Running from 26 May to 1 June, the National BBQ Association estimates that seven million barbecues will be fired up nationally during the week.
Association president Brian George believes that the week would serve as an ideal starting-point for outlets wanting to offer cash-strapped customers a fun, yet affordable experience.
"In these tough economic times, it’s important for pubs to remain highly affordable with a fun edge, and barbecue food brings both in heaps," he explained.
According to George, the opportunity for alfresco dining was further enhanced by the upcoming football World Cup, and a number of other sporting events this summer.
"Evening patio dining will be a huge opportunity for pubs as the World Cup games are scheduled for late evenings," he said.
"Events like the World Cup, summer rugby tours and Wimbledon will increase consumer’s appetite for life alfresco as a means of beating those economic blues," George added.
Also returning this year is the Gastro Alfresco RoadShow, which will tour the country from the beginning of June until the end of August, offering advice to publicans keen to embrace alfresco eating.
The National BBQ Association backed up the announcements with a new survey that looked into the barbecue habits of 1,000 people.
The survey found that chicken (62%) is the preferred ‘protein’ choice of barbecue eaters, with burgers (43%) second, and sausages (48%) third. Seafood and vegetarian food both fare well, scoring 19% and 18% respectively.
Salad, with 67%, was the most preferred barbecue side dish option. Corn on the cob came second (48%), with potato salad (33%) third, and vegetables (29%) a close fourth.