Food and Cakes

Bartender prices

So I would like to get a general gyst of prices you've paid or are paying for bartender services, and what they include.

I just got off the phone with a good bartender who was well recommended, and was told the fee is $30 for bartenders and barback/server. I'm still waiting for a compete quote based on the conversation we had. I'm already purchasing the alcohol (wine and beer only venue, and will spend ~$620 for 89 adults - the list may go down due to responses). We expect them (1 bartender, 2 servers) to be there for at least 5 hours.

I know this is a bit vague, I'm just not sure where to start with this.

Thanks everyone.
Wedding Countdown Ticker

image

Re: Bartender prices

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    edited December 2015
    We paid $20  $30 per hour per person for min of 8 hours for all the staff (bartenders, wait, etc).  They worked over 10 hours.  Since we paid caters directly I do not know how much the bartenders actually received.

    Then we tipped on top of that.  We tipped the bar tenders $200 each.

    They setup and broke down the bar.

    ETA - we provided all the alcohol.  We had to rent all the tables, glasses, linens,etc for the entire event.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    blueeyedkat
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    So I would like to get a general gyst of prices you've paid or are paying for bartender services, and what they include.

    I just got off the phone with a good bartender who was well recommended, and was told the fee is $30 for bartenders and barback/server. I'm still waiting for a compete quote based on the conversation we had. I'm already purchasing the alcohol (wine and beer only venue, and will spend ~$620 for 89 adults - the list may go down due to responses). We expect them (1 bartender, 2 servers) to be there for at least 5 hours.

    I know this is a bit vague, I'm just not sure where to start with this.

    Thanks everyone.
    In the Detroit area, I make $16.00/hour when I am a server, $20.00/hour when I bartend and $23.00/hour when I'm the lead on the event.

    What are your expectations of them?  Will they set up tear down?  Are they responsible for making sure the venue is clean (dishes portered, tearing down the stations, rentals gathered and set aside) or just support staff during the meal service (clearing plates and glassware), who is managing your reception timeline, the food launch, teardown etc if not the staff you've hired?

    On the flip side, we are paying our venue $100/bartender in addition to $23/per person for full open bar.  I'm not sure what the venue pays them for the evening.
    image
    blueeyedkat
  • frenchiekinfrenchiekin
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    member
    edited December 2015
    I think location will play a major factor in everyone's individual experience, so take everyone's feedback with a grain of salt.  For reference, I got married 2 towns over from Boston (a relatively expensive area).

    We had:

    - 3 bartenders for 10 hours each, at $35/hr
    - 1 barback for 9 hours at $30/hr
    - set up for 2 double bars (cocktail hour) and 1 triple bar (reception) for $425 total (this included all equipment - lexans, bar mats, ice buckets, tools, trash barrels, etc, plus delivery, pick-up, set-up/breakdown)
    - $14 per guest cost for the beverages (wine, beer, call liquor, mixers, bar fruit, soft drinks, ice) - we had 156 guests.

    Our total was just over $3900, plus tip.  This did not include any glassware or tables/linens for the bars, which we rented separately.  Our venue is an open space with no actual "bar", and our caterer was not involved at all with the bar.  Our bar service was an actual outside bartending service we hired, not related to the venue.

    From my research, this is a pretty fair price for the Boston area (one venue in NH quoted us $12k for open bar and I almost puked - and it was not nearly a luxury venue by any means).  Not sure where you are located, OP, but this can vary widely both for what you need from them and where you are getting married.


    blueeyedkat
  • Thank you so much for the breakdowns. This was exactly what I wanted to know. I'm in the bay area in CA, so I wasn't sure if this was a good price, and with some more research, and your input, it seems like it is. Now I can also know what to ask and to see how much more this costs, etc.

    Again, you ladies rock for this awesome input.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker

    image
    frenchiekin
  • I'm in CO, and we paid $600 flat rate for our caterer's "bar package".  This did not include any alcohol, but included 2 bartenders, mixers (sodas, cranberry juice, orange juice), garnishes (lemons, limes etc) cups etc., and ice (our venue was DIY so everything had to be brought in, including ice).  We had 130 guests and the bartenders were there from 3-1030ish.  I found out the next day from a family member that they had a tip jar out, which was annoying because I also tipped them pretty decently.  We had 130 guests and supplied our own alcohol (beer, wine, and 3 liquors).  

    The other serving staff was billed to me at $28/hour so I'm assuming that's what their rate would have been without the package.  
    Married 9.12.15
    image
    blueeyedkat
  • edited December 2015
    We had a little bit of sticker shock when we saw prices for bartenders. Through our catering company it's $800 for 2 bartenders. That's from 5:30-10:00 pm. We are providing all the alcohol, mixers and garnishes, but they are providing ice and cups. We are doing beer, wine, and signature cocktails and we expect around 280 guests.

    ETA: This is in NW Arkansas.
    blueeyedkat
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards