Do you provide the Alcohol? What about mixers, garnishes, etc.?
By default, our quote never includes the cost of alcohol, mixers, etc. as every event is different and we want to give you the opportunity to customize every step along the way. For our shopping service, we work a little differently than most bar catering services. Instead of charging per head, we charge a $50 shopping fee + cost of ingredients so we can work out the best bar menu for your needs and budget! That said, although getting the ingredients yourself (with the help of our free shopping list, of course) is the cheaper option, using our shopping service is definitely most convenient!*
For more information,
*currently only available at Barspirit Los Angeles
Do I really need a bartender? Can my friend just bartend?
So you have a friend who has some bartending experience and you're thinking about him or her manning the bar at your wedding? Short answer - don't. Professional bartenders will make your life much easier. Depending on your guest list, you may have a large portion of your guests who spend a good bit of time at the bar. The interaction that your guests have with the bartender can set the tone for your event. They don't just pass out the drinks, they interact with your guests so that everyone is having a good time. Furthermore, our staff is trained in intervention procedures and you don't want your Uncle Bob to be wasted at your wedding and make a scene! Part of a professional bartender's job is making sure that your crowd doesn't get too drunk. Unlike family and friends, the bartender is comfortable telling your Aunt Susan to slow down on the sauce!
How much space will the bartender need?
Generally speaking, the bartender will need space for the bar (which is 6'x3' if you book our bar rental) plus some moving space behind the bar (approximately 3' are just fine). In addition, you may want to consider a back bar, depending on the size of your event. Our back bars, which are included in your bar rental will also be 6'x3' so we'd need a total space of approximately 6'x9'.
Alternatively, we'd be able to place the back bar perpendicularly to the main bar so we are flexible when it comes to the space needed!
What kind of events do you provide event staff for?
You can hire our bartenders and servers for all kinds of events from private parties to weddings. Our staff is proud to attend every type of event. No matter what you would like to celebrate, we want to make sure your event will be unforgettable!
When should I reserve the staff for my event?
While we are occasionally able to meet last-minute requests by our clients, it is definitely not advised. We generally suggest that you request a quote at least two weeks before your event to reserve the staff you’ll need. Please keep in mind that our staff usually gets booked for events weeks if not months in advance, so the sooner you contact us for your event the more we can assure that you will get the staff you need.
How much staff do I need for my event?
The Rule of Thumb:
- one bartender for up to 75 guests with a simple bar (beer, wine, simple cocktails)
- for more complex bar menus, we recommend having one bartender per 50 guests
If you need general help with keeping your guest’s glasses full, cleaning and serving the main the party area, leaving your guests satisfied and able to relax, you will need a server! A server will allow the host to enjoy the party and to be free of having to “work” the party.
Party servers also assist the bartender(s) with keeping the ice behind the bar fresh and making sure the bar is fully stocked. They also may serve all non-alcoholic beverages and open beer and wine bottles during high surge times at the bar. This service is highly recommended for groups larger than 50, as it will ensure to keep the bar line short and constantly moving.
Do I need an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) permit?
§ 23399.1. (simplified)
No license or permit is needed when:
1. There is no sale of alcoholic beverages. (Host provides the drinks, there is no cover charge and drinks are complimentary for guests)
2. That the premises are not open to the general public during the time alcoholic beverages are served, consumed or otherwise disposed of. (The event is only for invited/a limited number of guests)
3. That the premises are not maintained for the purpose of keeping, serving, consuming or otherwise disposing of alcoholic beverages. (The venue's general purpose does not include the consumption or serving of alcohol)
A permit is needed for all types of events where alcohol is served unless the event is strictly private (e.g. a family event).
According to the New York State Liquor Authority Permit Unit, a special events permit is generally required for any public or corporate events "where alcohol is served, sold or consumed at an event and location."
"Generally the only time a permit would not be required would be [...] for invited friends and family a[t] a private residence."
What if I need an alcohol license?
No matter what state you are planning on having your event in, we are here to help you and can either guide you through the process or get the application done for you.
You may request a special events permit at the California ABC website by clicking here (https://www.abc.ca.gov/licensing/license-forms/form-abc-221-instructions/).
Please choose the ABC 221 (Application for Daily License (Special One-day Event Permit)), print it, fill it out and send it to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverages Control.
