How many canapés per person for a Party or Big Crowd

Finger Food Parties are becoming increasingly popular.

So what exactly do we mean by ‘finger food?’ Well according to Wikipedia:

Finger food refers to dishes that are easy to consume using only one hand. This includes items such as chips, popcorn, pretzels, nuts, crackers, etc.

Other finger foods you can serve are

  • chicken wings
  • hot dogs
  • pizza slices
  • french fries
  • calamari rings

However, these may be ok for a birthday party or family gathering but there are times when we want something that is a little more “fancy”. For example, wedding receptions, company awards dinners, or other “cultured parties”. 

We are not talking about hors d’oeuvre or appetizer but mini recipes like mini Yorkshire pudding would be an example.

The answer is canapés – in all their forms savory canapes (cold and hot canapes) and sweet canapes for a cocktail hour or wedding canapés say. They can also be used at afternoon tea, or high tea.

We are of course left with the question of just how many canapes per person do we serve for a big and important event.

How many canapes per person for a large crowd or big event?

When planning a party, there are many factors to consider. The number of guests, the type of food, the location, the budget, etc.

But one thing that often gets overlooked is the number of canapes that should be served at each table.

Here are some guidelines to follow when deciding how many canapes per person to serve at a large gathering.

However, you will need to first determine the event type. We have divided the events into 4 different types and given you a table of exactly how many canapes for 10,20,25,50,75 and 100 people. 

Firstly the definition of the events

How Many Canapes for each guest for a 1 hour company event or party

For a cocktail hour or a short event, you would plan to serve 4 canapes for each guest.

How Many Canapes for each guest for up to a 3-hour event

 For a longer event, you are catering for plan on serving 7 canapes per person.

How Many Canapes for each guest for an event longer than 5 hours

For a long event with customer network etc, you will probably need to have food stations with hot canapes. you will need to serve 10 canapés per person for a 5 hour plus event.

How Many Canapes Per Person for 10 People
How Many Canapes Per Person for 10 People
  • For a 1 hour pre dinner drinks how many canapes per guest for 10 people? – You would serve each guest a minimum of 4 canapes and order a total of 40 canapes for 10 people
  • How many canapes per person for 10 people at a 3 hour event – you serve a total of 70 canapes
  • How many canapes per person for 10 people at a 5 hour event – you serve a total of 100 canapes
  • How many canapes per person for 10 people at a wedding – you serve a total of 60 canapes
Sweet Canapés are also popular
How Many Canapes Per Person for 20 People
  • For a 1 hour pre dinner drinks how many canapes per person for 20 people? – You would serve each guest a minimum of 4 canapes and order a total of 80 canapes for 20 people
  • How many canapes per person for 20 people at a 3 hour event – you serve a total of 140 canapes
  • How many canapes per person for 20 people at a 5 hour event – you serve a total of 200 canapes
  • How many canapes per person for 20 people at a wedding pre dinner drinks – you serve a total of 120 canapes
How Many Canapes Per Person for 25 People
How Many Canapes Per Person for 25 People
  • For a 1 hour prize giving event how many canapes per person for 25 people? – You would serve each guest a minimum of 4 canapes and order a total of 100 canapes for 25 people
  • How many canapes per person for 25 people at a 3 hour event – you serve a total of 175 canapes
  • How many canapes per person for 25 people at a 5 hour event – you serve a total of 250 canapes
  • How many canapes per person for 25 people at a wedding reception drinks – you serve a total of 150 canapes
Savoury finger food or canapés are the most popular
How Many Canapes Per Person for 50 People
  • For a 1 hour pre theatre show how many canapes per person for 50 people? – You would serve each guest a minimum of 4 canapes and order a total of 200 canapes for 50 people
  • How many canapes per person for 50 people at a 3 hour musical event – you serve a total of 350 canapes
  • How many canapes per person for 50 people at a 5 hour event – you serve a total of 500 canapes
  • How many canapes per person for 50 people at a wedding pre dinner drinks – you serve a total of 300 canapes
How many canapés should I order
How Many Canapes Per Person for 75 People
  • For a 1 hour family reunion how many canapes per person for 75 people? – You would serve each guest a minimum of 4 canapes and order a total of 300 canapes for 75 guests
  • How many canapes per person for 75 people at a 3 hour large gathering – you serve a total of 525 canapes
  • How many canapes per person for 75 people at a 5 hour event – you serve a total of 750 canapes
  • How many canapes per person for 75 people at a wedding pre dinner drinks – you serve a total of 450 canapes
How many canapés per person for a Party or Big Crowd
How Many Canapes Per Person for 100 People
  • For a 1 hour reception how many canapes per person for 100 people? – You would serve each guest a minimum of 4 canapes and order a total of 400 canapes for 100 guests
  • How many canapes per person for 100 people at a 3 hour musical event – you serve a total of 700 canapes
  • How many canapes per person for 100 people at a 5 hour event – you serve a total of 1000 canapes
  • How many canapes per person for 100 people at a wedding pre dinner drinks – you serve a total of 600 canapes

