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How to Choose a Bartender for your Event
Posted on March 30th, 2011

Organizing an event can become a real challenge especially if its success is a determinant factor for your business’s growth. It is a tedious task which, if done well, may become a rewarding experience. To reach the best possible results one should pay attention to every single detail of theevent organizing procedure.

Choosing a professional bartender is critical for your event’s success. It is worth spending time on selecting a bartender who best suits your needs. Professional and well trained bartenders do not only mix and serve drinks, but also provide entertainment for your guests.

To make a right choice read our recommendations on how to find a bartender who will make a success of your event.

Bartender’s trainings and experience

Make sure that the bartender received trainings at bartending schools and was awarded a license for bartending. It is absolutely necessary that your bartender has at least a few months actual experience in an actual bar.

Answering your calls

Private party bartenders usually have their own business and/or personal phone. That is OK unless they answer with professionalism, i.e. instead of saying “hello” will introduce themselves by their business name.


The existence of a business website is a big plus for a bartender. First of all it shows that they take their business seriously. Secondly it provides you with all the necessary information about the bartender such as contact info, pictures, videos, testimonials, links to other party professionals, etc..


Responsiveness is another factor that is worth taking into consideration when choosing a bartender. If they respond to your emails with delays, then you should consider the candidacy of another bartender.

Readiness to travel

If you have chosen a non-local bartender, find out how willing they are to travel. Do they charge a gas subcharge to be present at your event? In case they do, make sure it isn’t more than $40. If the charge is higher it makes no sense to invite that bartender and you will probably need to find another one.

Make sure that bartender has at least General Liability insurance.

Small or large bartending businesses?

This depends on your personal preferences since both have their advantages and disadvantages. Hiring from a large bartending business is good since you may be sure they have a lot of experience, testimonials and happy customers and the chances that they will say “we’re booked out for that night” are smaller. However, the person you will talk to on the phone will not be the bartender himself. On the other hand, a small bartending business may not have such a broad experience but most likely the actual owner will be bartending your event. So the choice is up to you.

The arrival time

Your bartender should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your event. Discuss this beforehand and make sure to reach a final agreement on it.

Bartending supplies

Ensure that your bartender brings the minimum required supplies (mixing supplies, ice bins, wine key, speed pourer spouts for liquor bottles, towels, bottle opener, garnish tray, knife, cutting board, blender, etc.).

Portable bar

Find out whether or not they have available portable bars beforehand and don’t allow them to charge more than $50 extra for this service.

Shopping list

After booking you should be given a free customized shopping list, which should include not only alcohol products but also measurements, garnishes, accessories and brands.

Cocktail menu

Ask the bartending service to provide you with a cocktail menu, based on your specifications at no additional charge.

Party planning tips

A private party bartender should be able to provide you with all the necessary information concerning party planning and especially the bar.

Preferred vendors

Your bartenders should have a list of preferred vendors and should be able to refer you to a reputable DJ, photographer, event planner or any other event/party professional you need.

Free pre-party setup

Bartenders should be able to arrive early and make the pre-party set-up for free.


Appearance is also important when choosing a bartender. Bartenders are mostly dressed with the traditional bow tie and vest even if they are female. If you prefer a different look, talk about it just from the beginning to find out how flexible they are in their looks.


Don’t look for a bartending service at very low or expensive prices. The required fee should be moderate. If a bartender service charges $300 for 4 hours plus gratuity but doesn’t provide you with a shopping list, cocktail menu, a list of preferred vendors,party planning tips, etc, you should seriously consider finding another bartender. It should be clear for you that you get what you pay for and in case you want premium services, you should be ready to pay premium prices.

Follow our tips during the event planning process and make your event management easier.


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