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The Ultimate Bunnings Sausage Sizzle Guide

Bunnings sausage sizzles are an iconic Australian fundraiser, and a great opportunity for local community groups, not for profits and charities to raise much needed funds for their cause. It's a well supported fundraiser; you could almost say it was un-Australian to not grab a snag when leaving the store.

We've done our fair share of sizzles, and put together this super handy guide to help your day be as successful as possible.

*Please note - all of our sausage sizzles have been held in Perth, Western Australia. Rules and requirements may change by store and state*

How do you get started?

You can request to book a sausage sizzle at your local Bunnings store. This will be the store in the same local area your community group, not for profit or charity is based. If you are not sure which Bunnings store is your local, call a store in your area and speak to the Warehouse Activities Organiser. They will be able to point you in the right direction.

Bookings generally open twice a year, around November for January to June of the following year, and again around May for July to December. We have been previously been allocated two sizzles per year, one in the first half, one in the second, but some stores may be more flexible. Depending on the area your local store covers bookings can fill quickly, so it pays to get in touch with your Warehouse Activities Organiser as soon as possible.. Once your sizzle is booked, you will be sent a confirmation email which needs to be signed and returned along with a Certificate of Currency for your Public Liability Insurance.

TIP: If your store is fully booked, ask the Warehouse Activities Officer to add you to the wait list for when the next booking period opens.

Your sizzle is booked.. What do you do next?

It's time to organise your helpers! Divide your day into manageable shifts, and work out how many people you need for each timeslot. Prior to COVID restrictions, we were able to run the sizzle with three to four helpers for the morning and afternoon shift,, and a fifth helper during the lunch rush (generally one afternoon shift volunteer would come slightly early, or a morning shift volunteer would stay a little longer). In Western Australia, we are currently required to have five people rostered on at all times during the day in the following positions:

- BBQ Captain. This is a key volunteer to ensure the fundraiser runs smoothly and is successful.

- Greeter. Customer focused, this volunteer assists the customer with physical distancing requirements, and provides instructions on how to order and collect their purchase.

- Order. Takes customer orders and communicates this to other volunteers.

- Cook. This one is straight forward!

- Collect. Apply sauce to orders, provide to customer.

For more details regarding the responsibilities of each of these positions, see your Bunnings Community Group Flow Chart, which will be provided as part of your BBQ Paperwork.

Here's a copy of our roster for an 8am - 4pm sizzle. We are required to start cooking at 7.30am, and have sausage sizzles available to purchase from 8am until 4pm. Our sausage sizzles have been for a basketball club, so in each timeslot we roster two players, and a parent or responsible adult for each player. A club representative is the captain.

TIP: You will need to roster a responsible adult on the first and last shift for setup and pack up. Both of these events should be checked by a Bunnings Representative.

Purchasing your supplies

In order to maximise your profit, it is important to keep costs as low as possible. As well as purchasing at low prices, catering as accurately as you can to the day's sausage sizzle sales will avoid wastage and save money.

The big question is, how many sausages and rolls should you purchase? Your Warehouse Activities Officer will provide a guide on how many sausages you should expect to sell. This can vary depending on the weather, and the time of year. For example, on a rainy winter's day you are likely to sell less sausage sizzles than on a 30 degree day in early December, when people are visiting Bunnings in order to get their homes ready for Christmas.

TIP: For a more accurate estimate, pop down to the sizzle on the weekend before yours, and ask the community group how may sausages they have sold. We have sold as little as 396 to as many as 872 at the same location on the same day of the week, so numbers can vary greatly.

To keep costs down

- Purchase water, cool drink and sauce on sale at your local supermarket. For drinks, you should be aiming for a maximum spend of 50c a can. With clever buying, you can get this down to 40c.

- Approach your local butcher, baker or supermarket to see if they can support you, either by providing supplies at a discounted price or donating a gift card.

- Use online coupon codes at Woolworths and Coles to further reduce the cost of your purchases. With some clever Googling you should be able to receive a minimum of $10 off your order, but a good promo code could give you a discount of up to $25. @ShoppingScrooge regularly posts validated promo codes for Woolworths and Coles.

- Use e-gift cards. Some memberships allow you to purchase gift cards at discount, for example RACWA offers members a 3% discount on Woolworths e-gift cards. This reduces your overall spend, and 3-gift cards can be used in conjunction with a promo code to boost your savings.

- Order rolls and sausages in advance, and don't forget to call the day before to confirm your order. Last minute purchasing will drive up your purchase price.

