Bartending

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

Do bartenders need to be licensed?

Certain counties, cities and states may require licensing. Check your local government’s regulations before starting your search.

In many cases, you might want to choose a bartender who has a license and/or certification. If you’re considering hiring a bartender for an upcoming event or a special occasional, check their online profiles to find out what credentials they have. If you can’t find the information online, don’t hesitate to ask them directly when requesting to receive free estimates.

How do I find a good bartender?

Put some time on your calendar to research and compare top-rated bartenders near you online. Start by looking at their ratings and services. For example, some bartending services will provide a waitstaff, glassware, ice, coolers, food and more.

Next, look at their photos of past events and read the customer reviews. Find feedback on the bartenders’ services. Did they offer fair pricing? Did they show up on time to set up? Did they bring all of the appropriate drinks, cups, supplies and decorations? Did they interact politely with the party guests and provide a pleasant overall experience? And did they do the agreed-upon cleanup afterward?

Narrow down your top choices, and start contacting the bartenders. Ask for cost estimates for your event, and tell them how many people will be attending, what type of event it is and what services you require. You should also ask them questions about their experience.

Bartenders may need a license in your state, county or city to work at a private party. Make sure they’re properly certified before you hire anyone.

How much does it cost to hire a bartender for a private party?

Hiring a bartender for a private party typically costs between $270 and $390 in total. On an hourly basis, expect to pay at least $40 to $60 per hour, as well as a flat fee. How much you’ll pay, however, depends on the time of year or day, the size of the party and other factors. Get in touch with a few bartenders near you and request a free estimate — it’s the only way to get an accurate idea of how much private bartending services will cost you.

Check out “How much does it cost to hire a bartender?” to learn more about the cost factors.

How much should you tip wedding bartenders?

Sometimes, a gratuity is included in your final bill. If not, consider tipping your wedding bartenders between 10% and 15%. However, this is not a set-in-stone rule. You can always tip more, perhaps 20%-25%, for great service.

What do bartenders cost for a wedding?

It costs roughly between $270 and $390 to hire a bartender. However, if you need a wedding bartender, you should request cost estimates from bartenders near you. Depending on the drinks you plan to serve, the number of guests and other factors, your total cost will vary.

Reviews for Ashburn bartenders
Kristin S.
Such a warm and wonderful person and talented bartender
Marcia BartendingMarcia Bartending
Shawn T.
Service was great! Bartender was professional, friendly and prompt!
Santisi Bartending and Event StaffSantisi Bartending and Event Staff
Priscilla m.
Sergey was great at getting a bartender for my event timely and professionally.
Bar Divas of AustinBar Divas of Austin
Jessica L.
I would hire them again in a heartbeat! I was in a bind and needed a bartender for my wedding in two days. It was a very unique request that was handled quickly and professionally. We had the best bartender and she was on time and knew what she was doing! Thelma was awesome and the price was very reasonable.
Santisi Bartending and Event StaffSantisi Bartending and Event Staff
Cody J.
Shes an amazing bartender, and person. Always willing to help with anything and all guests loved her for our wedding. We will be using her for future parties.
MK Bartending and Event ServicesMK Bartending and Event Services
Ashley M.
I was very pleased with the service and communication with Matt. Matt responded to me quickly with any questions. The bartender was very professional and nice. I highly recommend this company!!
Santisi Bartending and Event StaffSantisi Bartending and Event Staff
Roger B.
Diana was our bartender and did an excellent for our party. Matt provided me with a shopping list to ensure I had enough of everything based on the menu. Overall, a great experience and I highly recommend Santisi!!!
Santisi Bartending and Event StaffSantisi Bartending and Event Staff
John H.
We highly recommend Majo and The Moving Booze team for their bartending services. She was great to work with from start to finish. From the pre party planning, ideas, suggestions and then finally to the event itself she was a pleasure to work with. She takes pride in her work and customer service....definitely a pro. Wouldn't hesitate to use her services again.
The Moving BoozeThe Moving Booze
Ali V.
So I booked Santisi Bartending for an event I had at the community I help manage. It’s always a nerve wracking thing hiring help from a company you just discovered, because at these events, where 200-300 people attend, one misstep can mean total disaster. A late arrival, a bartender with a bad attitude or someone who isn’t there to really work, can ruin a whole event. So I had my fingers crossed and wished for the best. What I got was a person who arrived early, helped me set up, and took care of everything I needed her to do. I didn’t have to ask twice for anything. It was just handled professionally and proficiently. I will never again book anywhere else. I have found the perfect company for my events.
Santisi Bartending and Event StaffSantisi Bartending and Event Staff
Lindsay T.
Diana bartended our wedding and she was absolutely amazing! She interacted with our guests and made them laugh and everyone was so comfortable with her. All night I had our guests come up to me and tell me how amazing she was doing and asking how I found her. I would definitely recommend her to anyone and ask for her again!
Santisi Bartending and Event StaffSantisi Bartending and Event Staff
Stephanie A.
Amanda Mendez provided bartending services for our wedding. We received much praise for their service and never saw a line at the bar (open bar for 100+ guests). They did get caught behind an accident which caused them to arrive late, but they seemed to recover and setup quickly after that. I liked their outfits and the bar setup we rented from them was cute (and a great deal). The next day some of our guests told us they requested shots but were informed that shots were not allowed. We don't remember stating that rule when scheduling the service, so that was kind of weird. Nonetheless, everyone had a great time and definitely took advantage of the open bar. Would recommend. Thanks Amanda!
Amanda MendezAmanda Mendez
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Why you should hire a bartender

Make your next event memorable by hiring a professional bartender. An expert bartender takes the pressure off of you and turns any celebration into a special affair. The right mixologist can go beyond simple bar service and offer a delightful experience for your guests — while you get to spend your time entertaining and mingling. Whether you’re throwing a wedding, birthday party, company party or any other type of event, search for bartenders near you today. Compare their rates and hire a local pro who fits your needs.

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