The Do’s and Don’ts of Hiring Bartenders for Your Event

Discover The Do’s and Don’ts of Hiring Bartenders for Your Event

If you’ve decided to hire a bartender for your event, you’re on the right track, but here’s something you must know: not all bartenders are created equal. Depending on experience, skills and personality, they can make or break your private event. In fact, choosing the wrong one can lead to common challenges like long waits for drinks, inexperienced staff, or the dreaded self-service bar that leaves guests discontented.

Let us show the DOs and DON’Ts of hiring a bartender to ensure your event is successful and memorable.

The do’s of hiring bartenders

To ensure you’re getting top-notch professionalism and skill, you must:

  1. Seek out certified and experienced bartenders: Only hire professional bartenders who are certified. This is crucial for handling any situation that arises at your bar with finesse.
  2. Review past event references: Take the time to check online references from previous events. This will give you confidence in the bartender’s ability to deliver a successful service at your own event. Google Business Profile is a great too to check on reviews.
  3. Confirm knowledge of local alcohol laws: It’s essential that your bartender is well-versed in local alcohol regulations to avoid any legal issues that could arise during your event.
  4. Ensure proper certifications for safety: Verify that your bartenders hold up-to-date food handler’s cards to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and safety when serving drinks and food.

For a cohesive event experience:

  1. Match bartender skills with your event’s theme: Discuss your event’s theme and menu in detail with your bartender to ensure they can create a drink experience that complements the atmosphere you’re aiming for. Throwing a tropical themed party? Ask your bartender if they can make tropical cocktails.
  2. Coordinate the dress code: The bartender’s attire should be in line with the style and formality of your event to contribute to the overall aesthetic you’ve envisioned.
  3. Request a tailored bar experience: Don’t hesitate to ask for a drink menu and bar setup that’s customized to the unique theme and style of your event.

To achieve operational excellence:

  1. Discuss venue logistics in advance: Collaborate with your bartender to understand the venue’s limitations and requirements, ensuring they can provide impeccable service no matter the setting.
  2. Check on inventory management skills: A competent bartender should be able to manage inventory effectively, advising you on the right quantities to avoid running out or overstocking.
  3. Confirm flexibility for special requests: Your bartender should be adaptable, and ready to cater to any special dietary needs or drink preferences your guests may have.

For guest satisfaction and interaction:

  1. Expect proactive and attentive service: Insist on bartenders who are not just prompt but also engaging, ensuring every guest feels valued and taken care of.
  2. Include non-alcoholic options: Make sure to offer a selection of creative mocktails, ensuring that non-drinkers have delightful options to enjoy.
  3. Encourage bartenders to engage with guests: A great bartender should enhance the event’s atmosphere through positive social interactions with your guests.

For a comprehensive and flexible service:

  1. Inquire about specialty drinks and ingredients: Ensure your bartender is capable of incorporating any special ingredients or signature drinks that align with your event’s needs.
  2. Ensure teamwork among staff: If your event requires multiple bartenders, confirm that they have the ability to work together seamlessly to provide smooth service.
  3. Assess crowd management abilities: Your bartender should be skilled at handling busy periods with ease, ensuring that every guest is served without unnecessary delay.
  4. Opt for a service that offers full setup and breakdown: Choose a bartender service that provides a comprehensive package. Here at The Clever Barkeep, we include setup, operation, and cleanup in our bartending packages..

To ensure a transparent and responsible service:

  1. Demand responsible alcohol service: Safety first—make sure your bartender service is committed to responsible alcohol service and can tactfully manage situations involving overconsumption.
  2. Seek clear pricing upfront: Work with a bartender service that offers transparent pricing and provides a detailed breakdown of all costs to prevent any surprises.
  3. Prioritize hygiene and cleanliness: Strict hygiene protocols are non-negotiable. Ensure your bartender service adheres to the highest cleanliness standards for their staff and equipment.

The Do's and Dont's of Hiring Bartenders for Your Event

The don’ts of hiring bartenders

Don’ts for ensuring a smooth and professional event experience:

  1. Don’t skip on verifying insurance and legal compliance: Confirm that the bartending service has liability insurance and is fully compliant with local alcohol laws to prevent any legal issues.
  2. Don’t overlook the details of service: Discuss what the bartenders will provide, whether they require assistance, and their break schedule to ensure uninterrupted service.
  3. Don’t leave hiring to the last minute: Start looking for bartenders early and establish a backup plan for emergencies or unexpected occurrences like a shortage of popular drinks.

Don’ts for creating the best guest experience:

  1. Don’t compromise on guest interaction: Select bartenders who are engaging and professional, capable of enhancing the guest experience with their service.
  2. Don’t neglect technology proficiency: If your event uses digital systems, the bartenders should be adept with the technology to maintain smooth service.

Don’ts for matching service to your event’s needs:

  1. Don’t settle for inflexible service packages: Demand tailored options and a detailed contract that outlines all services, responsibilities, and costs.
  2. Don’t underestimate the importance of relevant experience: Hire bartenders with experience in events similar to yours for optimal service.
  3. Don’t skip the venue walkthrough: Make sure the service is familiar with the venue to ensure seamless service and can handle the number of guests you’re expecting.

Don’ts for valuing feedback and quality:

  1. Don’t dismiss the importance of feedback: Choose a service that values client feedback and uses it to continually improve its offerings.
  2. Don’t accept mediocrity: Insist on a service that is committed to delivering the exceptional experience they advertise, including managing difficult situations and customizing drinks to perfection.

Now, when comparing bartending services, it’s essential to weigh your options. Ask potential bartending service providers about their experience with events similar to yours, and don’t shy away from requesting a detailed breakdown of their services and costs. Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best value for money. Read reviews, ask for testimonials, and if possible, arrange a tasting to see their skills in action.

How to ensure you’re making the right choice

With so many factors to consider, making the right choice can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Hiring the right bartender is more about finding someone who fits the specific needs of your event. So, make sure to craft a list with your event requirements, non-negotiables, budget and expectations.

At The Clever Barkeep, we pride ourselves on solving our clients’ problems with our experienced staff, insurance, and exceptional customer service. Our bartenders will leave your guests with lasting memories.

We can help you elevate your event from good to great and stress-free. Secure peace of mind, knowing that every aspect of your bar service will be handled with expertise and flair. Ready to make your event unforgettable? Contact us today for a consultation, and let’s craft a bar experience tailored just for you.


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