How to Calculate the Number of Appetizers Per Person

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Vary hot and cold appetizers for easier serving.
Vary hot and cold appetizers for easier serving. (Image: Appetizer image by William Berry from Fotolia.com)

Hosting a dinner or cocktail party requires preparation and organization to ensure the party happens smoothly. You don't want your guest going hungry, but you also don't want to be eating leftovers for a month. Use a catering calculation to determine the total number of servings required for each event type.

Decide whether your party will be a cocktail party or a dinner party. A cocktail party requires 12 appetizers per guest while a dinner party requires six appetizers per guest.

Calculate the number of guests attending your event. For parties with 45 guests or fewer, plan to serve six different types of appetizers. For parties with more than 45 guests, plan to serve eight different types of appetizers. Three appetizers are enough for parties with 10 or fewer guests.

Multiply 12 appetizers per person by the total number of guests to calculate the total amount of appetizers needed for a cocktail party. Divide the answer by the number of appetizer types served. That's the required total number of appetizers for a cocktail party. Divide the answer in half for the total number required for a dinner party.

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