5 Steps to a Transformed Tailgate Party
Imagine the disappointment.
You are invited to your first major college or NFL football game. For years, you’ve heard of the tailgating environment, the incredible food, the set ups that make fancy restaurants envious.
And when the buddy who invited you opens his trunk…
All you see are some pre-made sandwiches, a bag of chips, a small box of store-bought cookies and some un-iced beverages.
Hey, he brought a couple camping chairs, so he thinks you’re tailgating in style.
Your disappointment is justified.
You don’t have to go all out in the parking lots, but even on a focused budget, you can do much better than your buddy did.
It takes some planning, coordination and effort, but you can transform the boring tailgate into an unforgettable one if you follow these five steps.
- Make a List – a few days before the big day, put your full tailgate list on paper or in Evernote. Think through everything you need: pop up tent, chairs, grill, folding table, cooler, ice, games, music, paper products, and of course the menu items.
- Social Source Menu Ideas – unlike your buddy, you have the chance to get your friends’ feedback on the best tailgate menu items that are sure to impress. Start a Facebook post and ask friends and family for their go-to dips, appetizers, and meats to throw on the grill. They don’t have to be difficult, but they sure better be tasty. If your friends aren’t much help, there are plenty of options online like these.
- Start Early – plan ahead and arrive at least three hours before kickoff. This will help you avoid feeling rushed, give your steaks a chance to slowly cook, and it will allow you extra time to toss the pigskin in the parking lot.
- Make the Little Things Great – we tend to remember small details and some of the finer points in life, and the same is true in tailgating. Take the extra steps to focus on the little things – like bringing coozies for the drinks, wet wipes for sticky hands, a phone charger to plug into the car before kickoff, seasoning to take those burgers from great to perfect, and a well-manicured playlist that will make your guests sing at the top of their lungs.
- Document the Experience – It didn’t happen if it’s not on Instagram, right? You don’t have to pose for the perfect picture but do make sure you document the day. There will be a tough stretch down the road, and the bright spots with good friends and terrific food always helps us all keep going.
Once you transform your tailgate into a tasty masterpiece, it will be your turn to invite your buddy.
Just tell him to leave the sandwiches at home.