We've created a handy Bunnings Sausage Sizzle Shopping List for you to make sure you have all of your purchases covered. You can also download the list in pdf format.
The float

You will need a float in a secure tin for cash purchases. Some Bunnings sizzlers are offering cashless payment, but most purchasers are still expecting to pay in cash.

We use a float of $150, broken down as follows

$20 x 2
$10 x 3
$5 x 4
$2 x 20
$1 x 10
50c x 20

 

TIP: Make sure your closing captain knows the value of the float. At the end of the day, this will need to be deducted from the total cash takings to calculate your profit.

 

The day before

Double check you have all of the supplies you need for your sizzle, and send out a reminder to your volunteers, letting them know who the captain is for each timeslot. Remind volunteers they will need to wear enclosed shoes, a hat and a shirt with sleeves.

Cut onions, and pack them in zip lock bags. We cut ours outside using a mandolin, and each family member gets a job. One tops and tails the onions, one peels and one slices. We refer to this as family bonding time, but in truth there is not much bonding going on!

Cut approximately 100 rolls three quarters of the way through, wrap them in serviettes, and return them to their original packaging. The remaining rolls can be cut onsite on the morning of the sizzle, which is normally a quieter shift. This keeps the volunteers busy. (Western Australia is the only state to provide rolls for our sausage sizzles. All other states are able to use bread).

TIP: We only came across this hot tip last year! Previously we had one person volunteer to cut 15-20kg of onions, and bring them to the sizzle for the first shift. This is a very smelly and onerous task. Now we ask each family to bring 2kg of chopped onions when they arrive for their shift. This shares the load and the smell - many hands make light work!

You will need to make sure you pack all of the equipment you need to run the sizzle on the day. Here's our Bunnings Sausage Sizzle Equipment Checklist to make that task easier.

On the day

It's finally time to raise some funds!

Purchase ice on the way to the sizzle to keep drinks, onions and sausages cool in their eskies. We purchase 9 bags at the start of the day.

TIP: Our local Bunnings store sells ice, but we aren't able to purchase ice until the store is open for business. This means that during the day we can restock ice from Bunnings, but ice for the first shift needs to be purchased elsewhere.

On arrival, most Bunnings stores will require you to setup the BBQ area in the morning. Make sure your morning shift volunteers are capable of setting up, as this can require some heavy lifting and maneuvering. You will also need to pack up at the end of the day - if you work out any tips or tricks, communicate those with the afternoon shift volunteers.

Place the eskies close to the volunteers who will need to access to them the most, and make sure excess drinks, sauces and other supplies not currently being used are tucked away safely under a table, keeping the floor space as free as possible.

In the morning while the sizzle is quiet, cut the remaining bread rolls, wrap them in serviettes and return them to their original packaging. This helps during the chaos of the lunch rush.

Through out the day, regularly refill sauces, restock drinks in eskies and tidy the sizzle area. Keep an eye on your supplies, and if you think you will run out of a critical item call the Captain on the next shift. They can purchase any additional items on the way to the sizzle.

Communication is key to smooth sausage sizzle. Remind the volunteers to let the cashier take the customer's order without disruption. Once the cashier has taken the order, ask them to call the sizzle order out loudly so the Cook and Order person can hear. We call out 'ONE WITH' for a sausage with onion, or 'ONE WITHOUT' for a sausage in a bun. This keeps us working together as a well oiled machine. That's until the lunch rush starts, and you hear 'SEVEN WITH' or 'ONE WITH, BUT WITH TWO SAUSAGES IN ONE BUN AND ONE SAUSAGE WITH NO BUN IN A SERVIETTE FOR THE DOG'! Don't forget suggestive selling techniques - you will be surprised how many times the question 'would you like a drink with your order' is answered with 'yes please!'.

TIP: Your Cook plays a very pivotal role in the success of your sausage sizzle. Not only do they need to cook sausages and onions to a good standard, rotating food to avoid overcooking, they need to continuously load uncooked food on the BBQ to ensure they don't run out. There is nothing worse than a long line of snag hungry DIYers waiting for snags to cook! Keep an eye on the Cook to make sure they are keeping up with demand, and step in and lend a hand if needed.

When it's time for a shift change and the new volunteers arrive, work out who is taking over each position, and show them where to find items they will need to perform their role. Make sure the new shift captain knows how many drinks, sausages and rolls remain available, and where any excess stock is being stored.

TIP: You must remove your rubbish at the end of the day, it is not able to be disposed of in the Bunnings Warehouse bins.. At the end of each shift, ask a volunteer to take a bag of rubbish with them to dispose of at home. This avoids the volunteers on the last shift being overwhelmed with rubbish and recycling.

