How to Host the Perfect Summer Barbecue

Whether for friends, family or neighbors, a summer barbecue can be the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors while enhancing relationships with others. But how can you ensure all your guests will enjoy themselves? Here are 8 tips on how to host the perfect summer barbecue:

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1. Clean your house and backyard.

This should be a given since no guests would like to step on your kids’ toys or wonder if the backyard is an extra storage space. Make sure there is plenty of room in the backyard for guests to spread out and mingle. The inside of your house needs to presentable for guests that like to congregate in the kitchen or if they need to use the restroom.

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2. Attend to both needs.

Some people will want to drink, but others will be satisfied with water, tea or lemonade. It is good to keep options open for beer lovers, wine lovers and cooler lovers while also not neglecting those who prefer to stay sober.

When it comes to food, people are vegetarians, vegans, allergic to nuts, celiac, etc. Avoid only meats, certain breads and always (unless certain no one is allergic) avoid nuts.

While your guests may be like this:

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You may feel like this:

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But try to keep a happy face and work with what you got!

Some examples of a well-rounded meal is:
Chicken/steak/brats/hot dogs/burgers
Vegetable skewers
Gluten-free and normal bread (for dogs or burgers)
Salad without dressing or dairy
Potato casserole (avoid using butter, milk, cheese, etc.)
Pasta salad (again, without dairy or butter)
Mac and cheese (vegans won’t be able to eat this, but this is a favorite for kids and adults)
Hummus with vegetables and chips for dip
**when choosing pastas, think about using a gluten-free choice**

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Hopefully your guests will be as happy as Patrick while eating.

3. Talk to everyone.

It is easy to get caught up in talking to your best friend or one family member that you get along with best, but your guests came because of you.

Even if you feel like this:

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Continue to roam around the party and make sure you have talked to everyone. This will not only make them feel wanted, but you can help introduce people to each other.

Pro tip: Make sure your conversation is inclusive to everyone. Avoid controversial or negligent topics.

4. Ask for help if needed.

Hosting a large party can be a messy disaster after it is all over. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask friends or family to help you. If someone asks you if you need help, and you need it, don’t be afraid to say yes. Pride can be a pain, but it is good etiquette for the guests to offer assistance as well.

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5. Personal choice: Disposable dishware.

Being environmentally alert is important during this era where climate change threatens our existence. If you are hosting a very large party, using disposable dishware can be the cheapest and most effective way to clean up. If it is a rather small gathering, try using reusable/washable dishware. While it can be a pain to clean, you are saving money and helping the environment.

Pro tip: if your guests need to cut food, make sure the disposable silverware is able to hold up and get the job done because if not, it can feel like this.

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6. Provide shade.

The sun beaming down on you and your guests through the whole party can make a sweaty, sun-burned mess. Make sure you have an umbrella, tent or other source to avoid the sun when it gets to be too much.

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7. Insects be gone!

Invest in some bug repellent so your guests aren’t swatting away pests all day (or night). If your party happens to be at night, buy bug repellents! Nothing is worse than being bitten all night long.

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Here are some examples of trendy and effective bug repellents:

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8. Thank your guests.

As everyone is leaving, make sure to thank your guests for coming to your party. Without them, there wouldn’t be a party.

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Now go invite those neighbors that you’ve been avoiding contact with to your summer barbecue!

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