Planning Your Company BBQ

With summer just around the corner, let the BBQ’s begin! Planning a company BBQ for your next business party can be a fun twist on any corporate party.

Corporate parties are great for boosting employee morale and showing appreciation for a job well done. Many companies save their celebrations for the end of the year, but why wait? Summertime is a great time to celebrate, too!

Following a few simple guidelines will help ensure your company BBQ is successful and that everyone has a good time – including you.



Here are a few considerations as you plan your company-wide BBQ:

Start organizing early

Getting organized from the beginning helps you in the long run. Staying organized means you are less likely to forget any of the important details. Give yourself plenty of time and you will avoid unnecessary stress and unexpected costs down the road.

Estimating the number of guests

When it comes to estimating how many guests you should expect, anticipate that 80% of those you invite will be able to make it. This provides you with an idea of the venue size you need for the BBQ, as well as how much food and drink you need.

A good rule of thumb is to send out invitations at least 30 days in advance. This gives your guests the time they need to add it to their calendars (which may fill up quickly in the summer months).

Selecting a venue

Come up with at least three possible venue sites for your company BBQ. Of course, BBQs are typically held outdoors. Knowing how “iffy” our weather can be in Portland this time of year, you may consider finding a location where you can move indoors if necessary.

We provided 6 tips for choosing a venue in one of our earlier posts which may also help you choose the best place for your BBQ. You can go to that article by clicking here.

Planning the menu

Your typical BBQ fare of hotdogs and burgers, along with other grilled meats and poultry should satisfy most guests. Make sure you plan for sides and desserts as well.

Remember to include foods for your vegetarian guests and those with dietary requirements in mind as well. Adding menu items for everyone helps ensure each guest gets enough to eat.

The decision to serve alcohol at your company BBQ is up to you and your company’s guidelines. If children are attending, you should keep this in mind as well. Some parents may feel uncomfortable if people drink alcoholic beverages around their children.  Non-alcoholic canned beverages and water bottles are probably the easiest to serve and discard.

Renting equipment and/or catering services

Some venues may already have equipment such as gas grills, and other essential supplies already on hand for cooking. You’ll also want to find out if they already provide tables and chairs, or other seating arrangements. Otherwise, you need to start looking into either borrowing or renting this equipment as early as possible before the date of your BBQ.

If you choose to hire a catering company, they typically take care of securing the necessary equipment and supplies for you.

Choosing Decorations, party favors, and supplies

Give your company BBQ a festive flair with decorations and party favors. No need to go overboard – you can keep it simple and still have fun. Party stores such as Party City are always great places for finding party supplies at reasonable prices. And don’t forget to buy plenty of plates, napkins, cups, eating utensils either. Most of these stores offer pre-selected themes for your entire BBQ, which can also help save you time.

Making your company BBQ into a real party with games!

Party games let your guests have fun while creating excellent team-building opportunities. Don’t forget the prizes!

Here are a few popular ideas:

  • Horseshoes
  • Volleyball
  • Games/Face Painting for the kids
  • Kickball
  • Piñata


Above all else, remember your company BBQ is a time for fun and enjoying good times with your co-workers!

Give us a call or contact us online if we can help you with any of your summertime catering needs. From company parties to weddings, we’re here for you.


Related Resources

SMB CEO Picnic and Barbecue Planning Pointers for Businesses on a Budget

Outdoor Cooking Use this BBQ party planning checklist to enjoy a stress-free afternoon and have a little fun for a change