As it heads towards the end of the day, start packing away unused items, and cleaning and tidying the sizzle area. While you are required to have sausage sizzles available until a set time (for us it's normally 4pm), we make sure our area is as clean as possible and packed up as much as possible by around 3.30pm. We just keep a small number of sausages and onion on the BBQ for the latecomers. This means we can finalise the pack up and leave as soon as possible after shutting down the BBQ.

Once the sizzle has closed and you have packed up, you will be required to inform a Bunnings Representative of the total funds raised from the sizzle on the day. Have your purchase costs already tallied, and add the cost of any extra purchases made throughout the day (such as ice) as they occur. Total the cash received on the day, less the float, and you will be able to calculate your profit.

TIP: For security reasons, it's best not to leave all of your cash takings at the sizzle all day. On Saturdays our local bank open until 1pm, so we bank the morning's sales proceeds at lunchtime.. Alternatively, count and send home some of the sales proceeds with a trustworthy volunteer part way through the day.

What if you have supplies left at the end of the sizzle?

Do you have another sausage sizzle booked? Water and soft drinks will keep until your next event, and sausages, rolls and even chopped onion can be frozen for a certain amount of time if freezer space is available. If you don't have any future sizzles booked, or you want to maximise your cash return, try selling the perishable items to family, friends or volunteers at cost or slightly below. You can also contact the fundraiser running the sizzle the following day or week, and offer to sell them items at a discounted price. We have even put together BBQ packs on our local Facebook Community page, and sold a 24 pack of sausages with 24 buns at a discounted price.

SOCKABLE LEVEL EXPERT TIP: This one is not for the faint hearted!
So you're an excellent planner, you are supported by a great group of volunteers, and you can run a sausage sizzle with your eyes closed. You have forged relationships with your suppliers, and you know exactly what needs to be done to make a sizzle happen. Maybe you even enjoy hanging out at Bunnings Sausage Sizzles so much you just want more!

Let me tell you an insider secret.

Bunnings often have fundraisers cancel at very short notice (sometimes they just don't show up the day). What happens if there is no community group to run the sizzle? Bunnings has to provide their own staff and run it themselves. That means a Bunnings staffer has to go to the shop to purchase supplies with limited notice, and staff are taken from their rostered role in the Warehouse on the weekend to cook and serve snags. Bunnings doesn't like doing this, so they try to find another community groups to take on the sizzle at short notice. Sometimes the Warehouse Activity Organiser can can call 10 or more numbers, and still not find a volunteer to step up. If you want to boost your fundraising dollars, get on this list, and get to the top.
How do you do that? Let the Warehouse Activity Organiser know that if they have a cancellation, you are ready to go at short notice. When you get the call, say yes without hesitation.. Then turn up on the day and knock it out of the park. Once you've done this once, trust me you will head to the top of that list. The Warehouse Activity Organiser will be asked to share the cancellation sizzles around between fundraisers, but I can assure you that if the receive a short notice cancellation and know you will solve their problem, you will get the call. You may even be able to get on the short notice list at more than one store.

How do we know this? In 2019 we went as far as having a fully stocked BBQ kit ready to go at no notice. When we received a call with a day or two's notice, we only had to source rolls and sausages. Sometimes we received an incentive for running the sizzles at such short notice,, such as a gift voucher which you can sell or raffle, or a donation of supplies.

We can't tell you how many Bunnings Sausage Sizzles we ran in 2019 at short notice.. We can say it was a fantastic boost to our fundraising efforts to take a Varsity Girls and Varsity Boy's Basketball team on tour for 3 weeks around the USA in November the same year.

We hope you enjoyed The Ultimate Bunnings Sausage Sizzle Guide. Please share it with your friends, and we hope you are able to maximise your fundraising profit at your next sausage sizzle.

Brooke McCallum
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Fundraising ideas for Christmas

The lead up to Christmas is a perfect time to raise some funds for your cause. Even though we enter the chaotic season of working, shopping, catching up with friends and family, entertaining and preparing for the New Year. The best part of this time of the year, besides all the Christmas lights and decorations, is that everyone is looking for gifts for their family, friends and workmates. There are quite a few fundraisers that can help solve the problem of what to buy and you can be helping a cause or raising funds for your own cause.
Some ideas are listed below
- Socks
- Candles
- Chocolates
- Pegs
- Soaps
- Ginger bread houses
- Sunscreen
- First Aid Kits
- Christmas Cards
Look out for those items that have a Christmas theme. They sell extremely well before Christmas.
Brooke McCallum
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Fundraising for schools

