A family of four should have a minimum of 6-8 plates. 8 plates ensure that each person can eat two full meals before somebody would need to do the dishes. What is this? That said, if you always have extra people, choose the number of dishes that best fit your needs.
How many plates do you need per person?
Forty plates for 40 people, right? Not so much. Since some will be going back for seconds and even thirds (that new burger seasoning will definitely be a hit), you should be prepared with about three disposable plates per person.
How many dishes do I need for a family of 5?
What I recommend for families is that they get 2 times the number of people in their family. Do you have a family of 5? You need 10 plates and bowls.