BBQ Etiquette 101
By author of Modern Etiquette Dale Cameron
A common error people tend to make when hosting a barbecue is forgetting their general responsibilities simply because of the informal nature of the occasion. While a barbecue is meant to be relaxed, guests still look to the hosts for how the evening will pan out. Here are some do’s and don’ts to make sure you are the perfect host and guest.
DO give each person a proper welcome. Take coats from them, accept gifts graciously and give them a drink.
DO play some nice music at a low volume to create a relaxed mood and encourage conversation among guests.
DO pre-plan food, seating, tables to place food and something for children to do.
DO ask the host what you can bring when you’ve been invited to a barbecue – this doesn’t need to be food, it could be extra seating or another barbecue.
DON’T dress too informally. Wearing a singlet or your stubbies may just be a bit too relaxed for an evening barbecue.
DON’T nibble away at the food straight off the barbecue. Everyone is probably hungry, so ensure you wait until the meal is served.
DO make sure there is enough room for everyone and make sure you have sunny and shady areas. Also make allowances in case the weather turns nasty.
DO have options for diners. Some may want to sit at a table while others might be quite happy eating from a plate on their knees.
DON’T forget to introduce people who may not know others at the barbecue. Stay and make sure they are involved in the conversation before you nip away. Give a small piece of information about each person which you know they may have in common with others in the group.
DO feed children and the elderly first. Make sure you serve food at a reasonable hour. Ten o’clock at night means guests will definitely be a bit worse for wear by the time they eat.
DO make sure guests have a safe way of getting home. Call taxis for those that need them and offer to pick them up the following day so they can collect their cars.
DO make sure each person takes home what they brought and make sure to thank them for coming.