Are you thinking of having a small (or large) get-together or reception and need to know how many hors d’oeuvres to have on hand for your gathering? On average, guests will eat about 5 appetizers each during the first hour of a party and will eat about 3 appetizers each for each subsequent hour.
This calculator will help you figure out how many bite-sized morsels of food to have on hand. Read more or skip to the bottom to use the calculator.
The type of appetizers to consider serving will be dependent on the type of gathering, the number of appetizers you will be serving, the time of day, whether a meal will be served afterward, and whether you want easy appetizers or “fussy” appetizers (appetizers that need to be maintained at a certain temp).
- You should have at least two types of appetizers available. But try to serve a different type of appetizer for every 40 appetizers needed. For example: if you need 120 appetizers,serve at least 3 different types; for 240 appetizers, serve 4 different types, etc.
- You can’t please everyone, but you can try to cover all your bases by providing meat, cheese, vegetable and fruit appetizers.
- If you will also be serving a meal, select lighter appetizers that compliment the meal and (ideally) stop serving appetizers 15-20 minutes prior to eating. You can make the appetizers available again either during or after the meal.
- Guests will arrive much hungrier if your event is scheduled around a normal mealtime. If you’re having a gathering close to lunch or dinner times but are not serving a traditional meal, consider serving more or heavier hors d’oeuvres, or changing your event time to shortly after standard mealtime.