The Captivating Culinary Delights of Saint Germain Catering

Change Up Your Summer Company BBQ

 

As summer is set to begin in just a few weeks, you are  probably making plans for your annual company picnic. Chances are the event will be identical to previous years. Hot dogs, hamburger, chicken and/or ribs, salads and watermelon will likely be on your menu and volleyball, softball and swimming on your activity list. Here are some ideas to add pizzazz to your picnic, without necessarily increasing your budget.

1. Move Locations. If you have held your picnic at the same spot for more than two or three years in a row, consider moving it. Look for alternative locales. If your barbecue is generally held in a park, move it to the zoo. If you’re at the lake, move it to a park. Even if you have to keep it at the same park as always, try to set up your event at another location in the park to offer a slight change of vista.

2. The Theme.  Create a theme for the picnic. Themes not only add a little excitement, they allow you to make small changes to your plans that have a big impact. Best of all, themes can provide focus to your plans and help you stay on track. Circus, Western, County Fair and Safari themes are all popular, easy-to-execute and affordable themes. Your menu may stay the same if you wish, but by changing the atmosphere or even how it is served, your familiar fare will take on new appeal.

For aCircus Themed Picnic:

  •  Cover the tables with red and white striped cloths.
  • Rent popcorn and cotton candy machines.
  • Dress the serving staff in clown attire.
  • Hire a face painter or find some volunteers to paint children’s faces.
  • Dress yourself or a senior staff member as the ringmaster and announce activities. 
  • Serve hot dogs and ice cream from rented push carts.
  • Create a midway of rides and/or games. You can hire companies to come in to do this or you can rent or buy games and have volunteers staff the booths. Just be sure to have inexpensive prizes, not only for the children who “win” the games, but also for those who participated.
  • Bring in entertainers: magicians, jugglers, stilt walkers, etc. in keeping with the circus theme. Most have costumes that would be appropriate to your theme to add to the atmosphere
  • If you normally rent a plain white tent, see if a striped tent is available. Should you hold your event in a pavilion, fill the structure’s ceiling with a large quantity of balloons to create a circus atmosphere.

For a County Fair theme:

  • Decorate your tables in a gingham print.
  • Serve beverages from mason jars.
  • Invite employees to bring in their favorite recipe to be judged in a “best chili,” “best barbecue sauce,” or “best preserves” contest.
  • Have fun with a pie-eating or watermelon seed-spitting contest. 
  • Arrange typical country fair games such as three-legged or potato sack races and a tug-of-war with management versus employees.
  • Dress your servers in bib overalls or gingham shirts.
  • Set up hay rides around the picnic area or park.

For a Wild West Theme:

  • Use checked or gingham table covers
  • Straw cowboy hats make great party favors, centerpieces and bowls for dry snacks. 
  • Hire a square dance caller and get everyone up to learn how to dosie-do.
  • Bring in pony rides for the little ones.
  • Barbecue beef ribs instead of pork for a more western taste to your menu.
  • Serve  lemonade or root beer in handled mugs instead of the usual canned  sodas.
  • Use sheriff’s badges as name tags by writing on them with a permanent marker or affixing a name label.

For a Safari theme:

  • Use stuffed toy jungle animals for centerpieces.
  • Dress your waitstaff in animal print shirts or khaki shirts..
  • Hang toy monkeys from the trees.
  • Give the kids butterfly nets to catch “wild” prey.
  • Try to set this theme party at a local zoo so the big game hunters can see jungle beasts up close.
  • Hand out disposable cameras and have a guide take guests on a photo safari of the zoo.
  •  Set up a scavenger hunt using natural items found at the picnic site as the objects participants must find and bring back on their list.
  • If possible, set up elephant or camel rides.
  • Encourage children to draw their favorite animal and then let them save their artwork in an animal print frame.
  • Cover tables in animal print cloth, paper or plastic tablecloths.

Most of all, make your company picnic an event that will be looked forward to, not only by your employees and their families, but also by yourself.  After all, don’t you deserve a wonderful day in the great outdoors too?

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