There’s nothing quite like an end-of-summer BBQ. While you may not be ready to let go of summer just yet, you know it’s almost over, and a BBQ is a great send-off. Whether you’re hosting a staff appreciation day, celebrating another event, or just want to close the season with flair, this is the answer.
This year, you’ve decided you want to try out something a little different. You’re tired of the hot dogs-and-messy-ribs combo. You’re taking things upscale to wow your guests with something new.
These six catering tips will help you pull off an upscale edition of your end-of-summer BBQ.
1. One of the Easiest Catering Tips Is Adding Upscale Toppings
All right, maybe you’re not going to get rid of the hot dogs. They’re a summertime classic, and they’re great if you have any kids attending the event.
Why not dress up the dogs with some fancy toppings? Aioli, chutneys, and other toppings can take the hot dog and other BBQ classics from staid and boring to a truly delightful taste sensation.
2. Add Some Seafood to the Menu
Another easy way to make your end-of-summer BBQ more upscale is to swap some of the traditional menu items, like sausage and hot dogs, for some seafood.
Seafood can be particularly delicious when grilled. You can add everything from shrimp, scallops, and lobster to salmon and tuna steaks. This also adds variety to the menu, giving your guests the chance to try something new.
Do be aware of any allergies, especially to shellfish. If it’s possible, have the caterer prepare shellfish away from other foods to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
3. Go Big or Go Home
Most BBQs serve up hamburgers and hot dogs. Maybe they add a chicken dish.
Why not consider going all in, offering up beef tenderloin or prime rib? These larger cuts do take more time to cook, but they also provide more meat, and they offer your guests something different than the usual hamburgers-and-hot dogs affair. As an added bonus, they’re visually arresting.
Speak with your caterer and see what they can work up for your menu. They may have some great ideas about how to wow your guests and their taste buds.
4. Think about Vegetarian Guests
More people are going vegetarian and vegan. This can present a challenge for any BBQ. The cuisine relies heavily on grilled meat, so what can you do to please guests with different dietary needs and restrictions?
Some people may be fine with alternatives like chicken or fish. For others who are following a stricter diet, you’ll want to make sure you have some great veggie options. Think about grilled Portobello mushrooms, eggplant, and vegetable kebabs. Another great option can be stuffed mushroom caps and stuffed peppers, grilled to perfection on the BBQ.
5. It’s All in the Details
Have you given much thought to your BBQ venue? If it’s your backyard, consider dressing things up a bit. If you decided to go all in, you might want to book a venue and make an event out of it. Using matching tables and chairs and presenting food on matching linens creates a different impression.
The same is true of using metal flatware and dishes. If you must use paper plates, spring for the highest grade.
You might also want to consider adding some decorations, mood lighting, or even fresh flowers to the tables.
6. Think about Dessert
What are you offering your guests to satisfy their sweet tooth? Ice cream is a standard choice, but why not try a sundae bar or mini desserts?
With these catering tips tucked under your cap, your end-of-summer BBQ will be a great send-off for the best season of the year.