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Dessert Bar for the holidays


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What's the rule-of-thumb for estimating how many small pieces of dessert (bite sized pieces)

should be ordered for a party?

I have a customer who will be throwing a holiday party and estimates 130 adults and 70 children will attend.

I need to tell her how many pieces of dessert she should order.

She's asked for 4 desserts - a tartlet, a mini cupcake, small sugar cookies and a petit four (cake).

Thanks for any suggestions -

Beaches Pastry

May your celebrations be sweet!

Beaches Pastry Blog

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Be aware that as the number of choices increases, so do the number of pieces taken per person.

Maybe it's the old "collect the whole series!" gene. :rolleyes:

Exactly! If you offer a dozen different items, people will attempt to try one of each.

What kind of party is this, in terms of the time of day? If it's an afternoon event for an hour or so, an estimate of 4 pcs per person would be fine. If it's part of an informal buffet dinner that could go from 7pm til 2 am, with people drinking spirits, then, you'll need more.

You'll also need to consider if the party will be sit-down with plates and silverware, or stand around mingling with everything being handheld -including drinks.

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Good points. This will be an open house party - late afternoon until evening - and guests will be milling around the house and yard, standing and/or sitting.

It's a bit of a guess to plan for a large number of children - knowing that lots may take 1 bite and set down their dessert. Do I plan any differently for children than adults, or is 3-4 pieces still a good figure?

Beaches Pastry

May your celebrations be sweet!

Beaches Pastry Blog

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I'd go for 5 pcs per person, based on the amount of time. People tend to eat about one per every 15 minutes, depending on how filling they are. Also, if it's a commercial event, rather than a family event, people make more of a point to fill up at the sponsor's expense.

The one main difference between kids and adults is that most American kids don't like dark chocolate. So, if you serve mini-eclairs dipped in firm ganache made of high-quality chocolate, they will tend to take one bite and go 'ew.' So, I'd go easy on chocolate offerings in general.

Kids will also be messier, so go easy on runny fillings and jams.

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