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A guide to throwing the hottest summer party!

Summer is in full swing and everyone in the office is looking for excuses to get outside. Nothing bonds teams together quite like a good old-fashioned barbecue and we are here with all the advice you need to make it the hottest party this year!

Planning for a successful corporate BBQ takes time and there are logistics to think about including, but not limited to: Numbers, equipment, keeping the food cold or warm, rubbish disposal and permits. If you are planning an off-site event, here are a few things to consider from the start:

Barbecue checklist

  • BBQ and gas bottles – very important not to run out
  • Chef and wait staff? Size dependant, how many people are coming?
  • 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
  • Marquees or tents – for shade if the day is going to be hot, or shelter if it’s going to rain (or because you could have both in one day in Ireland!)
  • Access to toilets – be sure that your guests don’t have to walk too far
  • Rubbish – make sure you have a plan to where you will dispose of the junk

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.

Make it hassle-free and stress-free by using a caterer for your corporate barbecue; or choose a venue that offers the office barbecue package ready to go!

Toppings station

No proper barbecue would be complete without condiments, so don’t forget the sauces. Tomato ketchup, barbecue sauce and mustard are staples, but why not get creative and include guacamole, mayo, jalapeños, pickles, onions, salsas, chutney, Tabasco sauce or chilli sauce.

Keep the drinks flowing

The decision to serve alcohol at the barbecue is up to 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, allow for three drinks per person in the first hour and then two 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.

Barbecue equipment

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, bigger, grill?
  • Is someone at the office a grill master, or will you need to hire a chef?
  • 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.

Keep bugs at bay

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


Tag rugby, soccer, rounders, mini golf putting greens, or even a game of Frisbee are 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.


Crisps, salsa, carrot sticks, 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 barbecue and allows for easy mingling while waiting for the food to cook.

Tools of the trade

If your venue is doing all the work, great, but if you are in charge, make sure you don’t forget the obvious stuff:

  • Aluminium pans and foil to place the cooked food in
  • Paper napkins
  • Cooking spray
  • Cutting board
  • Tongs
  • Spatula
  • Apron
  • Rubbish bags
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Sunscreen

National Event Hire

Renting equipment from National Event Hire is a hassle-free, stress-free and easy option. You can rent barbecue grills, kitchenware, fridges, bar equipment, furniture and tableware all from the one place. Best of all, we deliver nationwide and pick up, so you don’t need to worry about trying to fit everything in your car, or washing anything!

If you require help with planning your barbecue, feel free to call us free phone on 1800 759 759, email us at info@neh.ie, or click HERE


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