How much barbecue per person for BBQ corporate catering events

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When it comes to corporate catering events, estimating the ideal quantity of barbecue per person is a critical consideration. Finding the right balance between portions and preferences ensures a successful event that satisfies every attendee’s appetite. Let’s delve into the intricacies of determining the optimal amount of barbecue per person for these occasions.

How much barbecue per person should I order?

Whether planning a corporate event, a team-building retreat, or a client appreciation party, catering is crucial in making the event unforgettable. When it comes to barbecues, knowing how much food to order per person is essential to ensure all guests leave with satisfied appetites. After all, these events are All-American favorites, where people expect to try their preferred meats and sides without that they might run out. This guide will help you determine the right amount of barbecue per person for your corporate event.

Calculating the Quantity of Barbecue Meat per Person

Remember that each individual’s appetite can vary when considering how much barbecue meat to order per person. However, a general guideline can help you estimate the quantity accurately. The average adult consumes around ½ pound (8 ounces) of barbecue meat during a meal. With this in mind, let’s break it down further:

Main Course Selection:

  • Ribs: 3 to 4 ribs per person (approximately 0.75 pounds)
  • Pulled Pork: ⅓ to ½ pound per person
  • Brisket: ⅓ to ½ pound per person
  • Chicken: One piece per person

It’s important to consider the meat selection and preferences of your guests. Offering a variety of options ensures everyone can find something they enjoy. Remember, having a little extra is always better than running out of food and leaving guests disappointed. Additionally, if you already know that specific types of meat are more popular among your guests, it’ll certainly help when adjusting the total amounts.


While the meat is often the show’s star, providing a range of complementary sides and accompaniments is equally important. Here are some typical quantities to consider:

  • Coleslaw: ¼ to ⅓ cup per person
  • Potato Salad: ¼ to ⅓ cup per person
  • Corn on the cob: 1 piece per person
  • Collard greens: ¼ to ⅓ cup per person
  • Baked Beans: ¼ to ⅓ cup per person
  • Cornbread: 1 piece per person

Depending on your guests’ preferences, you might want to offer additional sides like macaroni and cheese, grilled vegetables, or mixed green salad. Adjust the quantities accordingly to ensure everyone has enough to satisfy their hunger.

Tips for Ordering the Right Amount

how much barbeque meat per person

Now that you have a general idea of how much barbecue meat and sides to order per guest, here are some additional tips to help you avoid any catering mishaps:

Consider Dietary Restrictions and Preferences

One crucial aspect of corporate catering is accommodating dietary restrictions and preferences. Ensure your menu includes options for vegetarians, vegans, and those with allergies to specific ingredients. By offering alternatives like grilled tofu, vegetable skewers, or potential replacements for eggs and dairy, you can ensure everyone can enjoy a delicious meal, and reduce the chance of ordering certain dish amounts that may become waste.

RSVPs and Guest Count

When you send out the event invitations, include an RSVP request so you can get an estimate of the number of attendees. This will give you a better idea of the quantity of food required. Remember that not everyone who RSVPs will attend, so it’s still wise to have a buffer and order slightly more food than the confirmed numbers.

Consider the Event Duration

The duration of your event is another factor to consider when ordering barbecue per person. If you are hosting a shorter event, you can reduce the quantities slightly, considering that attendees will turn up and eat around the same time. However, for longer events, including those where guests can arrive at various times, ensure you have enough food available throughout the duration to avoid any hungry guests.

Beverages Impact Hunger

Whether your barbecue may have more or fewer meat types and side dishes, drinks will certainly be served, and they will impact how much guests may or may not eat. Water and other lighter beverages will help people better control their appetite and satisfaction. Soft drinks, on the other hand, can give the feeling of being ‘full’ even while eating less. Alcoholic beverages, if served, might even make guests more hungry. So, knowing what will be available to help everyone wash the food down is as important to your food calculations.

Informal vs Formal Barbecue

Is your barbecue a more fun, relaxed event? Or is it part of an important corporate movement with a client and/or commercial partner? The goal of your event may determine if you’re going with a more wholesale approach or if it’s an occasion to elevate the standards and impress. Opting for a more refined variety of meats and food presentation will transform your event at the expense of making your budget per person more expensive. That’s not the case for a more popular, traditional barbecue; thus, having your objectives clear also changes your food numbers.

Complement with Appetizers and Desserts

For a more well-rounded catering experience, consider adding appetizers and desserts to your menu. This will provide added variety and ensure guests have plenty of options. Appetiser quantity can be estimated at around 3 to 4 pieces per person, considering that serving portions will not interfere with the guests’ hunger for the main courses. However, desserts may depend on whether they are individually portioned, like brownies or cupcakes, or shared, like ice cream or a fruit salad.

In Conclusion

Determining how much barbecue per person to order for your corporate catering event is crucial to ensure a successful and satisfying experience. Consider the main course selection, accompaniments, and dietary restrictions/preferences. Additionally, considering RSVPs, the event duration, and providing a well-rounded menu will help you avoid any catering mishaps. And finally, always remember that experience from past events gives the best lessons on how to place correct orders and organize a successful barbecue. Following these tips ensures all your guests leave with a smile and a full stomach.

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