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Welcome back to our blog series on planning the perfect summer barbecue! In our first blog, we addressed the importance of planning the right meal and making sure you delegate responsibility. We’ll dive into a few more tips for you to consider in this blog, so that your backyard BBQ is better than sinking your teeth into a juicy, fresh-off-the-grill burger.

When it comes to fresh ingredients, Garden Fresh Marketplace has it all. As a local grocery store of choice in Detroit, it goes without saying that we provide the best in deli foods, produce, and so much more. Plus, you can join our rewards program as an added bonus, and get amazing access to weekly deals and specials! Learn more about barbecue planning tips, and stop by our store today.

Create a Guest List

It might seem easy and simple to just start letting people know, but trust us when we say having an actual list takes away many future complications that can arise. For starters, it helps you understand how many people are showing up — and, subsequently, how much food you need to plan for. But another significant advantage is understanding the type of food you should prepare, or avoid. People with food allergies or food sensitivities can be taken into account, well before you hit up the grocery store.

For a simple enough method, create an online event (such as on Facebook), and invite guests online. Make sure you have an idea of any significant others/additional guests that may be joining, as well.

Prep Food Ahead of Time

Timing is everything when it comes to the barbecue. You need to think about when to dish out meals and sides at what time, how long things will take to cook, and everything in between. One of the easiest ways to plan out your meal is to begin prepping what you can, well before the day arrives.

Things like potato salad, fruit salad, or any other type of Midwestern dish that calls itself a “salad” is hardy enough that it can be prepped the night before, or that morning. The main meats or main dishes will likely need to be made day-of, but marinating can (and should) happen ahead of time as well. Little preparations — like taking the plastic covers and lids off of things, cutting buns, or setting up silverware — are all excellent measures to ensure the big BBQ day goes smoothly.

Set the Mood

What barbecue is complete without speakers? Create a playlist, or find a solid premade playlist choice off of Spotify, that will complement the event. String up some outdoor lights, ensure you have enough seating for your guests, and have some other fun decorations that will turn your barbecue into a standout. Maybe go picnic style and put blankets out for everyone, or create an incredible banner out of scraps of cloth to make the space look even more inviting. And of course, no one wants to have to navigate backyard clutter, toys, or the smelly reminder that an animal very much lives here — clean and organize everything to help guests fully enjoy the evening.

When you’re ready to plan out your barbecue, your first stop starts at Garden Fresh Marketplace. Visit our local grocery store in Detroit today, and have a blast at your BBQ!