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The Difference Between Catering and Bartending Service

Updated: Feb 18

The Difference Between Catering and Bartending Service

Providing food and beverages at your wedding or special event is a gift to your guests, a way of thanking them for celebrating with you. You’re going to want to offer them the very best food and drink that your budget allows. With so many catering companies available, how do you determine which ones provide great food service and which ones provide great bar services?

Many catering companies have begun to offer bartending services to their clients in addition to their food service. This sounds like a great idea when you’re spending thousands of dollars on food and having to hit minimums. Caterers can be great when it comes to planning your meals, setting up, and following the schedule you’ve provided them. Why not use your caterer’s bartending service? Although combining two major components of your event sounds easy, it could come with a price tag at the end of the day.

If your caterer is providing your alcoholic beverages, you can expect them to mark up those beverages. It also is common for a catering company to sell you too much alcohol with the full acknowledgement that they legally cannot accept it as a return in many states, including Wisconsin. When your catering company is providing alcohol that you’ve paid for, how do you keep track of what your guests have consumed and what you’ve paid for? We recommend having an inventory check at the beginning of the event to confirm your supply is available for your guests and that any leftover supply is packed away with your things to take home. After all, you paid for it.

Many catering companies influence their clients to hire their bar service so that clients can save on things like added fees for late-night coffee service or late-night snacks. Tavern Team has noticed that many hosts in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas prefer to have separate companies provide their meal, their late-night snack, and their beverage service. While it seems like a great idea to combine as many services as possible, it doesn’t always mean it’s truly efficient.

Tavern Team bartenders focus on speed, precision, and being extremely efficient. Our bartenders focus on making sure guests are consistently served, lines are short, and guests are very satisfied with their bar service and experience. We often hear how great our services are compared to service guests have received at venues with dedicated bar staff and from catering companies that put their bar services second to their business. For example, we understand that during the first 30 minutes of your beverage service, you can usually expect for there to be a line or a longer-than-normal wait for drinks. This is common, as guests are unsure what they will have, order several drinks for as many people as they can, or order cocktails that take about 30 seconds to make compared to the few seconds it takes to crack a beer or pour a glass of wine.

Bartenders have a passion for serving, communicating with guests, and keeping everyone smiling throughout their bar service. We believe we have the greatest team, and together we are a Tavern Team family. The bartenders that are a part of Tavern Team provide feedback during and after each event with ideas to make their service faster, more efficient, or help grow Tavern Team. This philosophy helps Tavern Team get better and offers our hosts peace of mind that their beverage service is in the right hands.

Looking for a dedicated bartending service for you upcoming wedding or special event? Reach out to Tavern Team to discuss bartending services in Milwaukee, Madison, Fond Du Lac, Lake Geneva, Northern Illinois, and parts of Upstate New York.


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