The amount of people you will be expecting at your party is not the only factor that comes into play when hiring the appropriate amount of bartenders for your event. Will you be serving a specialty cocktail? Will it be mixed individually or in a batch? Will you have a full bar or limited options? How about glassware? Will you be using disposable cups?
These are some of the questions you should ask before coming up with a staffing budget for your bar. Specialty & craft cocktails take extra time and finesse to make and consequently the line to the bar moves slowly. While Full bar options give the guests a multitude of choices it also causes the line to stagnate. In these instances, you would want to have more bartenders available to keep the line running smoothly and the guests happy. Considering glassware over disposable cups? If you go with the glassware option realize that the glassware will need to be bussed and accounted for throughout the night. It is important to know what you would like to serve and how you would like to serve it before you can address the question of bar staff for your event.
Our suggestions for a party of 150
Full Bar (3 staff +1 with glassware)
Beer & Wine (2 staff +1 with glassware)
This doesn’t have to be hard. Once you have chosen the type of bar you will be offering, stock accordingly. There are roughly 25 oz in a 750 ml bottle of liquor. Usually, bartenders pour 1.5 oz drinks for your guests, so for every bottle of liquor expect 16 drinks. Wine bottles usually have 4 servings each. Make sure you have at least 1 red and 1 white option especially when going with a beer and wine bar. When choosing beer, try to offer a light, medium, & darker option. The length of the party does factor in here so use the 1.5 drink per hour ratio. Lastly, don’t forget the proper garnishes, mixers & ice! I have had clients ask me to make them something special only to find they bought lots of liquor but no mixers. If you have questions about types of mixers to buy you can always ask your liquor provider or your staffing company for suggestions.
Strategic placement of the bar is more about the flow of traffic than aesthetics. Oftentimes, the visually appealing thing to do does not work for the overall function of the bar at your party. Try to pick a location that encourages movement of your guests and doesn’t block other high traffic areas, like buffet area or dance floors. When planning on placement of the bar, also make sure there is plenty of space for coolers, back-up alcohol & mixers. Giving people room to move about keeps the party lively and encourages mingling.
When it comes to your party, wedding, or special event, these tips can ensure you get the most out of your bartenders no matter what the occasion.
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