Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

Consumption vs hourly

I am looking at a venue and it's the first that has a consumption vs hourly option. I am wondering which you think is most cost effective? My first thought was to go with hourly because I know people will be drinking however there are several other drinks that will be served so maybe people will order less from the bar. The package includes 1 hour open bar (cocktail hour) 2 glasses of wine served with dinner Champagne toast After that I can go with hourly open bar $29 for first hour and $13 for each hour after I believe Or pay per consumption Any advise is welcome
ilovegilmoregirls

Re: Consumption vs hourly

  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited January 2014
    What does the venue charge per drink? 

    If you're paying $13 per hour and their drinks are $7 a piece, if each person has 2 drinks each hour then you would be paying more for the consumption bar. It also depends on how much and what your guests drink.

    We know our crowd and they like high end liquor and a lot of it so there was no way it would have been a good idea for us to do a consumption bar. If you have a crowd that everyone might just have a couple of beers though then a consumption bar could work for you.
  • hyechica81hyechica81 member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its First Answer
    edited January 2014
    is it 29 per person or is the 29 set per hour regardless of how many people.

    with my venue the first hour is cocktails and passed appz with a cheese table its top shelf open bar then after that its premium open bar

     they dont have a package where open bar is included for the whole night.? i live in connecticut and every full service venue ( banquet halls) offer full open bar all night but you have the option to skip do partial or no bar.

    for consumption are they charging you a flat fee for each drink? or will it vary from drink to drink? say a beer is like 3.00 and a martini is like 9.00 it might cost you more because your guest might opt for the more fancy drinks that are more expensive.  if the venue said its 4.00 flat rate for all drinks beer and wine included that would be different but it could still get costly in the end. go with the hourly its less expensive in the end. plan on people drinking 2.5 drinks per hour.
    and not everyone is a wine or beer drinker im not a fan of wine unless its white merlot or white zin, and as far as beer goes unless its the malted kind like twisted tea or smirnoff ice i wont touch it. i am not a huge drinker but i do like to have an occasional peach tree madres peachtree orange juice and cranberry or a sex on the beach.

    if you do go consumption route i would tell them you want the least expensive  liqour and mixers to keep your cost down and i would also find out if the charge is the same if you were to order a beer wine and a martini or would the price be different.

    top shelf  vs premium  examples of vodka you get i got this off google so it can vary from place to place
    Grey Goose
    Ketel One
    Belvedere

    premium is
    Skyy
    Stoli (+ flavors)
    Absolut
    Hangar One


    also stay away from offering a cash bar its very tacky a way to get around that would be to serve drinks for like 2 1/2 hours then after that keep the bar open but switch to beer wine and soda
  • Here are the details

    PRESIDENTIAL
    Imported & Domestic Beer
    House Wine
    Mineral Waters
    Soft Drinks
    Ketel One Vodka
    Tanqueray Gin
    Don Julio Blanco
    10 Cane Rum
    Bulleit Bourban
    Johnny Walker Black
    Hennessy Cognac
    Crown Royal
    One Hour $29
    Add’l. Hours $16

    Or

    HOSTED 
    Presidential Brands $12.50 
    Premium Brands $11.00 
    Imported Beer $7.50 
    Domestic Beer $6.50 
    Wine $11.00 
    Soft Drinks $4.75 
    Mineral Waters $4.75 
    Cordials and Cognacs $13.00
    Sparkling Wine $11.50 

    The cocktail hour is included as is a champagne toast and 2 glasses of wine at dinner. 

  • if you do go consumption route i would tell them you want the least expensive  liqour and mixers to keep your cost down and i would also find out if the charge is the same if you were to order a beer wine and a martini or would the price be different.


    also stay away from offering a cash bar its very tacky a way to get around that would be to serve drinks for like 2 1/2 hours then after that keep the bar open but switch to beer wine and soda

    OMG I would never do a cash bar! We will be paying for the most premium they offer. I just don't want to overpay for what I am getting. 

    I just noticed they have an additional hourly charge for Beer & Wine 

    BEER &WINE
    Imported & Domestic Beer
    House Wine
    Mineral Waters
    Soft Drinks
    One Hour $19
    Add’l. Hours $11

  • Am I doing this math right?

    Hourly is 
    $29 for Liquor + $19 for Beer & Wine 1st hour
    $16 for liqour + $11 for Beer & Wine each extra hour. 
    5 hours of bar = $148 per person

    The most expensive consumption item is $13.00 

    So at the most expensive drink $13/$148 = 11 drinks per person. 

    11 drinks average per person seems like a lot...if this is the correct way to look at it. 
  • URGH never mind the beer and wine is included in the presidential package so 

    $93 per person for 5 hours

    $13/$98 = 7 drinks per guest at the most expensive drink

    Not sure if they charge you the 12.50 + 4.75 if you order say a rum and coke. Assuming they do

    17.25 is the most expensive drink that's still 5.5 drinks per person 

    We have a lot of drinkers but 5 drinks from the bar plus a signature cocktail when they arrive, champage, and 2 glasses of wine + cocktail hour....should I really expect most people will drink 10-11 drinks per person?
  • They also have this cool additional drink station. 

