How Much Should I Expect To Spend?
Wait . . . we forgot the ice! The rule of thumb is to estimate that each guest will require one pound of ice.
So, 100 guests means that you will need 100 pounds of ice. Based on this formula, you would need 10-10 lb. bags or 5-20 lb. bags of ice. I would suggest that you buy a few additional bags to chill the beer, white wine and Champagne (or sparkling wine).
Don't get too bogged down in the numbers. Relax. Your bartender will help you through this process. As a part of our service, we provide a bar consultation and a comprehensive bar shopping guide, should you decide to purchase your own alcohol and bar supplies.
" Knowing the drinking habits of your guests is a major plus."
" Opting for the higher quality, top-shelf brands can make a big difference in your bar costs."
Blame It On The Alcohol
" The trendiest option nowadays is the limited "beer and wine only" service."
Limit Your Bar
As mentioned in the previous post, a limited-service bar which means limiting your bar offerings, can be help cut down on bar costs. The trendiest option nowadays is the limited "beer and wine only" service. With this type of bar service, beer and wine are the only alcohols served at the bar. This is a very cost-effective option. Other limited options include signature/specialty cocktails, cocktail hours, and BYOBs. These will be discussed in detail, in next week's blog post.
We Love The Bartender
Finally, before I wrap this up, you need to determine how many bartenders you will need and the costs of their services. This is determined by the number of your guests. One bartender can accommodate 75 – 100 guests. I would suggest one bartender per 50 - 75 guests. That would make for a faster and more efficient bar service, especially if you plan to serve signature/ specialty cocktails. It would also cut down on the wait time and long lines at the bar.
Before contracting the services of a bartender, check out what the market rate is for bartenders in your area. You need to factor in the cost of their services, in addition to the cost of the alcohol. The costs will vary per bartender. Call around and get some quotes. Or, check out event hiring sites online like Gigsalad. Bear in mind that most companies require a minimum amount of hours to contract. At Mixin' Mimi, we require a four-hour minimum for our bartending services.
Also, be prepared to pay additional, in order to allow your bartender ample time to arrive at the venue and to set up the bar. Depending on the bartender's duties, I would say to allow at least an hour and a half to two hours for setup, and at least an hour to breakdown the bar. Finally, as mentioned in the previous post, make sure your bartender has liability insurance.
Whewwww! I think that just about covers it. Next week, more about limited-service bar options and an overview of some of the latest trends in wedding reception bar service. Until next time . . . serving up the art you can taste.