#1. A professional bartender service company.
I know a bartender, should I hire him/her? Unfortunately for the host, we receive about 5-10 last minute calls per week because their bartender has cancelled last minute or has stopped returning calls. Hiring a professional company will guarantee a bartender --no matter what. Make sure the service has a full staff; and is properly insured. You don't want any last minute surprises or be liable for alcohol issues. You’re under enough stress already.
A professional company will guarantee an experienced bartender who doesn't fit the bar lifestyle. What does that mean? The individual is an experienced bartender; has a sharp appearance, and a sense of responsibility. These are true professionals; in experience and character. At Sassy Spirits, most of our events are from repeat/referral clients; and there's a reason why. Look for a company that reflects this with their service options.
#2. Insured Company with LIQUOR LIABILITY Insurance
Many companies claim to have insurance when in fact they do not. BE VERY CAREFUL OF THIS. Ask them for a copy of their insurance policy. Professional bartender companies should email a copy of their insurance certificate upon request. Requirements below are the recommended minimums for event facilities. For your protection, we suggest requiring these minimums especially for private house parties hosts.
What to look for on their policy:
A. 1 million Commercial LIQUOR LIABILITY (not host)
B. 1 million general liability
#3. Staff- Keep catering and bartenders separate.
Even the most professional catering companies will tell you their focus (and love) is the culinary arts. Catering companies typically provide/offer discounted bartenders which many times, leads to inexperienced staff serving your drinks. What does this mean? Sometimes it could mean: lines at the bar, lack of cocktail knowledge, unorganized setup, and poor coordination. Professional bartending companies will offer beverage purchasing consulting, bar placement, alcohol ratios, calculators, liquor liability insurance, and more. Bartender services should include ice/per person guides, planner checklists, and suggest signature drinks recipes. We are the most interactive vendor with your guests-make sure you hire a pro. Remember, the bar service interacts with your guests more than any other vendor.
There's a surprising bar-science behind every bar detail.
4. Price vs Quality
Price is generally paired with professionalism and organization. The good news: it’s easy to find an organized company to fit your budget when armed with the right information. An experienced service will save you hundreds (at least with Sassy Spirits) with our expert advice for supplies, quantities, etc…
Here are a couple of ways to determine quality:
Speak with them on the phone.
Do they answer all of your questions with detailed and informative answers?
Do they offer information on guest dynamics, drinks choices, set-up, budgeting, and party tips?
Bartender Service *RED FLAGS*
1. They don't have insurance. They are hesitant, or delay providing a copy of their policy. It should be included.
2. They don’t provide a professional quote. They should include (at a minimum) pricing and detailed service descriptions- same day.
3. They have a slow response time and seem disorganized.
4. They charge by the hour. Companies which charge an hourly rate, pay their staff members a much lower hourly rate. Experienced bartenders require a flat rate for an event, and so should the company to ensure the quality service.
5. Lack of event knowledge. Example Questions: Ask them what cups size can minimize waste and limit over consumption and why? Ask them whichdrinks are the cleanest, easiest, and most fun? Where's the best bar location for my occasion? Many of the unknown "little things" will affect the party’s dynamic, theme, and overall guest experience. If they don't know the answer, or say "it depends" too often, you should be wary of their ability.
We encourage you to use Sassy Spirits as a resource for advice and information; regardless of your professional staff selection. Sassy Spirits Private Bartenders are here to help. We wish you all the best on your special day.