A Brief Etiquette Primer for Barbecue Hosts and Guests

by | Jul 16, 2023 | blog, Blog, Events, Home Entertaining, Event Etiquette, Events, Featured, Lifestyle | 0 comments

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:

For hosts:

  • 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. 

For guests:

  • 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.