Every good host and hostess knows the importance of keeping their guests’ drinks topped up, and it can be a lot of fun paying bartender to your friends, particularly with the dazzling array of cocktails you can make at home. But if you’re throwing a larger party, you could find yourself spending most of the evening stuck in the kitchen, which is one reason why people have started hiring licensed bartenders to keep the cocktails flowing.
There are several ways to find bartenders for hire. If you want maximum convenience and don’t mind paying a little extra, there are plenty of full-service bartending companies offering different packages to suit your individual needs and budget. A full-service company should rent out the bartenders plus all the mixing and serving equipment, including coolers and drink mixers. Some will even clear up afterwards. All you need to provide is the alcohol and the party.
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, you can rent a bartender from a bartending staffing agency. If you choose this service, you will need to provide the mixing and serving equipment, as well as the alcohol, and you may also be required to provide your bartender with a tip, but this will still be less expensive than full-service, and is a good choice for smaller parties.
When choosing where to rent your bartender, call a few companies to compare their prices and the different services they offer. You should be able to find some local companies online, or, if you’re hiring a venue, ask if there’s anyone they can recommend. Once you have decided on a company, make sure you find out exactly what you are expected to provide in terms of equipment, so there’s no confusion on the day. They will also need to know how many bartenders you want to hire - a good rule of thumb is one for every fifty guests.
If you prefer to find a bartender yourself, you can ask staff in local bars if they do freelance work, or post an advertisement online. This does mean you will have to check your bartender’s qualifications yourself, however, so make sure the person you choose is a qualified bartender, and has an alcohol license. You will also need to agree on a dress code and a fee beforehand. In this case you will likely have to provide the equipment and alcohol, but as before, check with your bartender exactly what they will need.
Why you need a licensed bartender
There are plenty of reasons to hire a bartender, but surely the most important of all is that you get to enjoy your own party. With your bartender in charge of the drinks, you can relax and spend time with your guests. A professional bartender will help everything run smoothly, keeping things moving so no one is waiting at the bar for too long, and making sure the bar area is clean and tidy. They won’t over-pour the drinks, and can deal tactfully with anyone who seems like they’ve drunk too much.
Your bartender can even advise you on how to stock your bar. Before any big party, there’s always the dilemma of how much of each type of alcohol to buy. Too little and you risk your bar running dry, too much and you’re left with a cupboard full of obscure mixers when the party’s over. As a professional mixologist, your bartender can use their experience to work out how much of everything a party of your size is likely to need.
As well as taking the stress out of organising an event, having a bartender will make everything just that little bit more fun. Your guests can order whatever cocktails their hearts desire, and a professional bartender will make it just the way they like it. Plus, people always enjoy watching a talented mixologist at work, and while we can’t promise an acrobatic bartender, it’s still pretty impressive watching an expert making your favourite cocktail.
Cocktail bars for hire
If your venue doesn’t have a bar, you can hire that too. Bar hire companies also provide a range of options, from a ‘dry bar’ if you have your own alcohol and bartenders, to the full package, complete with bartenders, alcohol, and everything you need to mix a drink, down to a working sink and coolers. They can also provide card machines and cash registers if you’re running a paying bar. Let your bar hire company know how many guests will be attending, and don’t forget to mention the size of the venue - you will need to make sure the bar fits properly into the space.
A bar makes a great centrepiece, and most companies will have different types, whether you prefer a vintage wooden bar, a sleek, modern bar with LED lighting, or something completely different. Some companies will even customise your bar for you, so you can select a theme, pick out your own colour scheme, and add those extra special touches, like a tower of champagne glasses or a carved ice sculpture.