FAQ: Explaining our Amsterdam drinks catering service

When we create a quote for catering a corporate or private drinks party, we often get questions about how we estimate the number of drinks needed, and clients sometimes ask why we take any unconsumed drinks back with us at the end of a party. In this post, we hope to give you some clarity on how we approach our drink catering services

Our drinks catering explained

Our catering drinks service consists of several different aspects: logistics, materials, drinks, keeping drinks at the correct temperature, providing bar staff and waiting staff to serve the drinks. In addition to all that, we provide the experience to make sure that all those elements work well together.  

Please Note: we are not a shopping service. Clients that are looking for delivery of drinks only are advised to approach one of the many online supermarkets. 

Is this an evening cocktail hour, fine dining with wine, or a beer party? 

So, how do we estimate the number of drinks that we need to bring? With over 15 years of catering service for different types of parties in and around Amsterdam, we have learned how to globally estimate the drinks needed for a reception or party. And yet, in spite of years of experience, there is still no way to estimate the number of drinks you’ll need with 100% accuracy..

At an event themed towards beers and wines where you estimated that most of the attendees will prefer beer, there are always requests for wine you may not have anticipated, and we bring more than enough drinks just to be on the safe side. We do this to be well-prepared, with the hope that whatever direction the party goes, we can deliver good service with enough drinks. So from that approach, we normally bring the double number of drinks that are needed. This means a lot of transportation and heavy lifting for our staff. 

Quoting for the drinks as a catering service, not as a delivery product

Thanks to our approach, we can happily say that in more than 15 years of catering, we have (nearly) never run out of any type of drink during an event. So with the above factors in mind, it is hopefully clear that the price that we quote our clients for drinks is not for the bare value of the product (which can be bought at a relatively low cost in the store). We’re quoting you a price for the total cost of organizing the complete catering service, and for delivering you peace of mind that all is well taken care of.

Why don’t we leave the drinks that were not consumed?

As explained above, just to be sure we always bring far more than needed. We do that to be confident that we can deliver you the service as agreed upon, during the specific time frame, and for the number of guests that are expected to come to the event. 

Variables in calculating the number of drinks:

We can say that a party has 3 primary variables for calculations: number of guests, duration , and the type of party. Then there are other aspects to take into account such as who is attending, the day of the week that the event takes place, the agenda of the event, the temperature during the event… and sometimes other aspects that come up rarely and unexpectedly.  

A sample calculation for a 2-hour drinks party with 100 guests

For those among you that are planning to organize a party themselves and are looking for some basic sample calculation, we have created a chart.

We assume that in the first half hour, the average guest will have 2 drinks, and then 1 drink for each half hour that follows. For a party with 100 guests that lasts 2 hours, we would need 5 drinks x 100 guests, which would total 500 drinks.

This list below shows you how we would typically break down these 500 drinks. For ease of estimation, we have taken on the assumption that among those who drink alcoholic beverages half would opt for beer and the other half would opt for wine.

Calculating drinks needed for catering of a party

50 guest duration: 100 guests duration: 200 guests duration:
2-hours 4-hours 2-hours 4-hours 2-hours 4-hours
5-drinks per quest 9-drinks per quest 5-drinks per quest 9-drinks per quest 5-drinks per quest 9-drinks per quest
Total number of drinks needed 250 450 500 900 1000 1800
White wine 55 110 110 160 200 360
Red wine 5 10 10 18 24 42
Lager Beer / pilsener 60 120 120 210 240 400
Alcohol free beer 10 20 20 72 48 120
Sparkling water 40 80 80 140 140 200
Coca Cola 40 80 80 140 140 360
Coca Cola - light or zero 30 60 60 100 100 180
Apple juice 20 40 40 72 72 150
SUM OF DRINKS 260 520 520 912 964 1812


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