When it comes to big events like weddings and milestone anniversaries, most people don’t think twice about hiring a bartender to serve drinks to guests. But for some reason, most of us balk at the idea of hiring someone to pour drinks at more intimate gatherings like backyard get-togethers and birthday parties. On those occasions, hiring a bartender may feel a little over-the-top. After all, guests can pour their own drinks, so why spend the money? The truth is, though, hiring a bartender can actually be a relatively affordable “splurge,” and having a professional behind the bar means you have one less thing to stress about and will be able to enjoy yourself that much more. Plus, these nine reasons:
You’ll Know How Much Booze to Buy
A professional bartender or bartending service will not only help you figure out what to serve based on the type of event and your preferences, but will also tell you how much of everything (including mixers, beer, wine, hard alcohol, etc.) to buy. Having a savvy person who’s done this a hundred times give you a list of what to buy means you won’t buy excess booze and, ultimately, might save you a lot of money. Look at that: the bartender’s already paid for himself!
Help with Set Up and Clean Up
A bartender will get to your home or event space in plenty of time to get the bar area all set up before any of your guests arrive. He’ll also do his best to make sure there aren’t empty glasses and bottles littering the space and, at the end of the party, he’ll help with cleanup.
The Host Shouldn’t Also Be the Bartender
A good host offers his guests a drink shortly after they walk into the party. Which means if you don’t have a bartender, you’re also the one making that drink. A good host also offers a guest whose drink is low or empty if she’d like it to be refreshed. Which means, yup, you’re making that next drink as well. And repeat. For the entire duration of the party. During which time you’ll manage to perfect your Manhattan… but not have a single real conversation with any of your friends or family.
Feel Like a Guest at Your Own Party
As we just mentioned, if you spend the entire party getting drinks for other people, you’ll feel more like the hired help than the host, but even more than that, if you have someone else pouring your drinks and making sure you’re okay, it allows you to actually enjoy the event.
It’s Probably Best if Guests Don’t Make Their Own Drinks
There are a few reasons you don’t want guests making their own drinks. First of all, it’s nice if guests can just relax and not worry about mixing drinks, especially since they may want a cocktail they aren’t quite sure how to make. Second, a lot of people over pour when they’re making a cocktail simply because they don’t realize how much is coming out of the bottle. A bartender can not only make the more complicated cocktails someone may want, he can ensure that those cocktails have the appropriate amount of alcohol so that no one is on the floor before the party’s even in full swing.
A Bartender Won’t Over Serve
In addition to making sure drinks are poured properly, a professional bartender is paid to serve responsibly and pour drinks accordingly as the night goes on. If that means good ol’ Tipsy Tim gets just a tiny splash of gin with his double tonic, then so be it. Ultimately, having a sober bartender paying attention to who might be starting to have a little “too much fun,” saves you from a potentially embarrassing conversation and means you can just relax and enjoy yourself.
Fancy Cocktails, not Just “Mixed Drinks”
Bartenders know how to make all sorts of cocktails. From a proper martini to an old fashioned to a refreshing gimlet, you can count on a professional mixologist to be able to pour anything your guests want (assuming he has the ingredients) well beyond the standard (and boring) “rum and Coke” or “vodka soda.”
A Clean and Organized Bar Area
When people are in charge of making their own drinks, the bar area can quickly become chaotic and messy. A bartender will make sure the bar area isn’t covered in used limes, sticky bottles, and empty soda cans.
Your Guests Will Be Impressed
People expect bartenders at fancier events in big spaces, but they definitely don’t expect to walk into a backyard barbecue or intimate birthday party and see a paid professional serving up signature cocktails. And no, doing something to impress others isn’t a great reason except… well sometimes it kind of is.