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Grill­par­tys von Wohltätigkeit­sor­gan­i­sa­tio­nen haben in Aus­tralien eine lange Tra­di­tion – wobei die Großzügigkeit der dort an­säs­si­gen Un­ternehmen eine Sch­lüs­sel­rolle spielt.

Spotlight - - FROM THE EDITOR -

Peter Flynn on sell­ing sausages for a good cause

I’ve vol­un­teered to work on a Satur­day af­ter­noon at a great Aus­tralian fundraiser this month: the sausage siz­zle. In the course of the day, we will raise about A$ 1,500 sell­ing bar­be­cued beef sausages in bread rolls topped, if you want, with fried onions, tomato sauce and mus­tard. The wor­thy cause this time will be breast can­cer re­search, be­cause one of my friends is a 20-year sur­vivor of the dis­ease, and she has been a sup­porter of the Can­cer Coun­cil ever since she re­cov­ered. But it could be any char­ity, com­mu­nity group or sport­ing club, be­cause across the coun­try, the hum­ble sausage siz­zle has be­come an in­sti­tu­tion and a top fundrais­ing event.

You may be con­fi­dent that most peo­ple can­not re­sist the smell of bar­be­cued onions. The prized lo­ca­tion these days, though, is just out­side the en­trance to any of the hun­dreds of Bun­nings hard­ware stores. These are mega-ware­houses that at­tract thou­sands of cus­tomers on Satur­days and Sun­days. For the event, the com­pany pro­vides al­most ev­ery­thing from the tent, bar­be­cue and gas to the ta­bles and a sink — though not the sausages and bread rolls them­selves. Places are booked up to six months in ad­vance.

My daugh­ter’s soc­cer club was once lucky enough to or­ga­nize a sausage siz­zle on Fa­ther’s Day, sell­ing 100 sausages an hour be­tween eight in the morn­ing and four in the af­ter­noon, along with hun­dreds of cans of soft drink or bot­tled wa­ter. Even though prices are fixed at A$ 2.50 for the sausage siz­zle and A$ 1.50 for the drinks, the profit mar­gins are huge, thanks to a lot of the food be­ing do­nated or dis­counted by lo­cal butch­ers and su­per­mar­kets.

In a so­cial-me­dia sen­sa­tion last year, a bo­gan trades­man took his en­tire wed­ding party to Bun­nings for the sausage siz­zle. The store man­ager then gifted the cou­ple a new vac­uum cleaner. An­other devo­tee is known reg­u­larly to send his drone to fetch him a sausage.

In more re­cent years, the “democ­racy sausage siz­zle” has be­come part of elec­tions, with com­pul­sory vot­ing here caus­ing long queues at polling booths. An­other big day will be out­side bet­ting shops on Mel­bourne Cup Day (al­ways the first Tues­day in Novem­ber), when hav­ing a gam­ble is al­most as com­pul­sory as vot­ing.

No mat­ter what the lo­ca­tion is, the pro­ce­dure is the same for us old hands. Four peo­ple per shift is the op­ti­mal num­ber: one tak­ing the or­ders and money, one cook­ing and two putting the sausages into the rolls wrapped in a paper servi­ette. Peo­ple help them­selves to the sauce and mus­tard.

Cus­tomers come mainly in two va­ri­eties: those who want fried onions (adults gen­er­ally) and those who don’t (usu­ally lit­tle kids). Oc­ca­sion­ally, they want the sausage only, with no bread (that could be for the dog), and some­times they want only the onion in a roll but no sausage (“failed veg­e­tar­i­ans”, I call them). Us work­ers, though, won’t want to see a sausage siz­zle for an­other six months.

PETER FLYNN is a pub­lic-re­la­tions con­sul­tant and so­cial com­men­ta­tor who lives in Perth, West­ern Aus­tralia.

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