Cookout and Social Distancing : What to Know

Summer is the best time to spend with your family and friends doing leisurely activities. After months of quarantining and self-isolating, people are ready to socialize. However under the circumstances, you may be thinking that the possibility of doing these activities while staying in line with social distancing is not attainable. Thankfully this isn’t true, you can still enjoy your summer outdoors, just with a different approach.

One of the most appealing activities is probably to have an outdoor cookout. Invite your closest family and friends and plan yourself and your loved ones a social distancing cookout. Below I will highlight a few methods on making this possible while keeping safe.


If you're hosting a cookout it's important to prevent the spread of germs. If you're having a few friends over for a small outdoor BBQ, make sure to disinfect first. Clean and sanitize all the surfaces that you think your guests may touch, like outdoor furniture, door knobs and even handrails. Feel free to leave out a big bottle of sanitizer for everyone to use.

Segregating Seats

Separating seats will show your guests that you're serious about upholding social distancing measures. Set up seating arrangements in advance. A simple way to do this is by putting together households at a safe distance from others. Request guests to remain within their seating circle to ensure everyone stays apart.

Limited seating

If you’re under a constraint for a lack of available seating, feel free to tell some guests in advance to bring their own chairs. Mark off the segregated seats and let your guests know where to set up their chairs. Remind them to take their chairs back home when packing up.

Bring your own BBQ

Unfortunately your grill is going to have to sit this one out. This is probably the hardest concept to grasp when hosting a social distance cookout. In order to avoid guests from hanging around the grill the best solution is to bring their own food. This also includes bringing their own cutlery and condiments. This will help prevent people from sharing their food while maintaining a safe distance.

Single server

With everyone bringing their own food it's understandable if you lose the feeling of hosting the event. Take the decision to be in charge of supplying the drinks for the gathering. Pack some cans and bottles into a few coolers. As long as people grab and go there shouldn't be a problem. As an added precaution, it helps to wipe down the cooler often or keep it open throughout to limit contact.


Fortunately there's more to a cookout than just good food. Adding games to the mix makes it a much more social bonding experience. Thankfully most games such as badminton, soccer, golf are social distancing friendly. As a reminder make sure to sanitize and clean the accessories being used before playing. Another option is for guests to bring their own labelled rackets or balls to prevent any confusion.

Frontyard Cookout

If you're lucky enough to have a front yard and you're feeling a little extra friendly, feel free to include your neighbors in your cookout. Have everyone participate and utilize their front yard by setting up their own meal. This is a great new experience to bond with your neighbors in a different setting. This is especially a brilliant strategy if kids are involved in the cookout as it'll keep them included as well as safe.

Virtual Cookout

If perhaps your yard is too small for a cookout, or you simply don't feel safe within a social setting, I have one more option which will prevent you from feeling like you're missing out on anything this summer. A virtual call solves this issue and even allows out of state friends to participate.

Host a live meal with your favorite desserts, grilled meats and snacks. The best part of a virtual feed is that you can integrate online games and apps to provide an additional source of entertainment.

Social distancing will definitely come as a challenge and may pose as an intrusion to your fun summer plans. Fortunately there are multiple methods and tips that will allow you to enjoy your plans with your friends and family while adhering to precautionary safety measures.

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