So, you want to feed 1,000 people? That is no small feat. With the right systems in place, it’s possible to do, and do it well! Proper planning and preparation are imperative to successfully feeding large masses with efficiency. Budget, timeline, menu design, and the objective of the event determines how to best prepare for catering. The parameters of an event greatly contribute to the enjoyment of the meal.
First, it is important to have a clear purpose and objective of the event. Is this solely a catered meal? Is the meal only a piece of a much larger celebration? Your objective contributes to your timeline. Your timeline plays a large role in how the food should be prepared and served. How long do you have to feed them? Are they coming all at once, or will you serve them in shifts? Once you have these questions answered, you can really start to plan.
Menu design is critical when feeding large groups of people, as some foods keep better than others. If you are feeding the masses all at once with a short timeframe, choose food that prepares quickly, and can hold for longer periods of time. When planning to feed a large group all at once, prepare the food well-ahead of time and stock multiple buffet lines to get the guests through efficiently. The key here is to have multiple lines that serve guests on both sides. Foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, and mac & cheese will hold for a longer period of time than fried foods like chicken fingers and French fries.
You will want to make sure you have plenty of food for your guests and that the first and last person in line have the same great experience. Generally, you should plan for 2.2 protein servings, 3.5 oz of sides, and 2-3 drinks per person.
Other factors to consider include the space available at the event sight and seating. If you are working with a smaller space, it may be best to send guests in shifts and provide some seating. Again, the objective of the event will contribute to whether you need seating for 1,000 people, or if you only need to provide seating for half of your projected number.
These guidelines can be used to feed a group of any size. It’s best to make decisions based on your specific event and the guests that you are catering to. Feeding 1,000 people is not something best done at the last minute with all the preparation involved to set up your site, prepare the food, and serve it.
If you need the help of an expert, contact us today and we’ll do it all for you. RH Events & Catering specializes in feeding large masses with ease.