Finger lickin’ good is not necessarily good, especially if you’re a guest at an outdoor barbecue hosted by non-family. Even more so, if the barbecue is tied to a more formal event such as a fundraiser or wedding, where you’d like to impress your hosts and other guests.
Barbecue etiquette is primarily a set of unwritten rules but these rules make sense. So not to make these tips all about guests, we’ve included some basic etiquette tips for hosts as well:
- Be welcoming. Make sure you have enough food and drinks for everyone, and that guests have something to nosh on until the food is ready to be served.
- Be organized. Don’t allow guests to have to wait too terribly long to eat their meal. And decide if they will be served at their tables or buffet-style.
- Clean plenty of self-cleaning options from extra napkins on tables to hand wipes to a detergent pen for dripping sauce.
- Bring a token gift of wine or a box of chocolates or a plant to your host (if this is a private event) even if they say don’t bring anything.
- Be on time. If you are invited to a barbecue, try to be on time. If you are running late, let the host know. Being on time is a courtesy that helps your host, their wait staff and cooks as well.
- Be supportive. If the food is bad for you, keep it to yourself. Don’t announce it at the event.
- Have fun! Barbecues are supposed to be fun even if the occasion is more formal, so relax and enjoy yourself.
Here are some additional tips for barbecue etiquette:
- Don’t drink too much alcohol. It’s important to be able to enjoy the barbecue responsibly.
- If the barbecue is catered and there is a bar and wait staff, consider tipping when necessary.
By following these etiquette tips, you can help ensure that everyone has a good time at the barbecue. Remember: Etiquette is about making people comfortable in your presence.
Reid Rodell is sensitive to our clients’ needs and we provide a safe space to ask delicate questions about etiquette and social customs before their events. Contact us, we’d be glad to help in that capacity.