    COBBLER & FIZZ STATION
    Champagne Cobbler: Domaine
    Chandon Blanc De Noir, Berries in
    Burgundy Glasses
    Dude Fizz: Vodka, House made
    Madagascar Vanilla Syrup, Fresh
    Pressed Lime, Soda
    Silver Fizz: Gin, Fresh Pressed
    Lemon, Dissolved Powdered Sugar,
    Egg Whites
    Vintage Seltzer Bottles
    Bartender in Black & White
    Suspenders ($200 Bartender Fee)
    Themed Signage
    Kold Draft Ice
    $14 per Drink – Hosted

  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Does the 5 hours include the cocktail hour or is that separate?

    5 hours including cocktail hour would be $77 per person or 6 drinks per person.

    Not including cocktail hour would be $93 or 7 drinks per person.

    Not everyone will drink the signature cocktail or the wine with dinner. They may stick to whatever they are already drinking. 

    Also what is the cost for soda and things like that. Will you have to pay for that as well with a consumption bar?

    I don't think that 6 or 7 drinks in 6 hours is really a lot. That's only one drink per hour. 
  • My Cocktail Hour is included with my catering as is the wine and champagne toast as well as a welcome drink. 

    So the 5 Hours would all be after cocktail hour for a total of 6 hours of open bar. 

    So 7 drinks per person for 5 hours at $13 per drink + the cocktail hour and any of the champagne or wine if they drink it.

    Soda is $4 if I pay by consumption. 
  • hyechica81hyechica81 member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its First Answer
    edited January 2014
    i still say its super expensive


    are you really in love with this venue have you booked with them

    the normal here in connecticut is you pay one price for sit down or buffet and that includes open bar. i am paying 71 a head for full course sit down dinner open bar for the full 5 /12 hours first hour is top shelf then after that its less expensive liqours  i get a dj with my package centerpeices for my tables and they are giving me a cake


    so its going to cost you an extra 13,000 to host a full bar? i went with the highest priced drink on consumption at 7 drinks would be 91 pp x 148
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I agree with @hyechica81 that the price seems really high. We are paying $26 per person for a top shelf open bar for 5 hours. That's per person not per hour. 

    If this is the venue that you have chosen though then you are probably going to have to think about your guests and decide how much you think they'll drink. 
  • MrsMarendeMrsMarende member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited January 2014
    This is actually one of the less expensive venues. In my area (Southern California) everything is so expensive. Most places I have looked at want a $20,000 -$40,000 minimum ++ some of the other venues I have considered include the open bar for 5 hours in their per person price but the per person is $250 as opposed to $150 so when you add in the bar they are about the same. 

    Also one nice thing about this venue: there is no per person minimum. Most of the other locations are a 150 person minimum for Saturday so they all come out to about $34000. 

    This venue will charge me by my guest count of 80


    I do have to say I am a little disappointed with the selection for their bar. I was hoping to have a premium open bar and their selection one step down
  • i still say its super expensive


    are you really in love with this venue have you booked with them


    the normal here in connecticut is you pay one price for sit down or buffet and that includes open bar. i am paying 71 a head for full course sit down dinner open bar for the full 5 /12 hours first hour is top shelf then after that its less expensive liqours  i get a dj with my package centerpeices for my tables and they are giving me a cake


    so its going to cost you an extra 13,000 to host a full bar? i went with the highest priced drink on consumption at 7 drinks would be 91 pp x 148
    No I have not booked yet. 

    For a 5 hour open bar not including the cocktail hour it will cost $7,440

    If I do 4 hours not including cocktail hour it will cost $6,160

    The catering packages I am considering is either $150 or $165. The more expensive one includes an one extra passes hors d'oeuvres, an Intermezzo and a Friandise. 

    Six Hour Hosted Premium Beverages
    Three Butler Passed Hors d’Oeuvres
    Plated Appetizer Course
    Choice of Soup or Salad
    Entrée Presentation
    Two Glasses of Wine
    Hand Rolled Chocolate Truffles
    Champagne Toast

    Once you add service and tax it's about $313 per person. 

    The place I really likes was $225 per person and included more, but they want a 150 person minimum making them almost $10,000 more. 

  • edited January 2014
    If you're having an evening wedding and you know most of your guests will enjoy a few drinks, I would go with the per person charge just to keep the cost known.  If you do consumption, you could get slammed with a huge bill at the end of the night.  And those per drink prices are quite high, they would add up really quickly.  

    And @hyechica, yes, a cash bar is a bad idea, but it's also a bad idea to switch from full bar to beer/wine only as you suggest.  Serve the same thing throughout the reception, don't cut back part way through. 

  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    That sounds crazy expensive. I guess that I'll count my lucky stars that our open bar package is 36 dollars per person for 5 hours.
  • wow i didnt know california could be that expensive for weddings, my fi has family in bakersfield and in ventura, and i thought new england weddings were expensive

    at 75 being the low and 150 being the tops.

    good luck with your wedding planning
  • Do you have a lot of drinkers? For us consumption works better because paying $20-28/hr for grandma to sip on her 1 glass of wine all night of the ones with children or driving home (we don't live very close to our venue) would be wasteful spending (for us). We pulled out the people who know don't drink at all and in our case, it was cheaper even assuming the drinkers having 3 drinks an hour.
  • @gina0887 We do have some pretty heavy drinkers, but I like your idea of making a list of who drinks and who doesn't to get a better count. 
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