Greedy guests at the Queen's summer garden parties have been eating contract caterer Sodexho out of a profit.
The Queen invites 8,000 guests to each of the three garden parties she holds at Buckingham Palace every July - and a royal aide has calculated that each guest has been scoffing an average of 14 items per head.
The level of consumption has squeezed profits at Sodexho Prestige, whose contract is believed to be based on price per head rather than food consumed.
"Sodexho Prestige has recently re-tendered for the contract and has been advised that it is the preferred supplier," a spokeswoman said. "It is awaiting confirmation of its reappointment as the caterer.
The new contract terms ensures an acceptable level of profitability for the successful caterer."
The palace spent a total of 500,000 on garden parties last year.
What they eat
The food for three garden parties at Buckingham Palace
5,000 bridge rolls
9,000 fruit pastries
3,000 buttercake fingers
8,000 slices of chocolate or lemon cake
4,500 slices of Dundee cake
4,500 slices of Majorca slice
3,500 slices of chocolate or jam Swiss roll
3,500 ice-creams (strawberry or vanilla)
27,000 cups of tea
10,000 glasses of iced coffee
20,000 fruit juices