For corporate events, family gatherings (like weddings and receptions), holiday parties and more, many event hosts choose private bartenders to enhance the experience. A quality professional bartender is much more than someone who pours drinks; they can set the mood of the event, entertain, educate, and keep the fun flowing.
Choosing a private bartender isn’t always as straightforward as it seems, there’s a specific skillset and background experience a bartender needs to stand out in a competitive marketplace. Here at The Bartender Company, we strive to be a perfect example of impeccable service delivery and quality. Our bartending staff is highly experienced, adding a luxury element to any event. Here are some tips for choosing the right bartender for your next special gathering.
Evaluating a Private Bartender’s Skills
Bartending schools dot the country, producing freshly-educated and “green” bartenders on a regular basis. Hiring a private bartender right out of school is sometimes tempting to lower cost, but a discerning event hosts recognizes that high-level experience is worth far more when unforeseen issues arise. Professional bartending service providers that employ bartenders with years to decades of experience under their belts become invaluable when it comes to solving last-minute problems and ensuring a flawless event in your guests’ experience.
What does that experience bring to the equation? There are many factors, including the bartender’s work history, their repertoire of craft cocktails, and their ability to handle stressful and high-volume work environments. Experienced private bartenders are expected to do more than to pour drinks… At private events they perform setup and cleanup duties, keep bar and prep areas running smoothly, and even to provide specialized services such as liquor or wine tastings and education. Multitasking ability is key in quality private bartending personnel. Professional bartenders with experience in private events may also handle:
- Supply ordering and stocking
- Preparation of homemade syrups and sourcing fresh fruits for juicing and creating garnishes
- Developing drink menus with event hosts
- Creating specialty cocktails quickly and efficiently
- Working with other distributors and vendors directly
To stand apart from amateur or inexperienced bartenders, a more experienced mixologist will also tend to be more outgoing and friendly. This creates a more personal environment, further enhancing the luxury experience for event guests.
Experienced bartending service companies often choose professionals with specialized certifications to add to their service offerings. Not every party is right for a cocktail bar and specialty cocktails; some events and event hosts may prefer luxury wines or craft beers.
Sommeliers are those professionals who have completed specialized education and are dedicated to promoting the appreciation of fine wines. Sommeliers may suggest wine pairings with food menus, help educate guests on wines’ unique characteristics, and even help train support staff on the proper storage, preparation, and service of wines.
For beer aficionados, there is a less-common counterpart to the wine sommelier. These specialized professionals are known as “Cicerones” and have completed specialized education and training to become beer experts. Cicerones know what it takes to serve specific beers properly and can educate guests on flavors and styles. For beer tastings or choosing a selection of craft beers for special events, the services of Cicerones are a hallmark of excellence.
With these tips, it becomes easier to evaluate the quality and service delivery of a professional bartending company. The best companies provide impeccable service delivery; not only during the event itself, but also in preparation before the party and final cleanup after. Providers like The Bartender Company in the San Francisco Bay Area have earned a reputation for luxury services and the attention to detail that has helped their services become highly sought-after by clients throughout the Bay Area.