How Many Servers Are Needed for a Large Dinner Party?

Whether you’re hosting a wedding party, birthday, anniversary, or any other dinner event – its success depends on having the right guest to staff ratios. No matter how pretty the styling of your event is or how excellent the band is, people will always remember how they enjoyed the food you served, and a big part of it is how much servers are there to cater to your guests’ needs.

Kinds of Servers at a Dinner Party

First, you have to identify what kind of staff you need. If it’s your first time hosting a party and it needed to be big, you have to be acquainted with the different jobs you need. The staff employed for every catered event varies with each job, based on the level of formality, degree of complexity, and the guest count of the event. Most catered events require these particular employees:

Event planner

The event planner meets with the client to determine his needs for the event. Usually, the business owner or the caterer fulfills this role. The planner discusses characteristics of the event with the client, such as the theme, level of formality, guest count, the motif, the types of food to be served, and the overall vision that the client has for the event. The planner may also suggest particular drinks and meals that correspond to the client’s aspirations for the event. He or she may also inform the client of the number of staff needed for the event and present an estimated cost for the services.

On the day of the event, the planner arrives to help with setting up and tearing down the items used for the event.


The supervisor ensures that the cooking and wait staff do their tasks in a timely manner. He or she handles any problems that may arise during the event and ensures that food is resupplied in buffet lines and cocktail trays.


The chef prepares the food and helps with decisions regarding the menu. A chef may be able to handle a small event, but in the case of large dinners, the chef needs sous chefs to assist.


Servers are tasked to bring the food to the guests and may refill their water, tea, juice, coffee, and other beverages. Their role differs based on the type of event. For cocktail events, they pass the trays around to the guests. Servers also bring each dish to guests for a sit-down dinner. You need to hire a higher number of servers for events with multiple courses, so every table receives prompt and personalized service. Also, make sure that all the servers have gone through the RBSTRAINING.

Busboys and Dishwashers

Busboys are tasked to clear tables, though servers may be able to handle this job if the event is more intimate. If you’re using the same space for different events, like a cocktail hour and then a reception for a wedding, hire three to five busboys. If you’re not using disposable dishes, you also need three to five dishwashers.


If you’re serving alcoholic beverages, you must consider bartender hire sydney–  deploy one bartender for every 50 guests. You may also want to add more if you want them to provide signature drinks.

If you need some tips for hiring servers for your dinner party, read here.

Best Alcoholic Beverages for Different Occasions

As the event host, keeping your visitors upbeat takes a lot of pressure. One way to do this is not to miss serving different alcoholic drinks that are perfect for any occasion. Sunday brunch, Friday nights, weddings, birthday parties, happy hour, and more require a variety of drinks. Most people only drink beer, but with so many choices and offerings, there is still something to explore. Here are some of the many possible beverages you can offer to your lovely guests.

1. Wine

There are no hard and fast rules when choosing the perfect wine for every occasion. Because depending on your tastes and preferences, you’ll lean towards a particular drink. Lighter and drier than red wines, white wines make the perfect appetizer for any evening event. Further, red wine is suitable for the main course and is usually served at the end of the event; its full-bodied character makes it a perfect addition to hearty dishes. Merlot has a good balance of richness and lightness, making it ideal for most dishes that go well with pork, chicken, and lamb. A favorite of many wine lovers, Chardonnay can also be served with a rich menu, especially with creamy sauces. Due to its fruity flavor, Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with salads, shrimp, and fish.

2. Champagne

While champagne is a great take for a date night, it can be served to entertain and honor guests at home during a dinner party.   When it comes to celebratory dinner, nothing beats champagne! However, other than celebrations, there are several instances where a glass of champagne is ideal such as a good after-party gift to your guests. Experts say the perfect serving temperature for most sparkling wines is under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, never pour sparkling wine into a pre-chilled glass. The bubbles will disappear. Champagne goes well with the spicy menu as its sweet, fruity bubbles can soften spicy and acidic food flavors.

3. Tequila

Tequila shots are a fun party starter! There are many different types of tequila, and they vary in strength, color, and flavor. Silver Tequila is the most famous. It has a sweeter, more refreshing taste. It’s good to drink as it is, but it’s good to mix and drink! The simplest mixers are tequila soda and tequila sprite. Some people enjoy it with ginger ale. Besides your favorite margarita, you can also use tequila in Paloma, Sunrise, or Michelada. You can create and experiment with your flavors.

4. Whiskey

Created as a medicine, whiskey is now the drink of choice for celebrating milestones. Some people enjoy playing poker at home, but it can also be a good drink for a party while relaxing and chatting. It is a perfect way to let guests enjoy gathering together and talking about life. Also, whiskey is an ideal ingredient for multiple cocktail drinks. 

Number of Servers Needed for the Big Dinner Party

While no two events are exactly alike, there are general guidelines that can be followed when deciding how many staff you need:

Generally, you will need:

  • One server per 15 guests
  • One busser per 50 guests
  • One bartender per 50-100 guests
  • One event planner per 150 guests

But still, the exact number you need depends on the type of dinner you are hosting. Here’s a general guide:

Cocktail Dinner

A cocktail dinner is a flow-through event wherein your guests arrive and move freely in the venue in a fluid nature. It’s usually organized for social or business networking like mixers. It’s a type of party at which cocktails are served, along with light, simple foods like hors d’ oeuvres and other finger foods. For this type of dinner, get one server per 16-20 guests and a stationary bartender for every 70-100 guests.

Buffet Dinners

Buffet dinners allow the guests to customize their own meals by sampling a wider variety of the food you’ve provided. It’s a type of party that serves meals in a public area wherein guests can come freely to get their own food. They will get a chance to mingle with one another while doing so, and there is wait staff to depend upon for questions, cleanups, and refills. For this type of service, it is recommended to hire one server for every 20-30 guests. It will differ based on your buffet spread and requirements.

Sit-down Dinners

This type of dinner party serves each of your guests with a complete meal and is often executed for formal, multi-course dinner parties like weddings. It needs a well-executed dinner service. This kind of party allows intimate contact between guests while sharing and enjoying a meal. For this kind of service, it is recommended to have one to two servers per 10-12 guests. You can hire one bartender or one beverage server for every 30-40 seated guests for a dedicated wine service.