Every year I have a BBQ for my cousins, and every year I never know how much food to buy. It is a pot luck BBQ, so every family brings something like salads, desserts, etc. I do the burgers, sodas, you know the basics.
So, this year, I made a list of what I bought and what we used.
We had 46 people - but there was about 25 missing, so next year I will have to obviously adjust.
46 people - 25 Adults, 13 age 0-7, 1 age 7-12, 7 age 13+
Here is what I used (bought)
36 Hamburgers (bought 72) - bought similar amounts of buns
16 Hotdogs (probably needed 24) - bought similar amounts of buns
3.5 Lbs Chicken
1 Pound of American Cheese (bought 1.5 pounds)
24 Cans of Coke
24 Cans of Diet Coke
24 Cans of Sprite
12 Cans of Orange
24 Bottles of Water (Bought 36)
20 Juice Boxes
24 Beers - it is BYOB, but a bunch of people did not bring, so this was good that we got more
8 8-lb bags of ice
2 tomatos, 1 onion, 1 head of lettuce for "fixens"
1 Small Watermelon
100 "Solo" cups - but since we used cans, we have tons left over
70 Jello Shots :) - note: one box of regular jello made 35 jello shots
3 Large bags of Chips + one onion dip
24 ice pops
People brought different pasta salads, potato salad, fruit trays, veggie trays, pickle trays, bean dish, chips & salsa, desserts, etc
If I was doing all the side dishes, I would not have had as many sides - we had lots left over; but it worked out great - a good variety.
Now, I know what you are thinking - that seems like an awful amount of waste. I mean, we had 36 extra hamburgers. Well, I knew I could return anything that was not opened. We kept one bag (of 18) in the freezer, and one bag in the fridge. We figured that we would take them out as needed. Plus, my sister is hosting a BBQ next weekend and we knew that I could just give her anything that we had left-over. Next BBQ, I will be able to use this list and (hopefully) plan well and not have too much left over.
Plus, we drink soda and bottled water - so that will never go to waste.
So, there you have it - I have now answered the question, "How many hamburgers do I need for a BBQ?"