Guidelines & Tips
For your convenience we offer the following guidelines to help you determine the ideal number of staff needed for your event.
Depending on the specifics, we do reserve the right to require a minimum number of staff for a party if the expectations for service and the physical requirements of the event are so great that service standards would be severely compromised by using fewer servers.
Cocktail Party: If you are planning a big event like a major party or a wedding, it may not be convenient to have all your guests jostling for position at the bar or tables. Party servers can circulate the food or drink to your guests and also help with other fundamental chores. Cocktail servers can work in ratios of 1 to every 30-40 guest.
Buffet Dinner: If you plan to have a buffet style event, please keep in mind, that each buffet station requires a minimum of 2 servers for the first thirty (30) guests to set up, refill and break down of stations. For hosting a large gathering, food runners will also be necessary to ensure that food and dishes at the buffet stations are properly stocked. Two (2) additional runners are required for every 200 guests. More staff may be needed depending on the details of the menu. We can help you figure out how many staff members you need to create the perfect event.
- For sit down tables; one server for every 1 to 2 tables is required if using china with glassware.
- One server is needed for every 2 to 3 tables when using plastic ware
- If hiring 6 + catering staff members, a team captain, to lead them, is definitely recommended
* Exception to hiring an event lead or team captain is if the client has catering managers/captains available to lead.
Seated Dinner Service: For formal seated dinner events with 8-12 guests sitting at each table, a ratio of 1 server per table is recommended plus a (1) busboy for every four tables. For events with 6+ servers, a captain is highly recommended.
* Depending on the size, scale and complexity of your event, you may need additional staff as food runners etc.
Bartenders: A minimum of one bartender is required for every 30-50 guest if serving beer/wine/mixed drinks. If only serving beer/wine a ratio of one bartender for up to 75 guests max. Additional bartenders may be needed to serve mixed drinks, blended/special drinks, or for high volume of guests in a short time period. To keep the bar stocked with ice and beverage inventory during larger events, bar backs also may be needed.
Please keep in mind this is a general guideline of basic event scenarios. The suggested ratios described here may not fit your event needs. For this reason, it is important for you to figure out all the details regarding your event before you book staff or provide us with updated information as details and requirements change. We can help you determine the proper number of staff needed once you to provide us with event details.
* Planning an important gathering? We can help! Simply provide us with all details and we will recommend the ideal number and type of staff you need. We have made a list of questions for you to fill out and assess the staffing needs. Click here for Better Understanding Your Staffing Needs