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Outdoor Catering Health and Safety

Catering Health & Safety in the Great Outdoors

One of your biggest concerns for catering small and large events will always be outdoor catering health and safety. Factors such as the weather, regular use of temporary staff, the unpredictability of footfall...etc. can all create a high-risk environment. As with all things catering, the key is in the preparation and communication from the early stages of planning the catering event, right through to the end of the event.

We’ve devised a short (but not comprehensive) list of key health and safety considerations to take when planning for your outdoor catering event. These are the things you should always consider in the planning stages, and not when you have arrived and setting up with people eagerly awaiting to get at your tasty grub!

Food Management Safety Systems

As a seasoned caterer, you will be aware of this document and the importance of it. You should make sure that everyone working for you during your outdoor catering event knows the correct policies and procedures when it comes to food safety - minimising the risk of any type of contamination.

Crowd Management

Even when catering for smaller outdoor events, small crowds of people can start to pose a significant threat to health and safety.

Make sure you have a sufficient process in place for serving hot food, and moving the customers along in an orderly and safe fashion - while not making them feel like they’re being herded around like sheep!

Don’t allow increasing amount of people to gather around your food preparation areas, especially if you’re dealing with potentially dangerous equipment such as gas and oil.

Refuse and Litter (Recycling)

Make sure you can provide, or the venue will provide amenities for the safe and clean disposal of litter not only for your customers, but for any waste which you may create while working. Having the facilities to be able to recycle where possible is obviously a fantastic way of showing you’re being responsible as a caterer, while keeping the immediate environment clean, safe and pleasing for your staff and client.

Siting Considerations

Outdoor Catering - the clue is in the name! It’s going to be in the great outdoors.

No matter where you are catering outdoors, there will always be in the immediate environment to take into consideration.

Catering on grass, as compared to catering on concrete can both provide their own obstacles which you should plan as soon as you accept the contract. Considerations you should take could be:

  • Weather Forecast
  • Power Supply Availability
  • Site Access
  • Policy of Use and Disposal of Glass
  • Overhead and Underground Cables/ Works
  • Impact on Local Neighbourhood
  • The Layout and Size of Your Pitch

First Aid

Always have a First Aid box to hand, and if possible a member of the team who is First Aid trained. Your First Aid box should contain blue plasters for minor cuts.

Post Event Debriefing

Last but most certainly not least is the post-event debrief. This is a vital piece of communication which should take place when regularly working with the same people. This will give you the opportunity to be able to identify successes and also failures which should lead to being better prepared for your next catering contract.


We’re big fans of outdoor catering, especially when the weather's getting warmer and you can fire up those barbecues ready to feed the masses! If you would like to discuss how you could benefit from owning a Cinders Barbecue, please get in contact for a friendly chat!

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