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You bragged about hosting the best South African braai (after one too many melkterts) and now you need guidance to make sure you got it all covered. Or, maybe it wasn’t the melkterts and you’re simply looking for braai ideas to improve your hosting and entertaining skills.

So, when it comes to hosting and entertaining, your guests should have what they need, relax, and enjoy your awesome braai. It’s a bit of a karma wrecker if you or the guests have to do shop runs because there’s no more wood, ice, or beer (not sure which one is worse). Nevertheless, it’s a big no-no.

To help you get organized and be prepared, we thought of these hosting and entertainment braai ideas. Although it takes time and effort, it can be very rewarding to bring people together for a good time and a great meal (if all goes according to plan).

The Menu.

  1. Let’s start with the food. The type of braai should be established before you send out your invitations. Is it a chop-en-dop? Are you catering for a traditional braai, potjie, spitbraai, roast in the Weber, paella on the skottel? Narrow this one down first, then plan out the appetizers, vegetables and salads, and the desserts. Your basic grocery list should include wood, ice, and beer. Even if you’re doing a skottel, Weber, or spit, you will always need wood for the Atmosfire.
  2. Hopefully, your menu was established with your guests in mind, noting any hectic allergies, especially with children. Being aware of ailments, and religious and cultural diversities will help you in deciding what not to serve, like dishing up roast pork for Joel Herbowazkawitz or Mohammed Salim.
  3. The timing of the food after snacks and starters is another one to consider. You need to keep the balance so nobody starves but still has an appetite for the main.
  4. Teenagers come in very handy when you have a house party. They can babysit, bartend, or help serve food (all for a small fee of course), but if you can get your hands on one or two, it’ll be worth every cent.

The Company.

If it’s for an anniversary, birthday, televised rugby match, actually…you don’t need a valid reason to braai. You just need good company and maybe warn your neighbors.

  1. Most of us have an idea of who-gets-on-with-who within our inner circles, so keep this in mind when combining family and friends for the guest list. This is critical to avoid potential upsets. Save the drama for a Springbok game instead.
  2. Other important guests to prepare for are the little people who are coming along. Whether you have children of your own or not, providing a safe space for a bunch of kids to play really gives parents some chill out time. Noting here that a designated, responsible babysitter would be an ideal recruit for the duration of the braai party. It’s a much better vibe where kids are having fun and not whining from boredom.
  3. And, it is also important to be good company.

Prepare the Environment.

  1. With guest numbers confirmed, prepare sufficient seating, utensils, glasses, and where to place the closest fridge.
  2. Allocate the Kid Zone Area with age-appropriate games and toys (borrow or buy a few second-hand toys).
  3. Have recycling bins out for bottles and plastic items.
  4. And lastly, remember that anything is possible in an environment with lots of kids or rowdy guests. So, be prepared by keeping a basic first aid kit for cuts, headaches, or flaming hair. A safe braai is a happy braai.

The Parking Issue.

We all know there is nothing worse than arriving at a place without parking, which can turn into a real mission. If it’s an issue, address it right from the start so your guests have a stress-free, smooth arrival. If you live on a narrow street in town with zero parking, give your visitors a heads up, ‘There is no parking’. And nobody will attend. Be realistic and be accessible if you plan on hosting a lekker big braai.

The Party.

Whether there’s rugby on or not, there is always time for a bit of fun and games. The fun can start with a few jokes like, “what’s hotter than the sun but can be found on earth? The tomato inside a braaibroodjie”.

However, the real action starts with board games where competitive streaks are exposed. There is such a variety of games using cards, mobile apps or board games, or neither (beer pong, coinage). But, most games can be manipulated into a drinking edition, like Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, 30 seconds, Uno, Balderdash, the list is endless.

Remember the aim is to win, not to fall over. If anyone had too much to drink after losing at 30 seconds, organize a taxi (they can pay you back tomorrow), or put them on your couch. Be a good friend and be a responsible citizen.

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