How to host the perfect corporate BBQ: a checklist

It’s summer time, which means it’s BBQ time! A corporate BBQ is a great way to celebrate the New Year and get to know your work colleagues in an informal and relaxed setting. If you're hosting a great BBQ for your office in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane and make it truly memorable, we find that a little planning goes a long way. We’ve put together a BBQ checklist of things to consider, in addition to the food, plates and cutlery. 

Before the event - preparation

Plan the perfect menu

It wouldn’t be a barbecue without the grilled meats, but side dishes and salads are important too, especially for the vegetarians. Still have room for dessert? You don’t need to have something fancy, but a mini brownie, cupcake or fresh fruit is a great way to finish off the day.

bbq catering melbourne, sydney, brisbane

Check out these sample mouth-watering menus for your next corporate BBQ.

Everyday BBQ

From the grill

  • Marinated yearling topside steak
  • Italian sausages?

From the salad bar

  • Roasted potato salad with rosemary, crispy bacon, shallots, cherry tomatoes, parsley and honey mustard aioli
  • Greek salad with Roma tomato, cucumber, Kalamata olives, Greek feta, red onion with lemon, oregano and dill

Sides and condiments

  • Bread rolls and butter
  • Tomato sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • Salt and pepper

BBQ Bigshot

Canapés to start

  • Tomato, bocconcini and basil skewers (GF) (V)
  • Cured salmon with dill creme fraiche on small potato rosti
  • Cocktail Wagyu beef sliders with pickled gherkins, slaw and chipotle mayonnaise

From the grill

  • Spicy, aromatic Fijian chicken skewers
  • Lamb and rosemary sausages
  • Smokey southern style BBQ beef steak
  • Marinated Portobello mushrooms with pesto and crumbed feta (GF) (V)

From the salad bar

  • Potato salad with cauliflower, heirloom radish, sour-cream, dill and chives
  • Thyme roasted chickpea and carrots with sun dried tomatoes, black olive tapenade, baby spinach and sesame seeds (GF)

Something sweet to finish

  • Individual chocolate brownies
  • Fresh cut watermelon

Sides and condiments

  • Sliced farmhouse wholemeal bread
  • Tomato sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • American mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Best of all, you don’t need to worry about having to buy all these items yourself and lugging it to the venue. Make it hassle-free and stress-free by using a caterer for your corporate BBQ. They’ll be able to recommend a BBQ menu option to suit your needs and budget and there is also the option for drop off BBQs where you can cook your own. Speak to Order-In for a free quote. We offer a wide range of corporate BBQ catering menus and options in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Toppings station

Your next corporate BBQ wouldn’t be complete without condiments. Tomato ketchup, barbecue sauce and mustard are staples, but why not get creative and include guacamole, mayo, jalapenos, pickles, onions, salsas, chutney and Tabasco sauce or chilli sauce for the spice-lovers!

Keep hydrated

The decision to serve alcohol at your corporate BBQ is up to you and your company’s policy, but we do recommend providing soft drinks and mineral water at your event. And don’t forget the ice to keep the drinks cool!

As a rule of thumb, we recommend 3 drinks per person in the first hour and then 2 drinks for every hour after that. Don’t forget to include a selection of waters, juices and soft drinks for those guests who don’t want any alcohol. 

We strongly recommend hiring a waiter for your function, as they come complete with a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. They’ll be able to look after your guests and you can relax and enjoy the day.

Equipment and wait staff

Ensure that you have enough plates, cups or glasses and cutlery for everyone. You will also need some extra plates or serving dishes for the cooked food. 

We also recommend visiting the BBQ site before the event to check that the facilities are sufficient for the day. 

  • If you are catering for a large group, will the one grill at the BBQ site be big enough to cook the food, or will you need to hire another or bigger BBQ grill? 
  • Is someone at the office a grill master, or will you need to hire a chef? We can provide a chef for 4 hours to cook the food
  • If the event is a bit more formal, will wait staff be required? 
  • Are there enough tables and chairs or shade at the venue? Renting additional tables and chairs, or even a tent or marquee might be a good option to keep everyone cool during the summer heat. If you’re keeping things casual, you could bring picnic rugs or quilts to spread on the ground, so people can gather and eat picnic-style.

