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Planning a Company Picnic

There are a lot of reasons to have a company picnic.

  • They build company morale.
  • They show appreciation for employees and their efforts.
  • They show commitment to employees and their families.
  • They strengthen teamwork.

But the Number 1 reason to have a company picnic is to have fun!

There is really no need to spend a lot of money on a per person basis for a company picnic so start with an overall budget and apply each item (venue charge, food, etc.).

Where can you have your picnic?

All area cities offer park rental through their Parks & Recreation Departments. Here are a few links…


Area parks are very inexpensive to rent and most include a gazebo or some sort of structure from which to stage your picnic.

What about the food?

Picnic food in general should be simple. Grilled burgers and hot dog are a great way to go.

If your event is small, say twenty five people or less, you might consider grilling the food yourself. Many parks will have built in grills or you can bring your own. If you are hosting more than this many, it is a great idea to hire a professional to provide the food. Be careful with any sort of “pot luck” picnic event as safe food handling outdoors in warmer weather takes special equipment.

Want to mix it up a bit while keeping with the picnic theme? Try including chicken breasts and bratwurst in the mix. Oh, and don’t forget the vegetarians. Your caterer can bring along some veggie burger patties to grill up as needed.

Your picnic caterer should provide the grills and all necessary equipment. For larger events, however, some of the meat may be pre/partially grilled off in advance in order to serve everyone in a reasonable amount of time.

It is a fun idea to have the executives and managers assist with the grilling and serving.

Some things to consider when planning a picnic

  • Determine the type of food that you would like to have. Burgers, Hot Dogs, BBQ, Tex-Mex, etc. (An employee survey may help determine the type of menu.)
  • When estimating the number of attendees for the event, be sure to factor in spouses and family members if this is an option (request an attendee count from each employee. A good “guestimation” might be to multiply the number of employees by a factor of 2 and then apply a 20% no show percentage.
  • Get organized and establish who will be responsible to coordinating each detail. (Here are some of the specifics that will need to be covered: Budget, location, raffle items, party favors, food and beverages, invitations, activities, and entertainment)
  • Work with the venue in order to get signage so that your attendees easily find the event. Consider getting some inexpensive party favors such as bottled waters with custom labels and don’t forget the kids (check out for ideas). Order any party favors well in advance. Special logo T-shirts or baseball caps are always popular, but also consider Frisbees, water bottles, tote bags and beach balls.
  • Decide on the entertainment, making sure you have activities that appeal to everyone who will be attending. If you can persuade managers to take turns in a carnival dunk tank, you'll have at least one guaranteed crowd-pleaser… If you are expecting lots of kids, consider hiring a “face painter”.
  • Door prizes are always a hit. (See which of your clients will donate items to be raffled off?)

Don’t forget to designate someone to take photos of employees having fun at the event (a small framed picture will make a great keepsake.)

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