Food for 70 at Birthday Party

My son is turning one and I am having a rather large first birthday party (70 people). I am wanting to do Manwich, pasta salad, baked beans, and chips. I bought:


  • 16 lbs of hamburger
  • 16 cans of manwich
  • 100 buns
  • 2 boxes of pasta salad noodles
  • one large bottle of Italian dressing
  • 1 bag of bacon bits
  • 8 cans of large Bush's baked beans
  • four bags of Ruffles potato chips
  • beverages: 24 pack of Pepsi, 24 pack of Sprite, 12 pack diet Coke, 2 large Hawaiian Punch jugs, and 1 small Hawaiian Punch jug.

And I've ordered a large cake. Will this be enough to feed 70 people or should I buy more hamburger/pasta/beans/chips?

Any input is greatly appreciated. I'm going to drive myself nuts :)

By Angel W

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October 27, 20120 found this helpful

Look in some of your cook books and see what they say. A lot of them, especially ones that are put out by churches and organizations have pages of information like that, either in the front or the back.


That is an awfully big party for a one year old. What will he expect as he gets older?

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October 27, 20120 found this helpful

It is easy to check online for the amounts you need to serve groups. Personally I would have made the Manwich sauce from scratch, they are called sloppy joes or similar names. It also looks like you should really add some raw vegetables, or large green salad. That is a lot of heavy food.

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October 27, 20120 found this helpful

You should figure approx. 1/4 lb hamburger for each person because of the way it cooks down. I don't think that 2 boxes of pasta will be enough, I had to put a meal together for 20 people a few months ago and 2 boxes of the

Suddenly Salad was barely enough, that was serving them pizza, tossed salad, spaghetti, and dessert. I would have a couple of extra cans unopened beans just in case, they will be easy enough to open and zap in the microwave if you see you are running low. Same with the chips. Better to have too much food than not enough. Hope this helps. Happy Birthday to your little one, 1st ones are always the best.

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October 28, 20120 found this helpful

If you planned to feed just one sloppy joe and one soda to each of 70 guests you don't have enough for that yet. Considering many guests even kids will eat more than one, a lot of kids will eat half, dump it and come back wanting another, not ideal, but are you gonna let a kid have it for non-thriftiness at a party? No, so figure 1/4 lb burger per guest, and really you should plan on at least 2 each, sloppy joe freezes beautifully, so don't forget ziploc bags!


Ideally at 2 each that would mean 35 pounds of meat alone. And you can buy large cans of manwich sauce at stores, not just membership clubs but in the large size section of most grocers they have industrial sized products or maybe a friend has a club membership since you will need some more manwich.

You appear to have purchased only enough soda for each adult, and I can tell you, you are going to need to provide at least 2 cans each adult and even some kids who normally may not get soda are going to get some and of course probably not drink it all and still get punch too. Or maybe you feel comfortable asking guests to byod-bring your own drinks?

4 bags of chips amongst 70 people? Maybe if they all take 14 chips! Otherwise you are going to need a lot more chips because they are very popular at parties.

While pasta salad may not be as popular with everyone I definitely can't imagine 2 pounds of salad for 70 guests.

Either you have to cut down your guest list in half or go back to shopping and at least double your groceries for the event to avoid spoiling your babies first birthday by an awkward and embarrassing shortage of food and drink for all those guests. Good Luck!

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October 29, 20120 found this helpful

I would also buy some of the mini-buns for the children. If you give them a small bun, you will not only save on the half that might be thrown away, but you won't feel bad about giving them another one after they have eaten the first.


The small buns are also easier for small hands to handle.

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October 29, 20120 found this helpful

How many adults and how many kids will be there? If you have a lot of kids then I would buy small rolls like dinner rolls for the kids and not put much sandwich in their rolls. If you have more adults then you might want to add a few more pounds of meat and rolls. I would say yes you need more pasta and more drinks. You are having cake after the food so people really should not fill up on the food but it is always better to have extra than not enough. You can always fix the sandwiches yourself and not put a bunch of the manwhich on the rolls, I mean they are also going to have cake to eat!

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July 15, 20130 found this helpful

I agree with Redhattrb. After this party, you might keep in mind the rule of thumb--one child guest for every year of the birthday person.


I really, really wish you good luck!

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