Renting equipment can be a hassle-free, stress-free and easy option. You may even be able to rent coolers, speakers and tableware at the same time. Best of all, many vendors can drop off and pick up, so you don’t need to worry about trying to fit everything in your car.

Planning for a successful corporate BBQ takes time and there are a lot of logistics to think about, including but not limited to staff, equipment, keeping the food cold or warm, garbage disposal and permits. To ensure that nothing gets forgotten and the day runs smoothly, speak to our event professionals on 1300 851 900.

During the event

Keep bugs at bay

While some people don’t seem to be affected by mosquitoes, others are not so lucky. Make sure everyone is comfortable and don’t forget to bring some citronella candles or insect repellant. 

Keep everyone entertained

Cricket, touch football, bocce, croquet or a game of Frisbee is a great way to bond with your colleagues and have some fun. 

If you are going to have music at the barbecue, take your guest list into consideration and customise accordingly. Your playlist should reflect, and enhance the barbecue’s vibe. 


Chips, salsa, carrot and celery sticks with hummus or other spreads and dips, crackers with cheese and other finger-friendly foods are great for guests to munch on at the start of the BBQ and allows them to easily mingle while they’re waiting for the food to cook.

Whose drink is this?

This has happened to everyone, but we love this simple idea of adding some tape to your glass or cup and writing your name on it. You already have masking tape and a marker pen at your desk, so put it to good use at your corporate BBQ. 

corporate BBQ catering - drink nametags

Photo: ManMade

The tools of the trade

There’s nothing worse than getting to the venue and realizing that you’ve forgotten the essential cooking tools.

Don’t forget to bring these essentials:

  • Aluminium pans and foil to place the cooked food in 
  • Paper towels/napkins 
  • Cooking spray
  • Cutting board
  • Tongs
  • Spatula
  • Apron
  • Garbage bags

Check out our essential BBQ tips to make you the King (or Queen) of the grill.

Hand sanitizer/sanitizing wipes

Always handy to have during the meal and for wiping down areas after the event. 

Keep sun smart

Always wear sunscreen and bring a hat and sunglasses for the day. We recommend bringing a travel-sized sunscreen for everyone to use.

After the event – clean-up

It’s important to clean up the area and the barbecue grill after your corporate event. Rinse the grill with dishwashing liquid mixed with warm water and scrub it with a stiff-bristled brush. 

Provide trash cans or garbage bags in designated areas to make clean up easy. If you’re using disposal plates, cups and cutlery, having a garbage bag handy will make clean-up a snap.

Don’t forget these items to make clean-up easy:

  • Water
  • Garbage bags
  • Paper towels
  • Storage containers, Aluminium pans, foil or plastic wrap for any left-over food
  • Plastic bags or reusable bags to store any extra or un-used utensils for your next corporate event

Off-site corporate BBQ checklist

Last but not least, don't forget to consider these important items ahead of your corporate BBQ:

  • BBQ and gas bottles - very important not to run out
  • Chef and wait staff - size dependant
  • Tables - are they needed to cook on? Is this a sit down or casual stand-up function?
  • Cutlery, crockery and glasses - these can be disposable or ceramic depending on how casual the event is
  • Mobile bar - glasses, ice, alcohol and soft drinks
  • Responsible Service of Alcohol - very important to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all staff members
  • Permits for gatherings at public spaces - an important detail. Check out some of the amazing locations for your next BBQ event.
  • Marquees or tents - for shade if the day is going to be hot, or shelter if it's going to rain
  • Access to toilets - be sure that your guests don't have to walk too far
  • Garbage - make sure you have a plan to where you will dispose of the rubbish

Ready to get started?

Don't forget anything with our handy BBQ checklist - download and print yours now.

Download your corporate BBQ checklist here!

Hosting a BBQ and feeling stressed out, or need some inspiration for your summer BBQ party? Don’t fret! Speak to our experienced corporate events team on 1300 851 900 about our events services and let us handle all your corporate BBQ catering and party event details for you.

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