Corporate Events
August 21, 2019

How to Build the Perfect Tailgate Menu

Tips from a Leading Caterer in Frederick, MD on Creating a Delicious Tailgate Menu

minute read

As the summer comes to an end and we roll into autumn, we find ourselves kicking off tailgate season and preparing for the biggest games of the year. Whether you’re a college football fan or a die-hard fan of an NFL team, we know that your loyalty to your team runs deep. You’re not afraid to arrive at the field 6 hours before kickoff and commence the celebrations or invite everyone you know to your pre-game tailgate. Smokehouse Grill - a leading caterer in Frederick, MD - shares this mutual love over your favorite teams, which is why we want to help you plan the perfect tailgate menu for the next big game. We’ll break down the biggest consideration you’ll need to make, ideas for food, and how to plan for your guests’ alcohol intake.

Things to Consider When Planning a Tailgate Menu

Tips from a Caterer in Frederick, MD to Help You Get Started

Source: espn

Once you’ve picked your date and purchased your tickets and parking pass, it’s time to get started with planning the ultimate tailgate for your friends, families, and sports fans alike. A lot more planning goes into pulling off a great tailgate than people realize; from bringing your favorite lawn games, to picking up food, to helping your friends find your spot in the lot, you certainly have your hands full. Here’s a few things to consider before getting started:

  • Headcount: Before starting, it’s important to get a rough headcount for your tailgate. While you may originally anticipate 20-30 guests throughout the day, keep in mind that sports are all about camaraderie amidst competition. You may strike up a conversation with the guys next to you, and chances are your guests will bring a friend or two. A great way to get a solid headcount is to create a Facebook event, invite your friends, and allow them to invite friends to the event as well.
  • Kids vs. Adults: Be sure to consider whether or not your guests will bring their kids. While tiny tots may not eat as much as their parents, you’ll want to make sure your food and drink menu has options for everyone.
  • How much will guests drink? To think that your guests will not be drinking heavily before your event is a bit naive. Not only do you have to be certain to  have enough alcohol for your guests, but should be sure to provide options for those who may not be drinking.
  • How long will you tailgate? If you’re serious about tailgating, you know that arriving as soon as the parking lots open is not uncommon. Be sure to craft your menu to include enough food to span from 9am to 3 pm, if needed, but ensure that you have the means for keeping your food hot or cold for this time frame.
  • Do I have the necessary tools? It’s no easy task to cook for 30 people for several hours. Manning the grill or ensuring that everyone’s food is perfect can take away the fun, which is why serious tailgaters often opt for a caterer from Frederick, MD for their tailgates.

Planning Out Snacks and Appetizers

How a Caterer in Frederick, MD Recommends Tackling the Apps

Cheese Platter

One of the most important things to consider when picking out your appetizers is sheer volume. If you’re tailgating for several hours with a few dozen guests, a few carrot sticks and a bag of chips and dip simply isn’t going to cut it. People tend to snack all day long at tailgates, so it’s important to ensure you have that just-right amount of food.

Additionally, it’s important to have a solid spread with plenty of variety. Ensure you’re catering to every guest’s craving by including the following:

  • Veggie Tray with Dip
  • Fruit Tray with a Fruit Dip
  • Cheese and Crackers

Not only do these options provide a little something for everyone, but they give your guests healthy options to choose from. Smokehouse Grill is the caterer in Frederick, MD that can help you provide the perfect volume of each of these appetizers for your audience, always ensuring a fresh and high quality spread.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that if your guests bring a dish to share, it will likely be a snack or appetizer. That’s why we recommend going light on the appetizers on your end, dedicating your efforts toward your tailgate entrees.

How Can a Caterer in Frederick, MD Help With Entrees?

Why Choosing a Caterer for Your Tailgate Entrees is the Right Choice

Grilling ribs

So here’s the deal. Of course you can purchase a few packs of hotdogs and hamburgers and hope you have enough to feed your hungry guests. But let’s be real; you don’t want to tote the grill to the field, have to worry about setup, then spend the entire day manning the grill. It’s your tailgate, and you deserve to have fun too! That’s why you can’t go wrong with choosing Smokehouse Grill - a trusted caterer in Frederick, MD - for your tailgate entrees.

Smokehouse Grill has a variety of options for you to choose for as little as $14 per person. You’ll get to choose from burgers, hotdogs, pulled pork, BBQ chicken, smokehouse beef, and even an entire pig roast. Additionally, you can take your pick from a variety of hot and cold sides that include tasty salads, mac and cheese, roasted potatoes, corn on the cob, and more. Smokehouse Grill ensures you’ll have plenty of food, keeps it a safe temperature for hours, and handles assembly and cleanup so you won’t miss a minute of the action.

How Should I Handle Alcohol?

Smokehouse Grill Ensures Safe and Affordable Alcohol Service


It’s no secret that your guests will get in on the celebration by drinking. However, it’s sometimes hard to tell how much everyone will be drinking, which is why it’s great to use bar services at your tailgate. For as little as $4 an hour, your guests can have access to open beer and liquor services at your tailgate so that everyone gets their favorite drink with no hassle.

A major concern at many tailgates is the sheer volume that many people consume alcohol. While celebration in the name of sport is super fun, it’s important to make sure that your guests celebrate responsibly. Smokehouse grill is licensed to serve all across Maryland and has licensed bartenders that serve responsibly and remove liability from you in the case that a liquor-related accident occurs.

Ready to gear up for your next tailgate? Get in touch with Smokehouse Grill today for a quote and schedule your next game day celebration.

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