You may apply for a permit online from the Liquor Authority - Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control here (https://sla.ny.gov/permits-available-online). Please make sure to select the right permit depending on the alcohol you are planning to serve.
All beverage alcohol permits are regulated by each individual county.
Nevada Department of Taxation
Grant Sawyer Office Building
555 E. Washington Ave Suite 1300
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
Do you have a minimum booking time?
Although we do have a minimum charge, we don't have a required minimum booking time, which is one of our outstanding features, in opposition to other staffing services.
Our minimum charge per staff member is $120 (excluding tips).
Do you offer a bar rental?
For a flat fee of only $80, you can rent one of our 6' bars which also includes a 6' back bar (if needed) with linens.
For $15 a piece, we also have large, clean ice tubs available to hold common ice and chill beer, wine, champagne, sodas, etc.
Do you offer any other event staff besides bartenders?
Besides our awesome bartenders, we can also provide you with excellent servers or barbacks who can help to set up, serve beer and wine, clean up throughout the event and help with general tasks to make sure everything runs smoothly.
What's the dresscode for your staff?
The standard attire for all of our event staff is all black: black shirt, black pants, and black shoes. Of course, we know that doesn't fit in a Hawaii-themed party, so please let us know in case you would like the staff to wear something different.*
additional fees may apply*
What if I don't want the bartender to set up a tip jar?
Some hosts don't want their guests to feel obliged to tip so they don't want the bartender to set up a tip jar. In these cases, the host may choose to provide the gratuity. In this case, please just select "No Tip Jar" in your quote request.
How Many Bartenders Do I Need?
For a beer and wine bar, we'd recommend 1 bartender per 90 guests as beers are opened quickly and wines are poured fast. This may result in a small line at the very beginning of the cocktail hour/reception but smooth sailing from then on.
If you are opting for a limited bar with signature drinks, one bartender per 75 guests is sufficient to make everything run smoothly, although depending on the difficulty of the signature drinks (and the time it takes to make them), it might be good to add a barback!
If you are working with a full bar, we would recommend one bartender per 35 guests to accommodate everyone's individual requests. Yes, there may be some who order just beer or wine, but others will take a few minutes to decide.
While this is the rule of thumb, there are a few more factors that come into play when deciding how many bartenders you will need.
Learn more by clicking here.
What happens on the day of my event (timeline)?
On the day of your event, our staff will arrive approximately 1 hour before your event start time (the arrival time noted on your quote as "setup time") in order to set up the bar (not applicable if you hire waitstaff only). This setup includes putting your drinks on ice, cutting garnishes, etc. in order to be ready at your "start time" to open the bar.
Towards the end of the night, the bar staff will make a last call approximately 30 minutes before your stated "end time" in order to start wrapping up the bar and head out by your "end time". If you would like the staff to stay longer, please review the fee structure at https://www.barspirit.net/services. Our staff will leave the bar area tidied and consolidate your bottles, but will not be able to fully clean the bar area (mopping, brooming, etc.) as we do not provide the tools to do so. We will do our best to leave everything as cleanly as possible.
Do you offer any packages?
All of our services and offers are booked a la carte so you can truly customize what you are looking for. We do not offer any bartending packages as every event is unique.
Do you offer cleaning services or does your staff clean?
Our bar staff will leave the bar area tidied and consolidate your bottles, but will not be able to fully clean the bar area (mopping, brooming, etc.) as we do not provide the tools to do so. We will do our best to leave everything as cleanly as possible.
If you hire additional staff and the venue has the cleaning equipment, we are able to clean what's needed, but please do provide this information before booking so we can make sure to have the right staff attend your event.
Do I need bagged ice if my venue has an ice machine?
It depends on the size of the ice machine. For the initial surge of ice needed, we'd recommend a few bags of ice, at least to fill ice the ice buckets for keeping drinks cold.
What does the barback do vs the bartender?
The bartender will focus on serving your guests - whether that is cocktails, beer, wine, or other drinks. The barback usually helps out behind the bar where needed, such as restocking drinks, opening bottles, or even serving customers simple things like beer, wine, or soft drinks if needed.
At what point do we give you a final headcount for the shopping list?
Whenever you are ready! As you can understand, we won't be able to process a shopping list (and thus pricing for the shopping if booked) without a headcount, but 2-5 people more or less won't change too much.