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How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Bartender?

Hosting an event such as a milestone birthday party or a wedding is normally a massive undertaking. When planning an event there are quite a few things that the host and planner need to consider. Most people think about finding the perfect venue, down to the perfect getaway car after an amazing wedding…however it is virtually impossible to imagine hosting a memorable event without champagne and signature cocktails. Most of the times the host and the guests want to be able to fully enjoy each moment of festivities, so hiring waitstaff and bartenders is a popular go to.

When hiring a private bartender there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Ask if the bartender is certified. The requirements vary from state to state, but a certificate is a proof that a bartender knows how to deal with guests under the influence of alcohol to avoid liability.

2. Check with the owners of the venue where you're looking to hold your event to find out what alcoholic beverages are allowed to be served (only wine/beer or liquor as well). Otherwise, you could be held liable.

3. Ask the bartender if he/she can make elaborate mixed drinks and what experience they have in general.

What is the average price for a bartender?

There are 2 basic pay structures for bartenders…Hourly and Flat rate. The average hourly payment is between $25-$50 per hour. The average flat rate cost ranges from $150 to $250. Most bartenders operate with a time minimum as well as a specific rate for additional hours outside of the contracted time.

Other factors that may have impact on the total cost?

1. How many people are attending the event. The more guests you have, the more money you will have to pay as one bartender may not be able to successfully execute their duties alone. If you hire two bartenders, the rates double.

2. Equipment for rent. Many bartenders offer additional items needed for the bar such as coolers, tables or portable bars. There may be a fee ranging from $20-$50 per item.

3. Gratuity. A lot of bartenders increase their rates if the host does not allow a tip jar to be out at the event. Gratuity is something that is generally agreed upon between the host and the bartender, but is not generally included in the hourly rate.

4. Event date. If you are going to throw a party on the 4th of July, expect to pay around 30 percent more than on an ordinary day. For instance, a bartender who normally charges $40 dollars per hour, may ask for a 15-dollar increment ($55).

Hiring a bartender can be a very affordable option and will allow you to enjoy your event.

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