Get teambuilding sizzling by hosting a fun office barbecue this summer

The smell of burgers; the taste of freshly-brewed iced tea; the warmth of the sun’s rays; the sound of laughter and music. 

Yep, it’s barbecue season. If summer has you dreaming about grilling up some ribs, cracking open beers with your buds, and cranking up the perfect soundtrack, you’re probably already planning that first barbecue of the year. Maybe you’re planning a whole bunch of barbecues. 

If you love barbecue season, why limit it to the weekend? Forget about the risk of getting BBQ sauce on your business clothes; the office deserves to partake in this perfect summer ritual, too. An office barbecue is a great way to say hello to summer and bring the team together in a relaxed, outdoor setting. Plus, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love an excuse to eat hot dogs and corn on the cob while on the clock? 

Here are eight tips for planning an amazing office barbecue:

  • Pick a location

The first thing you need to do is choose a location. If your office building has a sizable green lawn outside, that’s a great option. Just make sure you get approval from the building manager first. If there’s no outdoor space by your office, look into renting an outdoor venue or hosting your event at a nearby park (often, parks allow you to rent pavilions for free or for a small fee). In this case, ensure that everyone has directions and transportation to the party. 

If you live in a place where summer rain showers are common (like Florida), consider having a backup indoor venue or at least a really good tent to keep everyone dry.

  • Choose a date

The easiest way to make sure everyone can come to the office barbecue is by having it during work hours. If you do that, choose a day of the week when things are usually a little less busy at the office – like Friday afternoon. If you choose to have it on a weekend, you want to make sure everyone can come. 

In either case, ask for input from the team to find a date that works for everyone. Send around a poll that allows the team to vote on dates that work best so you can find a time and a date that the whole crew is happy with.

  • Send out invites

Once you’ve locked down a date and a location, go into marketing mode. Hang flyers at work, add the event to the office Google calendar, and send regular (but not annoying) email reminders. If spouses and/or families are invited, send out a virtual invitation with an RSVP deadline so that you can get a headcount to plan the food options. 

  • Ask about dietary restrictions

Speaking of which, now’s the time for the fun part – the menu! When choosing what to serve at an office barbecue, it’s easy to assume that everyone will be on board with burgers and hot dogs. But what if you’ve got some vegetarians in the office? Or someone with a dairy allergy who would rather not have to pick the cheese off their burger? Or someone who is gluten-free and needs gluten-free buns? 

Ask everyone to email you any allergies, dietary restrictions, or preferences. After all, the office vegans shouldn’t have to subsist on salad alone!

  • Choose activities

While the main activity will be eating delicious food, it’s always fun to make an office barbecue extra special by planning activities. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, you might even plan some team-building activities.

You can also keep it casual by having lawn games around, such as cornhole, croquet, or even volleyball. If the party is being held after dark, you could screen an outdoor movie. Or, plan some ice breaker games that people can play while they’re eating. Think conversation starter-type activities, such as two truths and a lie.

  • Have fun with décor

If the outdoor barbecue is close to a holiday, such as the Fourth of July, you can go patriotic with décor. If not, decorate with red-checkered tablecloths, fresh flowers, and candles. You might even consider showing some workplace pride by decorating with the company logo or colors. If your office barbecue will be outdoors, the natural setting will do most of the work but it’s always nice to jazz it up with string lights, balloons, and table centerpieces.

  • Safety considerations

This will be a fun event but it’s still an office event, so safety considerations are a must! First, ensure that the event is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Offer plenty of seating so no one is forced to be on their feet for too long. You should also offer a shaded area, such as a tent or seating beneath trees. 

Have sunscreen and bug spray on hand. Make water readily available and encourage people to stay hydrated – this is especially important if you’re serving alcohol. On that note, if there’s going to be booze at this office barbecue, take a proactive role in ensuring everyone has a safe ride home. You might offer a shuttle, pay for Ubers with the company account, or see if anyone will volunteer to be a designated driver.

Make it easy (and tasty) with catering from TooJay’s Catering

TooJay’s Catering offers great options for your office barbecue. By choosing catering, you can find a delicious spread that has selections for every member of your team. You can order in advance or look for same-day pickup options. From light appetizers to full meals to tantalizing desserts, TooJay’s has got it all – and your office will love it!