When planning a meal people, the recommended amount of lunch meat is 1/4 to 1/3 pound of lunch meat per person. Based on these recommendations, 50 people require 12 1/2 to 16 2/3 pounds of lunch meat.
The meal as a whole factors into the amount of lunch meat needed. For example, if the host is serving options such as appetizers, veggie trays, side dishes and other meat offerings, the guests can be expected to eat less of each option on average, and the amount of lunch meat required to feed the crowd is less. If lunch meat is the main option, guests may eat closer to the average recommendation.