Become a Bartender: Private Party Bartending Tips

Private parties are very profitable and fun to work. They are ideal for the person who wants to bartend occasionally for good money, but has a full time job. One of the biggest perks of working these events is the ability to network and make important contacts for other parties and job opportunities.

Clients who are looking to hire a private bartender are usually willing to pay very well because their party is very important to them. It might be a reunion, a business party, a wedding, or simply a gathering of influential friends. Regardless, the person or group throwing the party hired you as a professional and you need to be one.

Some basic guidelines and information needs to be discussed and agreed upon between you and the host before the event takes place:

First and most important, what day and time does the event start?

It's important that you allow for at least a half hour before the event for set up and a half hour at the end of the event for tear down. This needs to be included in you pay.

Second, how many guests will be attending the event?

For the most part, one bartender can take care of around one hundred and twenty five people. Any more than that and a second bartender need to be considered.

Third, how much will you get paid?

A normal going rate for a good private bartender is at least fifteen dollars an hour with the option of a tip jar. If no tips are allowed, then a tip at the end of the night from the client is custom.

Fourth, what are you expected to dress like during the event?

The standard dress for a bartender at a private party is black pants and shoes with a white shirt. Always ask to make sure, but if no dress code is discussed, black and white is customary.

Fifth, what's on the drink menu?

Ask what types of drinks will be served. Is the party serving beer, wine, mixed drinks, or specialty drinks? Make sure you know the mixtures of any specialty drinks and always carry your own wine and beer opener. Make sure the host has all the required liquor, beer and wine for you to make the appropriate drinks for the number of people attending the event.

When you first get to the venue, check in with the host and inspect the bar area. Know where all backup supplies are kept. Take inventory of the liquor and begin setting up the bar. Ice is crucial, so know where to get ice when you start running low. Cut any fruit garnishes and set some out on the bar as well as a backup. Know where the restrooms are located as you will be asked by the guests.

DO NOT drink or smoke while you are working. You need to be in control of the situation, and you are on the line if someone becomes to intoxicated. Let the host know of any problem guests so they can appropriately deal with any situations that may arise.

Be as helpful as possible at the end of the night during clean up and tear down. This will increase both your tip and chances of being asked back to bartend future events.

If you follow these steps, the guests, the host and you will have a great night. Be sure to have your bartending cards handy to pass out to future prospects and to leave with the host. You will most likely be asked back!


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