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alcohol, bar menu, bar rental setup, bartending service, los angeles

FAQ

  • 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 $99 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, click here. *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 Does It Cost to Hire a Bartender?
    A bartender’s basic rate can range from $20 to $60 per hour. Some bartenders may charge less than $20 per hour while others may charge you well over $300 per hour. ​ Read more here to learn why and how to save money when booking a bartender. If you'd like to get quote from Barspirit, click here!
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Do I need an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) permit?
    California: § 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) Nevada: A permit is needed for all types of events where alcohol is served unless the event is strictly private (e.g. a family event). New York: 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. ​ California: 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. ​ New York: 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. ​ Nevada: All beverage alcohol permits are regulated by each individual county. Nevada Department of Taxation Las Vegas: Grant Sawyer Office Building 555 E. Washington Ave Suite 1300 Las Vegas, Nevada 89101 Phone: 702/486-2300
  • 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 $150 (excluding tips).
  • Can we serve specialty drinks?
    100%! All of our events are unique and as you are providing the alchohol, mixers, etc. you can have as many specialty drinks as you'd like. We usually recommend doing no more than 5 to not overwhelm your guests (and to avoid long "decision lines" at the bar)!
  • Do you offer a bar rental?
    Yes, you can rent one of our 6' bars which also includes a 6' back bar (if needed) with linens. We also have large, clean ice tubs available to hold common ice and chill beer, wine, champagne, sodas, etc. For pricing, please visit https://www.barspirit.net/addons.
  • Do you have pictures of your bar rentals?
    Sure thing! Just visit https://www.barspirit.net/addons and you will see our bar rental!
  • 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 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 tasks can the servers do?
    Our servers can do any and all tasks to keep the party running smoothly! From clearing tables, throwing trash, serving and refilling a buffet, to serving seated dinner or passing hors d'oeuvres, our wait staff is truly multi-talented!
  • 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.
  • Will you print a bar menu to display?
    Unfortunately, we are unable to print and display bar menus for you. We can, however, help you with the design process and let you know all the ingredients for each cocktail that will be part of your menu!
  • 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.
  • Do your bartenders bring something to cover the floors?
    Unfortunately, we don't have any commercial rugs or floor mats available for rent! If bartending indoors, we would recommend having the bar situated on a tiled floor or cover the floor with a rug. Usually, there isn't too much spilling, but obviously, it can happen!
  • Are you insured? What kind of insurance do you carry?
    We carry a $2M general liability policy, a $1M worker's comp policy, and a $1M liquor liability policy so you don't have to worry about anything! If you or your venue require a certificate of insurance (COI) please let us know and we will be happy to provide you with one free of charge (for confirmed bookings).
  • How can I get a Certificate of Insurance (COI)?
    In order for us to process your COI request, please make sure to have the following available: - Certificate Holder - Full Address - Additional Insured (if different) - Other Requests (e.g. Waiver or Subrogation or other additional wording)
  • 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.
  • When and how do I get my shopping list & bar menu?
    We can get started on your bar menu as soon as you're ready (after paying the deposit)! All we would need to know to get started is if you already have any specific drinks in mind to serve your guests. If not, no problem - do you have any preferences when it comes to base liquors, taste, or theme for the drinks? All of our shopping lists are unique to your event and based on the bar menu. Once the bar menu is sorted out, we will be able to send you the shopping list. We usually do this entire process via email to make it easier to keep track of everything and in order to give you some time to try the drinks if you like!
  • What's a full bar vs. a limited bar?
    A full bar usually refers to a bar stocked with all common types of liquors, mixers, and garnishes. This means that we would be able to make pretty much any cocktail you can think of (unless they require some rather unique ingredients, like Kahlua, for example). A limited bar refers to a limited number of signature drinks in addition to basic mixers. This is usually the standard for events as you don't want to have a ton of ingredients leftover at the end of the day (which would be the case with a full bar). However, after all, the choice is yours to make and we're happy to work with either bar configuration!
  • Can I give my signature drinks special names?
    Absolutely, 007! Code names are not a problem for us - just let us know which is which so we can make the right drinks for your guests!
  • Do you provide headshots / pictures of the staff?
    As we specialize in providing an excellent guest experience and don't focus on model staff or flair bartenders, our staff will be professionally dressed and well-groomed. However, we do not provide headshots or pictures of the staff upfront. If you have any preferences for your staff, we will do our best to accommodate this, but we cannot guarantee the final staff pick.
  • What payment methods do you accept?
    We accept all major credit cards, such as VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and more. For our shopping services, you may opt to pay via ACH transfer, but please keep in mind that ACH funds take longer to clear.
  • Can we meet with our staff beforehand?
    As we usually begin the staffing process about 2-3 weeks ahead of time, we don't know who your assigned staff will be before that. All communication about your event will be handled by our admin staff, who will relay any important information about your event to the staff that will be working when it is time. In addition, your staff will be in direct communication with you via email and/or phone before the event for introductions and for any last details leading up to your event. However, if you would still like to schedule an in-person meet with your staff, we can certainly arrange this for you, but please keep in mind that additional fees will apply.
  • My venue requires a walk-through. Do you offer that?
