One of many people’s favorite parts of summer is picnics and barbecues. Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic has put quite the dent in our favorite summer gatherings. And although some states are opening back up, it’s still important to follow social distancing precautions—which means sorting out some kind of socially distanced barbecue. Whether it’s just for your family or you’ve invited some friends (keep it small!), we have the steps you need to host a safe and successful gathering. Here are some essential tips for planning a socially distanced barbecue!
Limit Your Guests
Our first tip involves who you’re inviting to your socially distanced barbecue. As much as you may want to have your typical mid-summer bash with all the neighbors and all your friends—that’s not the choice to make this time. Maybe, instead, you can have more barbecues this summer so that you can break up who comes to each. Either way, limit your guests, on how many people you invite at one time. This will depend on how much space you have that will allow people to stay six feet apart.
If it’s too cramped, cut down on the guests.
Let Them Know in Advance
Once you’ve figured out who you want to visit your socially distanced barbecue, then you’ll need to let them know in advance. Spur of the moment barbecues isn’t the most excellent choice, only because it doesn’t give guests the time they need to ensure they’re safe distancing. The more notice they have, the better the chances of them ensuring that they’re social distancing before they come over.
Figure Out Drinks and Food
This is the big one—food and beverages. First, make sure you’re choosing foods that don’t need too much handling by anyone other than the eater, which means sticking with finger foods. The menu might include burgers and hot dogs that they can quickly grab, corn on the cob, self-made skewers (they put what they want on the skewer, rather than the host touching all the different ingredients), and grilled chicken. You don’t want anything that’s going to require too much additional touch.
When it comes to drinks, think about having solo coolers for each table (each group of guests). For example, if you’re making this a wine-themed barbecue, then not only will you want to be careful with your summer wine pairing, but you’ll also want to ensure that everyone has their bottle! As an alternative, you could send them a little guide to summer white wine pairing and have them bring their bottles to enjoy!
Set Up Distanced Seating
When you’ve sorted out what you’re all going to eat and drink, the next tip for planning a socially distanced barbecue has to do with seating. Make sure that each group of guests has its table, and that every table sits six feet—or more—apart. From there, make sure that each table has its hand sanitizer, own wipes, own condiments, plates, napkins, and utensils. Depending on how formal you want this, you can supply your own or ask guests to bring their own. Either way, the thought is that everyone has their own separate space that has everything they need to enjoy the night.
Remember That the Company is What Counts
Lastly, and quite simply, remember that, even though this isn’t the typical barbecue, it’s still a moment to gather with friends. And when all is said and done, the best part will be getting to laugh with each other again—even if you are six feet apart.