Sausage sizzle

Events, functions and fundraising activities

We all love a BBQ, and by extension, a sausage sizzle! Charred snags with onion, wrapped inside a slice of bread with lashings of sauce … yum!

A sausage sizzle is a popular, relatively easy to run fundraiser to run that usually brings in decent fundraising dollars. It is not uncommon to raise $1000 from a sausage sizzle.

The concept is simple. Find a crowd, whether it be at a registration day or game day, or at an external venue like a shopping centre or warehouse and sell sausages in bread with sauce, and maybe some drinks.
There is volunteer time required on the day to cook and serve the food and some time required to prepare the food, equipment, licenses and permits required.

Why a sausage sizzle?
A sausage sizzle is easy to run and can be held multiple times during the year. It also allows a great opportunity to raise money from people who are external to your club. It can be part of an event or a stand alone event at a busy location.

When should I hold this fundraiser?
A sausage sizzle can be held at anytime during the year and could be held a number of times throughout the season. It is a great idea to make it on a game day or during an event such as a registration day to ensure there will be lots of potential customers. If held at an external venue (such as a shopping centre) this will be restricted by the available dates.

Key Activities
These are the tasks you will need to consider assign to volunteers at our club:

Before the Day

  • Decide a date for the sausage sizzle.
  • Book the date if it is to be held at an external venue.
  • Promote the fundraiser.
  • Order and purchase the following:
  1. BBQ, gas and gazebo,
  2. Sausages, Onions, Sauces, Drinks
  3. Serviettes, Wipes, Rubber gloves
  4. BBQ tools, Disinfectant spray
  5. Signage, banners, flyers, magazines
  6. Staff, Rubbish bags, Eskies
  7. Cash box and float of $100
  8. On-going supply of ice.
  • Organise the venue, tables and chairs.
  • Organise the BBQ and hand washing facilities
  • Organise volunteers to help on the day.
  • Organise any other food and beverages that will be for sale.
  • Organise any raffles, activities, competitions or auctions that might run at the same time.

On the Day

  • Ensure the room, tables and chairs are set up and ready to go.
  • Ensure food and beverages are ready to sell or serve on time.
  • Run any additional raffles, activities, competitions or auctions that you have planned.
  • Brief volunteers of their roles.
  • Enjoy the night!
  • Monitor the event.
  • Take lots of photos.

After the day

  • Publicly thank everyone involved
  • Announce the amount of money raised in club newsletters, on social media, website and around the club.

Who can help?
It is important to engage your members to help in the running of your fundraiser.
For a sausage sizzle you could approach them to help:

  • Promote the sausage sizzle
  • Help source the food and supplies for the day
  • Help logistically on the day – Club volunteers will need to be on hand to help prepare and serve the food as well as run the raffles and games.

You could also approach current club Sponsors for any prizes you plan to use.

Recruiting your people
It is important to create a culture of volunteering at your club to help not only with fundraising but also across the day to day running of your club. For more on how to create this at your club, click here.

Using technology to make it easier
You may like to consider using technology to reduce the workload on your volunteers and increase your fundraising dollars.
Your club may then also like to use social media, email newsletters and your club website to promote the event.
You may like to live stream some of the event on social media for people in the area who may want to pop down on the day to support your club.

Financial Considerations
Revenue opportunities are not just limited to the sale of snags. There is also the opportunity to sell club merchandise and membership as well as get sponsors on board in return for promotion. Sausage Sizzles can draw sponsorship from local food suppliers such as butchers, bakers and supermarkets. There is also the opportunity to sell the naming rights to the sausage sizzle by offering signage and placards around the Sausage Sizzle to local businesses, ie ‘Dave’s Local Building Group Proudly Sponsors…”

Pricing for the sausages and drinks should be affordable and reasonable. Excessive pricing will deter customers but if reasonable value and for charity, punters are more likely to part with loose change. Extra pricing options can be included as add-ons ie extra for buns and extra for onions etc.

When looking at your budget, you will need to consider how many people you expect to attend in relation to the following:

  • purchasing the required meat, bread and sauce
  • purchasing of gas bottles and serviettes
  • the hire cost also of tables, cover, utensils and potentially a BBQ!

Prizes for any raffles as well as auction items need to be considered. It is a great idea to try to source these from sponsors and ask members to help source the from businesses in the community. These donations are often in exchange for signage and promotion. The key is not to leave this to the last minute and try to organise prizes early to avoid added pressure.

Promotion is important to ensure great attendance numbers. Utilise existing club resources and social media to promote your club’s sausage sizzle. Club resources can include; newsletters, the club website, social media and noticeboards. The more members that are attracted to the event, the better the atmosphere and financial return to the club.
As a sausage sizzle can include the entire community, it is a great idea to enlist the help of your local radio and newspaper to provide a community announcement promoting your sausage sizzle.
You can also ask someone at your club to produce a flyer that can be printed and copies left in community centres like shops and schools.

Communication considerations
As a sausage sizzle has broad appeal and is an easy way for people to support your club you might like to use social media to build excitement. You can use social media to countdown to the day and live stream the event on the day so that those in your community can be reminded to come down to support the club.

Social, Moral and Ethical Considerations
Supply of Alcohol
If your event is going to include alcohol it is important to consider whether there will be limits or restrictions set in advance. Clubs need to consider how they will manage the risks of binge drinking as well as the Responsible Service of Alcohol.

