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Braai-guest etiquette 101

Summer is here and that means braai season is in full swing. But what’s a gathering around a grill without lekker company? If you find yourself invited to hang out with friends every other evening, these foolproof tips will help you be the ultimate fire-side guest.

Don’t show up empty-handed

We love being invited to any braai, but the answer to the question ‘what should I bring’ always leaves us stumped. What does ‘don’t worry, only bring yourself’ mean, anyway? We were taught not to show up empty-handed when invited to a dinner. If you take something, drinks are always an easy win – you can never go wrong with a bottle of bubbly! Rather avoid taking food (if not for specific dietary requirements). Chances are that the host meticulously planned the menu, and your potato salad may not fit with the rest of the meal. Flowers and houseplants are also great ways to show appreciation to your host.

Double-check if you are invited with a plus one

Is it a solo invitation, or can you bring a plus one? Always check with your host to make sure you’ve got the correct memo. If you are vague about who is invited, text them to make 100% sure. The last thing you want is to create an unnecessarily awkward situation with your host by bringing unannounced guests along. If you do, it may be the last braai you will be invited to at that household – and what’s summer without a good braai and good friends?

Arrive on time

It may not be a black-tie event, but you should always respond to invitations promptly and arrive on time. It is still an event and being punctual shows good manners. If the invitation says you should be there at 15:00, do not be late. There is a good reason the host gave you a specific time. You do not want all the guests waiting foryou to arrive. On that note – never arrive earlier than the time given to you. If you arrive early, you will most likely find the host still running around trying to get snacks sorted and looking for firelighters for the braai.

Offer to help clean

Never just dine and dash. Ask your host if you could help set the table or help make the fire. Clearing up after everyone has eaten is a great way to help your host – and you will instantly become the model braai guest, and what is better than that?

Photography: Shutterstock

Also read: The Braaibroodjie: 5 different ways


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