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.
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.
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.
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.