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10 Tips for Hiring Bartenders for your Next Private Party

There are 3 things every good private party needs: Great music, lively guests, and a stocked bar. However, the thing about a stocked bar is: it’s useless unless there’s a person behind it who knows how to prepare everyone’s favorite drinks and cocktails and keep the party going (while also making sure no one is over-served). And while you could be the individual running around ensuring everyone’s glasses are full, why when you can hire private party bartenders who will save you money, time, and make sure you actually have fun at your private party.

Accordingly, we chatted with numerous bartending experts, who run a professional bartending service to find out what you should keep in mind when hiring a bartender for your private party. From signature cocktails to champagne toasts, he filled us in on all of the details for a great fun night. Cheers!

Set a Date, Time, And Place

Definitely, it sounds obvious; however, the first thing you’ll have to know when hiring bartenders for private events is when and where you’re throwing a party. In spite of everything, there’s no point in continuing the conversation if the bartender is out of his area of service or if he is not available that day.

Make sure if the Bartender is State Licensed

This doesn’t matter if you’re throwing the party in a private space; however, most of the venues won’t allow bartenders who aren’t licensed to serve drinks and the last thing you need on the day of your party is a stocked bar with no one to make drinks or cocktails. That sounds like the saddest event ever.

The Responsibilities & Requirements Section

The responsibilities and requirements section is relatively simple. This is the section where, in bullet point form, you will write down the responsibilities and requirements of your bartender hired. Since these sections can tend to be extensive, it is better you use bullet points to make it readable. No candidate wants to sift through a block of text in a job description. The requirements will summarize the ability, experience level, and knowledge necessary to be hired. The responsibilities will summarize the duties of the bartender and day-to-day tasks.

Find out How Much Experience the Bartender Has

You similarly need to know what kind of experience he or she has, particularly if you’re going to have guests or a big crowd who will be demanding craft cocktails. And in this day and age, you’re possibly going to have at least a few of those.

Decide whether you’d need a Signature Cocktail

In most of the cases, bartenders like to find out if the host needs a specialty drink for the private party. Usually, guests rely on bartenders to come up with an idea based on the theme of the party, so after he gets an idea of what they might like, he’ll send them some drink ideas to pick from. Signature drinks are similarly a great way to save money if you’re on a tight budget; that way, you don’t certainly have to offer a full bar.

Finalize the Shopping List

Once you’ve figured out what your budget is and how many guests you are inviting, you should settle on what you wish to serve. The bartender you appoint should then be able to offer you a detailed list that includes everything from the ice to the booze to the garnish. In case you aren’t going to have sufficient time to do the shopping, see if the bartender is agreed to do it for you so that they can bring each and everything with them. Getting an extensive list from your bartender will even help you save time and money as everything you want will be calculated ahead of time so you won’t purchase unnecessary liquor that many times can’t be returned.

Find out How Many Bartenders you’ll Require

A perfect ratio is one bartender for every 50 guests; however, you’ll also need to consider hiring a bar-back to fetch ice and collect glasses so that the bartender doesn’t need to take a break from making cocktails or drinks.

Discuss the Dress Code

Usually, bartenders wear all-black unless a different dress code is specified. Still, he and his staff try to follow the dress code since they don’t want to stand out, therefore if there’s a theme, like a Halloween party, or “Roaring 20's,” they’ll show up in the proper attire. Just make sure to let your bartender know in advance.

Make a Plan for Underage Guests

According to bartending service experts, it’s good for the bartenders to know in advance if there will be children at the party and what you’d like them to be served, mainly because some of the venues won’t allow kids to request drinks or cocktails from the bar. In addition, tell your bartenders if they’ll have to check IDs. Everyone has that one nephew.

Handle the Details

It’s important that the bartender has contact details for any coordinators the day of the event, in case you aren’t going to be available. Furthermore, you’ll have to make sure your bartender has a back-up plan if he or she isn’t able to make it due to some reasons. You’ll similarly have to decide how you’d like to handle tips. (Will you be tipping the staff yourself or will there be a tip jar?) Lastly, everything, including overtime fees, deposits, cancellations, etc. should all be laid out clearly in a contract. Get everything in writing.

Lastly, try to have a great support system for your private party bartenders. Bartenders deal with a lot on a day to day basis. Making sure your private party bartender has a great supportive staff of security and barbacks makes it a lot easy for them to concentrate on their main initiative; making drinks for their customers.

Happy Hiring and Best of Luck!