What are canapés?

Canapés are small, finger food items that are served at receptions and parties. They are designed to be a bite-sized delight. 

They are usually served before a seated dinner to allow the guests to mingle and meet before they sit down to eat. They can be pastry-based, on a skewer, or bread based you have quite a lot of flexibility.

What is the serving size of canapés?
What is the serving size of canapés?

If you’re hosting an event, canapés can be a great way to keep guests comfortable before the main course or main event.

You can use the above tables as a guide to creating a party of canapes with the right quantities and varieties. They are also made to look good, as well as have a lovely taste.

How many canapés should I order
How many canapés should I order

How do I calculate sweet vs savory canape amounts to serve per person?

The “canape rule” for banquets and events that need a mix of sweet and savory is to serve 70% of savory and 30% sweet. 

The exception would be if you are serving after dinner and it is kind of an informal networking event after the main food is served. For this event, you would tend to serve sweet canapes and even one hot canape.

If you have the extra time and space serving hot canapes is a nice touch, but not necessary.

Top Tips for Serving Capanes

Finger food is a great alternative to a sit-down meal.

  • You can serve up to 10 canapés per guest.
  • Manapes are ideal for large groups.
  • Canapés are a great way to get people talking about your event.
  • Make sure you cater to all types of tastes and preferences.
  • Don’t forget to check your kitchen cupboards for inspiration.
  • Make sure the platter is clean before placing the canapés on it.
  • Always use a mirror to reflect the food.
  • Use fresh flowers and herbs to enhance the presentation.
  • Don’t mix meat and vegetarian options on the same platter.
  • Keep the platter clean and tidy.

How to Choose Wedding Reception Canapés

Canapés are an essential part of any wedding reception.

There are so many choices available in terms of flavors, shapes, sizes, colors, and styles.

It’s important to choose something that suits both the occasion and the venue.

For example, if you are having a beach themed wedding then maybe seafood based canapés would work best. If you’re having a garden-style wedding, then perhaps fruit based, cucumber or even caviar ones might suit better.

Savoury finger food or canapés are the most popular
Savoury finger food or canapés are the most popular

What’s the difference between canapés and appetizers?

Canapés are bite-sized snacks that are typically served at receptions or parties. They’re meant to be eaten quickly and easily.

Hors d’oeuvre are smaller versions of main dishes. They’re generally served before dinner or at a cocktail party.

How many canapes per person for a cocktail party

For a 3 hour cocktail party, you should serve 7 canapes per person.

Sweet Canapés are also popular
Sweet Canapés are also popular with coffee or tea

What are the best canape ideas for a big crowd or group?

  • smoked salmon and cream cheese
  • parma ham
  • mini Yorkshire pudding
  • Tiny minced onions with flavored cream cheese
  • Cracker based for easy canape
  • Meat based mini sized puff pastry
  • caviar topping
  • crostini

all these go well with pre dinner drinks.

How many appetizers do I need for 40 guests

How much pulled pork should be served per sandwich

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