Picnic and Barbecue Planning Pointers for Businesses on a Budget

Company picnics boost morale and show appreciation for the work your employees do. They also show a commitment to your staff. At the same time, they can be expensive. Many employees don’t realize the cost involved in hosting an event, with the biggest costs being food and entertainment. Here’s how to have a BBQ event that won’t break the corporate bank account.

Company picnic

Get Organized

Start with an inventory of everything you need. This is also a great time to make a budget for your party. Set a dollar amount that you cannot exceed. Then, write down categories like “food,” and “party favors,” and “beverages,” and “invitations,” and “raffle items.” Write down at least 3 ideal venues where you’d like to hold the event.

When calculating the number of guests to expect, anticipate an 80 percent response rate. In other words, only 80 percent of the people you invite will be able to make it. Some people will have conflicting plans, or they may just not want to attend the party.

You can also look into cost-sharing if your company can’t afford to pay for everything. A nominal fee from employees can offset a lot of the costs of having a BBQ, paying for entertainment or food.

For example, you may be able to feed everyone with a contribution of $5 or $10 per head. A $20 admission fee is a little steep, but it will pay for food for a day in most cases, especially if you’re buying the food in bulk.

Pick a Reasonable Location

Venues can eat up a lot of the corporate budget, so shop around. Try to reserve a spot at least 6 months in advance. Also, try to reserve a venue where you won’t be competing for “real estate.” In other words, you want to be the only company or organization at that venue.

And, make sure there’s enough room for your group too. Space and exclusivity are probably the most important considerations, next to price so don’t book the cheapest venue – your BBQ may turn out to be a bust if you do.

Send Out Invitations Early

Send out your invitations at least 30 days in advance. This gives people time to respond and plan for the event. If you hand out events too late, you may not get any response or you may decrease your response rate by 20 percent or more.

A one-week notice should also be sent out to remind people of the upcoming event. You don’t have to send out invitations on custom company postcards or letters, but it will probably help with the morale of the employees. It’s also nice to get something like that from the company that you work for, as opposed to generic invitations.

On the other hand, custom or branded invitations cost money, so consider this in your budget.

Get Supplies From Affordable Sources

Reputable companies, like EZB BBQ Catering and Wholesale in Singapore, are constantly serving a large pool of corporations and even governments and schools. They typically deliver by van or car or they can ship orders.

Try to buy your supplies from a company like this to save yourself some time and money. Sure, you could shop at an outlet store or go around to individual stores to pick up your supplies. But, the convenience of shopping at a wholesale store can also save you some money. Ultimately, you need to compare prices and weigh the convenience of having items shipped against having to load up company vehicles with food and supplies.

Order Decorations and Party Favors

Don’t go overboard with decorations and party favors. At the same time, you don’t want to eliminate the completely. This is what makes a party look like a party. Keep the decorations simple and themed. For example, if you’re having a BBQ in the summer, it might make sense to have summer-colored streamers. Use small bottles of fresh honey, a sample of the BBQ used to cook the food, small piñatas, summer potted plants, skipping stones, homemade jam, or fiesta party bags as party favors.

Keeping People Entertained On A Budget

Keeping entertainment costs low has a lot to do with the kind of entertainment you think you need. The cheapest forms of entertainment are games that everyone can participate in. They also happen to be the most fun.

Booking a local band might also make sense, depending on how much they charge. But, spending big on an international band, expensive D.J.s, and other similar forms of entertainment may only leave the corporate bank account suffering.

Horseshoes, lawn darts, and Bocci ball are all engaging and memorable and inexpensive.


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