Schools not only benefit from the money raised in a school fundraiser but it can also bring the community together and provide students with a sense of achievement. Participating in a fundraiser that has an order form system can help students develop communication skills, improve confidence and give students a feeling of accomplishment. The money raised can provide additional resources for the schools and can help with purchasing much needed equipment. The money can also be put towards reducing expenses for parents for excursions and other school activities.
The order form system has no-up-front costs and doesn't leave the schools with any excess stock. Students take home an order form and collect as many orders from family and friends. Order forms will have a due by date where the orders and money will be collected by the fundraising co-ordinator. The orders will then be fulfilled by the fundraising company and returned to the school for distribution.
Look for fundraising ideas that provide this service to help raise money for schools.
Brooke McCallum
Read more

Fundraising: How to get the most out of your members/volunteers

Set a target and let everyone know what that is
Give each member a goal
Be specific on your fundraising expectations
Give realistic deadlines
Provide flexibility for your members where possible
Provide an incentive or reward for the highest fundraiser
Use the skill sets of each member
Divide tasks up that are time consuming
Use the principle "the money raised comes off your own individual bill"
Hold regular meetings to discuss how your fundraising event is going
Remind your members of the end goal and target
Choose fundraisers that everyone can be involved in regardless of age or qualification so you can share the load
Provide smaller goals that are achievable so you can see that the work being done is helping you achieve your end target
Say Thank you
 
Happy Fundraising!
Brooke McCallum
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Tips to help Reduce Fundraising Expenses

When we are organising a fundraising campaign there are simple and efficient ways to reduce your expenses. These simple tips may help in reducing the costs to run your fundraising campaign. They can also help in reducing the expenses of the event for which you are fundraising for. For groups who are fundraising to take a group interstate or overseas or to a carnival or event you can reduce expenses in both areas. You can reduce your expenses in your fundraising campaign to maximise the money raised and you can reduce your budget expenses on the trip your group is taking.
Here are some tips so you can be rewarded with more money to use towards your cause.
* plan your fundraising campaign.
* make a financial goal and stick to your budget.
* ask for donations - Ask businesses, individuals and members.
* ask for sponsorship - This is a form of advertising for businesses. Put your sponsors logo on your new uniforms.
* know your prices of products - If buying sausages, know where you can buy them at the lowest cost per sausage.
* shop around for sale items - Look out for sale items. Many of the big supermarkets have products on sale that can be used in your fundraising campaign.
* look for discount codes when buying items - you can often get shopping codes for use when buying from the big supermarkets. Shopping Scrooge will give you codes to use at Woolworths and Coles - the hard work done for you. Check them out on Facebook.
* use no-up-front cost fundraising campaigns
* know the skill sets of your members - Can a member MC a quiz night instead of paying for one.
* ask members to help with the fundraiser - Who can help with cutting onions instead of buying pre-cut onions.
* look for local and state grants that are available - these will vary between states
* book venues, flights, accommodation and transport early - Look for pop up sales and get in early. Prices will be higher the closer you are to your event. * ask for discounts for group bookings
I hope these simple tips will help your fundraising campaign.
Happy fundraising!
Brooke McCallum
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How to start a fundraiser without high upfront expenses

Many fundraising campaigns require groups to buy products or pay for services before they launch their fundraiser. This means money is coming out of the bank before anything is coming back in. If you are a group with limited funds you may need to look at fundraising alternatives to begin your fundraising campaign or different ways to get your campaign up and running.
* A great way to reduce up-front costs is to ask businesses to donate products or services. This can be time consuming and someone has to find the right people to ask, but it can be very rewarding for your fundraising campaign.
* Some fundraising companies will give you a payment term that allows you to pay 30 days after delivery of goods. If you plan your fundraising campaign well you may be able to sell all goods within the payment time frame.
* There are fundraisers that have no up-front costs. You receive orders for the product from supporters. You then order the required amount of products and when the products are delivered to you, you hand them out to your supporters.
* On-line fundraisers are a great way to fundraise without up front costs. They can allow supporters to buy directly from a website and the money raised will go directly to the fundraising group. No up front costs or handling of money. Sockable have a Do It For Me service which was developed to allow groups to fundraise during COVID-19.
Brooke McCallum
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Does fundraising have to be time consuming?

