6 MISTAKES YOU WILL MAKE ON YOUR DIY WEDDING BAR

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 We have compiled the 6 most common mistakes made when planning the bar at a wedding or event.

 Hiring a company to provide a mobile bar service can be an expensive business and many take the plunge to organise the bar themselves at their wedding or event. The bar is an often overlooked element of any event and in our “expert” opinion it's the most important.

So read on for our tips on how to avoid the most common mistakes.

1. NOT BUYING ENOUGH DRINKS

The thing that will keep you up at night right until the big day ...running out of booze. Now, there is no magic formula but consider these things:

  • Guest Numbers & Demographic (split demographic simply into drinkers and non drinkers)

  • Event Length

Now the trick is to consider "how many drinks per head"

We work on the following ratio:

Moderate Drinkers: 2 drinks per head per hour

Heavy Drinkers: 3-4 drinks per head per hour

 

Now we have our drinks per head, we need to look at our menu and breakdown the drinks.

Say our bar serving is beer, wine and spirit/mixers. We are going to split the drinks equally but adjust any ratios to suit your guests tastes.

Lets imagine 75 guests, all moderate drinkers, for four hours of service: 

8 drinks per head x 75 guests = 600 drinks

200 x Wine (contains four 175ml glasses per bottle)  = 50 bottles

200 x Beer (contains 24 bottles per case) = 9 cases

200 x Spirits (contain 28 single measures per bottle) = 8 bottles

200 x Mixers (contain 6 x 150ml measure per litre) = 34 litre bottles

 

ALWAYS, round your numbers up...not down. We would also suggest adding 10% additional contingency for peace of mind. If you plan on serving cocktails, the company  you hire the cocktail bartenders from (such as ourselves), will assist with drink ingredients and numbers.

 

2. FORGETTING THE WATER

Water is kind of a big dea. It’s even more important, when said humans have been drinking all day. Please make sure you arm the bar with plenty of bottled water for your guests, this will become particularly important at the end of your event.

 

3. NOT BUYING ENOUGH ICE

A warm drink is the ultimate mood killer. Running out of ice is the ailment that will turn delicious beverages into undrinkable ruin. Fortunately, the cure is simple. Buy enough ice.

 

Ice quantities break nicely into two categories for consideration- Drink Ice and Chilling Ice.

We are going to work to our standard 12kg bags of ice.

 

·      Cocktails: 40 drinks per 12kg

·      Spirit/Mixers: 60 drinks per 12kg

·      Chilling Ice: 12kgs per 15L chilling tub per hour (up that to x2 if its hot)

 

4. RUNNING THE BAR WITH AMATEURS

Make sure you get the appropriate staff to run the bar. Whether its standard drinks or cocktails you will need a professional to run the bars. Don't skimp on this, as we have seen bars be overwhelmed, when run by your friends 18 year old daughter from the village..

 

5. NOT HIRING 'ENOUGH' STAFF

Very important. You have to ensure adequate ratios of staff to guests. We typically recommend 1 bartender per 35 guests for a standard bar and 1 mixologist per 20 guests for a cocktail bar. Under staffing is the most stressful mistake. It stresses the organisers, the guests and the staff.

 

6. NOT GIVING THE BAR STRUCTURE AND LOCATION ENOUGH THOUGHT

 

Making and serving drinks to a volume of people requires plenty of bar space. When considering the actual bar we suggest looking at 2m of counter per 50 guests. Your best bet is to hire in a bar that is built for the job (trestle tables are no good) and ensure this bar has plenty of space within it and minimum 1 shelf for ice/ingredients during service. A back bar is also needed for other storage but this can be a trestle table with boxed in linen.

Critically though, locate the bar in the right place. Bar operations use a lot of equipment, glassware and stock. So much in fact, that its extremely rare that you can fit it all on the bar. easy and discreet access for the bar teams to a back of house storage area is really important.

 If you follow the above, we think you’ll be able to run your bar just fine. However, if the above feels like a minefield you can always CONTACT THE TEAM at Yorkshire Bartender who will be happy to offer advice or produce a quote for any element including cocktail bartender hire, mobile bar hire and supply of drinks. Alternatively to Find our more check out our BARTENDER HIRE page on the site.

Good Luck!

Callum Houston