    We have worked with many venues in SoCal, but we do occasionally come across a venue we have not previously worked at. If your venue requires a vendor walk-through, we can definitely make that happen for you. Please keep in mind that additional fees may be associated with this (depending on location). We recommend double-checking with your venue beforehand if this is absolutely necessary because more often than not, your staff is not assigned yet, so the person doing the walk-through will most likely be one of our admin staff and not the staff that will be working at your event.
  • How does the Shopping Service price work?
    We charge a flat fee for our shopping service, no matter what you'd like us to get! Whether that is all the items for your bar or just the garnishes. So while it may be more cost-effective for smaller events to just use our shopping list and get the items yourself, if you're having a big party, it's super convenient to have us bring everything!
  • Can you provide glassware?
    While we currently don't offer glassware for your event, we can certainly connect you with rental companies we have worked with in the past! If you have a smaller event and want to provide your own glassware, that's also definitely possible!
  • How does a keg impact the service? Easier or harder to keep the line moving?
    Usually, a keg makes it a little slower because a bottle/can is quicker to open and hand (or most often even pour)!
  • Should we allow shots?
    We generally try to keep them to a minimum, but that is entirely up to you! Usually, towards the end of the night, some guests like to take shots together, but at this venue, we also do primarily weddings so it could be different for your crowd.
  • Are we be able to try the drinks beforehand?
    Absolutely! We love to give you a taste of the party before it even begins! Here are two fabulous options for you: Home Bar Experience: Fancy a private cocktail session in your own space? Our skilled bartender will swing by your home to mix up some magic right in your kitchen (or wherever you fancy!). This exclusive session is all yours for a flat rate of $200, plus travel expenses, for up to 2 hours. Bar Hop Adventure: Feel like stepping out? Let's make it a night to remember! Grab your best friend, fiance, brother, uncle, or other loved one and ask your bar's bartender to follow the recipe we provided. It’s not just about tasting; it's about creating fun memories.
  • What type of drinks can we serve?
    Our job is to make the drinks you want us to make! Your grandmother got a family recipe that dates all the way back to WW1? If you dare to share, we'll make it! We can help you come up with drinks with our free bar, menu consultation or you just let us know what you want us to serve and we will serve exactly that! And if all you want to serve are gin and tonics, then that is your prerogative and we're not here to judge! The only limitations we have are working with blenders or with dry ice as blenders require constant cleaning as well as outlets and dry ice can constitute potential hazards.
  • What is the processing fee for?
    The processing fee is to cover the costs of processing your credit card payments. We can offer additional payment methods like check or Zelle but the total payment would be required upfront and we would still need a credit card on file.
  • What happens to the bar area at the end of the night?
    Once the party wraps up and we've completed last call, we'll usually be wrapping up the bar as well, which means we'll pack up any leftovers for you and consolidate as much as possible to make the pickup for the items easier on you. We leave the bar as clean as a whistle (just no mopping, since we don't bring cleaning supplies)! However, if you want to transform the bar into a self-serve bar where people can help themselves to any leftovers, just let us know and we'd be happy to do that for you (given your venue allows that)! Once you successfully confirmed your booking with us, you will get access to a portal where you can leave notes for our staff with instructions. Normally, we also introduce your staff members to you directly, but if you book months in advance, you don't have to worry about setting a reminder if you add those notes!
  • Why does it say “no ice delivery” when I have the shopping service booked? Is the ice not included with the shopping?
    Yes, the ice is included with the shopping! We do this so that you won’t get charged twice for the ice (once on the shopping list and once separately), as we offer ice delivery as a standalone service as well. If you booked our shopping service, ice delivery will always automatically be included for you!
  • Do you offer “hot”, “shirtless”, or “sexy” bartenders?
    We prioritize the quality of service from our staff over their looks. That said, we can always add your preferences to our booking, but we cannot guarantee this type of service. If you are looking for that kind of service, the easiest way to find the right service provider is to Google “shirtless bartender”, for example, and you should have no problem finding plenty of service providers.
  • Can I talk to the bartender before the event? I need to share some information with them.
    Absolutely! When the lead bartender for your event is staffed, you will receive an introductory email CCing them, sharing their name, email, and phone number with you so that you can get in touch with them directly. If you’d like to share any important information with you staff, you can also use your client portal to add notes for your staff. This is a great way to get that out of the way, even when they aren’t assigned yet. The notes are always shared with all staff members working your event to ensure everything goes smoothly. Some examples for notes include parking instructions, a brief rundown of the event, or particular access instructions for the venue.
  • I chose "No Tip Jar" - why is gratuity so much? Shouldn't it be 20%?
    Yes and no! If you'd like to opt out of a tip jar, we typically charge a set amount up front to buy out the tip jar. This ensures that the staff receives a fair compensation for their services and that we are able to offer competitive pay, so you get the best staff possible. Why shouldn't it be 20% of your quote? Imagine you go to a bar or restaurant and you tip your bartender. You're not paying 20% on the amount that they get paid, you pay 20% on the total bill, including your food & beverage bill. If we were to translate this to events, we would have to request all receipts for the bar purchases, add this to the total cost and charge a percentage on that price, which makes it very hard to predict and often ends up being more than our flat rate.
  • How far in advance can I book your services?
    You can book as early as you like! If you're planning your big day 3 years from now and want to get your bartenders secured today, we got your back!
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