A bartender, while often serving as a confidante and friend in the predictable setting of your local watering hole, can be a tricky staff member to hire for an event. Some are included in the staff vetted by your carefully chosen wedding catering company, but others are hired separately, leaving you to research who is best.
The best way to ensure you are getting the best is to be prepared, which means doing your homework. So, before you begin the interview process, make sure you know the answer to a few basic questions.
Know What You Want to Serve
Be clear about what you need. First, determine whether you want an open or cash bar and what you would like the bar to serve.
The options can vary from a simple selection of wine and beer to the addition of liquor. It is also important to establish whether you prefer house and well, mid-range or premium alcohols to be served, as this will greatly impact how the bartender will serve.
Finally, decide what type of drinks you would like the bartender to be able to make. If your guests are likely to order classic beverages, than a specialist will not be necessary; however, if you wish to serve trendy, more complex cocktails, an experienced mixologist would be a good investment.
Know Your Event’s Tone
It is also important to know the type of atmosphere you wish to communicate. After all, a theme should be consistent across the board and this includes staff members.
If your event is a black-tie affair, your bartender will need to dress the part in formal attire. But, if you are throwing a more casual party, an all-black uniform or themed outfit can help complete a room.
You should also decide on what type of attitude you would like the bartender to display. If you prefer an unobtrusive, but polite bartender, let that be known; however, if you would like the bartender to put on a “show” while making cocktails, ensure that they have the chops to pull it off.
Know Where to Find Quality
While a quick Internet search might seem like a good idea, you are not guaranteeing that you will find the best in the business. Instead, look to sources that know what good bartending looks like.
Try calling your local bartending school to ask for recommendations. Often, these institutions will have extensive lists of their top graduates that you can hire or you can even ask one of the experienced teachers to take on your event.
If there is not one nearby, ask your catering company for their favorites in the business. An experienced catering company that is known for quality events will not only know who to call, but they’ll know who will be the best fit for your particular party.