What can go wrong? (Risk Management)
Low attendance numbers
To ensure high attendance numbers your club might like to hold your sausage sizzle at a larger club event, on a game day or externally at a busy venue like a shopping centre.
Financial Risks
There are obvious financial risks if enough sausages aren’t sold or fundraising dollars made to cover the cost of the food and the set up.
Participant Safety
The health and wellbeing of those who attend your event should be a focus at all times. It is important that your club takes time to consider all possible risks and how to minimise these.
When catering food ensure you cater for those with allergies and these are clearly labeled. Allergies can be life threatening and need to be considered seriously.
Food Safety
It is imperative all food handling licenses and permits are in place and safe practices of food handling are adhered to at all times to prevent contamination and food poisoning.

Licenses and Permits
It is important to check with your local council on food preparation requirements or visit your state’s Food Health and Safety website. Check with your state regulatory body. In Australia, the food law places many responsibilities on the proprietor of a food business. If you are the organiser of an event or an official of a charity or community organisation that is selling food, you need to be aware of these responsibilities. See our Food Safety for Clubs page for further information.

If alcohol is to be served then a liquor license will be required. Depending on the formats of the raffles and games, you may require a gambling license.
It is also important to contact your insurance company to ensure your public liability insurance policies cover the event both onsite at your club and offsite (for example at a shopping centre complex).

Additional Factors to consider
Hold your Sausage Sizzle at Shopping Complexes
Increasingly, clubs are holding fundraising Sausage sizzles at shopping centres and warehouses like Bunnings. If your club would like to do this, you will need to apply to the shopping complex in writing asking to be put on the sausage sizzle list. Make sure they are aware that your club is a non-profit organisation.
You may need to be prepared to wait six months or more before your club is rostered on. Review the material from the Shopping Complex carefully, noting exactly what you need to provide and what they will provide. Shopping Complexes will have liability insurance, so ask if they will extend that to your group as you are accessing their site.

Preparing and Cooking Food Safely
Food handling licenses and permits need to be in place to ensure a safe sausage sizzle.
Here are a few precautions we take at sausage sizzles and barbecues to ensure that food is safe:

  • Finish preparing raw meat before leaving for the site such as slicing, marinating or skewering
  • Pack raw meat into insulated boxes with ice bricks for transportation
  • Handle food with tongs or other equipment. Use separate equipment to handle raw and cooked meats. Hands should not be used unless absolutely necessary, and then hand washing facilities must be available. Hands must be washed after handling raw meats
  • Keep cooked meat and salads separate from raw meat at all times to prevent contamination
  • Cover food to protect it from contamination
  • Use clean and dry utensils for serving the food –never place cooked meat back on the trays that held the raw meat
  • Cook chicken, sausages and hamburgers until juices run clear – steaks can be cooked to preference
  • Throw left-over food away unless refrigeration equipment is available to rapidly cool the food immediately

Disposable Utensils
Wherever possible, single-use (disposable) utensils such as knives, forks, plates and cups should be used and thrown away after use. These items should be kept covered until required and should be handled carefully to minimise any risk of contamination. Re-useable items such as mugs should not be used unless there are facilities available on-site to wash and sanitise them, or there are enough items for the duration of the event.

If water is needed for hand washing or for washing up, a supply adequate to last the event must be provided. The water must be of drinkable quality. If using containers to transport water to the event, make sure that they are clean and have not been used to store chemicals.
If you do not have access to hot water for washing up, make sure that you take enough utensils so that you can use separate utensils for the raw and the cooked food at the event.

Hand washing Facilities
Unless a written exemption has been obtained from your local council or health authority, food handlers must wash their hands with warm running water. An exemption is only likely to be issued where enough water is not available for hand washing. In such circumstances the local council or health authority may permit the use of alternatives such as cleaning creams or gels, or sanitising wipes.
If you have access to water, you should set up a temporary hand washing facility that provides running water. You can do this by using a large water container with a tap at its base. Another container, such as a bucket, should collect the waste water, to keep the site dry and clean.
A supply of soap and paper towels must be provided at the hand-washing facility so that hand washing can be undertaken properly. Don’t forget to supply a bin for used towels too. This helps to keep the site tidy and prevents contamination from dirty hands and used towels.

Rubbish and Recycling
Rubbish bins and recycling bins will be required for the customers within the immediate area. Most customers will take the food away with them if the stall is in a crowded area. Ensure ample supplies of garbage bags are available (if used) or ensure there is a nearby place to empty the bin and insure the area is kept in a clean and healthy state.

Food choices
It may be a good idea for your club to consider different options including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or dairy free.

Additional Revenue Opportunities
Revenue can be made from not only ticket sales but also activities held on the night such as auctions and raffles, as well as merchandise sales. Clubs with bar facilities can also look to make significant revenue from sales.

This links to other pages that have fundraising ideas that can run simultaneously, should the club like to.

Any specific suppliers or links for this particular fundraiser. Could be used for 3rd party advertising in the future.

This procedure should be treated as a guide only. Your club should seek advice specific to the needs of your club and event. Seek further details from authorities and service providers; especially in regards to insurance, licences, permits, spectator and participant safety.