of beverages you need for a break depends upon:

  • Ratio of men to women in the group
  • Length of break
  • Size of the cup/glass
  • The ease of getting to the break and returning to the meeting on time
  • The more options offered, the more waste you will have at the end of the break, if the hospitality standard is to “not run out” of anything

Morning Break

Count = Attendance at the break

Beverage All Men All Women Mix
Regular Coffee Count x 60% Count x 50% Count x 55%
Decaf Coffee Count x 20% Count x 25% Count x 25%
Hot Tea Count x 10% Count x 15% Count x 10%
Diet Soda Count x 20% Count x 20% Count x 20%
Regular Soda Count x 10% Count x 5% Count x 10%

Afternoon Break

Count = Attendance at the break

Beverage All Men All Women Mix
Regular Coffee Count x 35% Count x 30% Count x 35%
Decaf Coffee Count x 20% Count x 20% Count x 20%
Hot Tea Count x 10% Count x 15% Count x 10%
Iced Tea Count x 20% Count x 25% Count x 20%
Diet Soda Count x 50% Count x 50% Count x 50%
Regular Soda Count x 10% Count x 10% Count x 10%

Servings in a Gallon by Cup/Glass Size

Gallon Cup Size Cup Example Practical # of Servings
1 gallon; 128 ounces 6 ounces Small paper or china coffee cup 20
1 gallon; 128 ounces 8 ounces Medium paper or coffee mug 15-16
1 gallon; 128 ounces 10 ounces Water glass or 1 can of soda 12
1 gallon; 128 ounces 12 ounces Tall glass 9-10