It can be very time consuming for the fundraising committee, or sometimes a single person, to organise any fundraising event. If you can get a fundraising product delivered to your door already packed it reduces the time you have to spend organising the fundraiser. No printing tickets, no finding donations, no organising venues or times. Products delivered to your door. You hand the products out to your group. Collect the money and your done!
Sockable provides just this service. Sock packs delivered straight to your door in sellable packs.
Brooke McCallum
Read more

Adapting fundraising to suit COVID-19

COVID-19 has made 2020 a very different year. With many groups still needing much needed funds to continue to operate they are looking for different ways to fundraise. Hands free. Contactless. COVID-19 friendly. Easy to organise. Sockable are offering two different options to help groups raise much needed funds with funky socks. The COVID-19 friendly service allows groups to have a dedicated fundraising page on the Sockable website where they will have 8 funky socks to sell. Groups will need to promote the page and Sockable will deliver the socks directly to supporters. No up front costs. No handling of products. Sockable will set up your dedicated page. All that is required from the group is active promoting of the fundraiser. Set a goal and let all your loyal supporters know you require much needed funds.
Brooke McCallum
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Can we bring the FUN back into fundraising?

That is a great question. Every year I dread my children coming home and saying "Mum, we need to sell x amount of tickets or x amount of products". Don't get me wrong. I love helping my kids groups' achieve their goals. It can just be daunting when we are being asked to fund raise with the same items every year. And even more daunting when us adults have to organise, sell and often attend all the fundraising ventures. Fundraising could be made so much easier if there is something new, something fun and something for everyone. Something different.
 
So what is the solution to bringing the FUN back into fundraising. Sockable.
 
Funky, fun socks that everyone can wear. They are comfortable, wearable, fashionable and definitely sellable. Fun socks not only target the kids, the adults absolutely love them (especially those who wear suits). Who wouldn't smile when they saw someone wearing pink flying pigs, colourful donuts or cute bunnies? It is one small way to brighten your day and maybe even brighten someone else's. And it is not the same products that you have always tried to sell. It is FUNdraising for everyone, done by everyone and those funky socks can definitely put a smile on your face. Something different. Something new. Something FUN.
Brooke McCallum
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Fundraising for Junior Sport

Fundraising for junior sport? Here are a few quick tips to help you run a successful fundraising campaign.

Communicate in a way that can be readily accessed

Communication is key! To fundraise effectively, parents need to know what is happening and when in order to get involved. You can nominate a team Mum or Dad to be the central contact, who can send out information and reminders on fundraising events. You can try email, Facebook Groups, or Team App as communication tools. Just make sure everyone in the group can access it!

Tell your story

We all know junior sport is not about winning or losing. I am a firm believer that sports teaches children life skills. In the right environment, children learn to respect their team mates, the coach, the opposition and the game officials. A great sports team or club has a positive impact in their community. Share the skills you teach players and the mission of your club. Parents, players and sponsors will want to be involved if they share your vision.

Don't overload parents and players

As well as sporting commitments, your players will have school obligations and deadlines, and most likely work if they are teens. Parents are busier than ever. Holding too many events will lead to low participation rates. The easier the event is for parents, the more likely they will attend! Try to hold major events shortly before or after your regular sporting season. If you do run in season events, do your best to make it during regular training days and times.

Don't underestimate your impact

Sporting clubs play an important role in the local community. Share your club or organisation's success as part of your fundraising campaigns, and promote the valuable service you provide.

Happy Fundraising!
Brooke McCallum
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Fundraising Ideas: Finding the Best Ones for your Group

On the surface, finding fundraising ideas is easy. Get together a group of parents or volunteers for a brainstorming session, and you will likely get a list of ideas ranging from garage sales to colour runs!
 
It is not simply a matter of picking any idea that you think is fun and giving it a go. To be successful at fundraising, you carefully need to consider which ideas work well for your group. Choosing the wrong idea can waste time, money, and effort for little or no financial return. A fundraiser with a poor result may also deflate the morale and motivation of your group, or even worse, create a financial loss. This means you need to raise even more funds to cover the expense of your last fundraiser - that is not an ideal situation to be in!
 
There are a few things that separate a good fundraising idea from a bad one:
 
•Cost of getting going should be what you can afford to spend
 
•Good use of resources and talents
 
•You have enough people power - or can get enough for it
 
•It is a theme appropriate idea for your group
 
•It is appropriate for the size of your group
 
•It does not require expensive resources you do not have
 
•It is likely to appeal to your potential buyers or participants
 
•It gives added value to your buyers, sponsors or participants - your donors will feel that they are getting something from the experience
 
•It will bring in the required money.
 
Don't forget fundraising should be fun, and the easier the better!
 
Happy Fundraising!
Brooke McCallum
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