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Friends having an outdoor dinner at Olympus Fenwick in Savannah, Georgia



Anybody can fire up the grill and throw on a couple hot dogs, but if you’re going to host a true summer barbecue, you’re going to need to go a little bit bigger. Check out our guide to hosting the kind of summer barbecue your friends will be talking about for weeks to come – or at least until your next one.

Location, Location, Location

The first step is to decide where this shindig is going to take place. Will you invite a small handful of people and host it in your backyard, or would the community grills at a local park make more sense for your crew? Check to see if there’s a park nearby with picnic tables you can use. A park also offers plenty of space for social distancing.

Make Up Your Menu

When you invite your guests, poll them on any foods they don’t eat. This is also the time to ask each person to bring a side. One easy way to coordinate this is to create a Google spreadsheet and share it with everyone so they can write in what they plan to bring. This ensures you don’t end up with five people bringing potato salad. You can also use this to determine what types of protein are most popular (which the host will generally provide).

Get Prepping

Once the menu has been determined, prepare any marinades you plan to use and get your meats into them anywhere from a day to a few hours before the main event, depending on your recipe. You’ll also want to slice up any veggies you might need – such as tomatoes and onions for burgers - before your guests arrive.

Offer Plenty of Refreshments

Encourage guests to bring their favorite beverages to share and provide some of your own. Put a large cooler filled with ice out or a couple of washtubs. It’s also a good idea to set up a couple of containers for trash and recyclables.

Get Out the Yard Games

Talking with friends is fun, but beating them at cornhole is even better. Set out a few yard game options like cornhole, croquet, and lawn darts. Just kidding. How about a frisbee or badminton?

And that’s how it’s done. For more tips on getting the most out of each day visit the Olympus Fenwick blog.