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How to Prepare for Bartending Service

Updated: Feb 18

How to Prepare for Bartending Service

As a Milwaukee bartending service that has served thousands of people in Wisconsin and New York, we hear a lot of the same questions. Clients ask us all the time, “What do I need to do?” or “How can I make things easy for you?” We’re dedicated to making your wedding or other big event as stress-free as possible. With just a little bit of additional planning from you, we can make sure the beginning of your event starts smoothly and the finale goes off without a hitch. We’ve compiled a list of several do’s and don'ts that can really help you fully prepare to have a great party and worry less.

Tavern Team gives you the option to provide as much or as little as you’d like in terms of non-alcoholic beverages and supplies. Because you have the ability to provide any items you choose, it’s a great idea to keep an inventory of what you’ve selected and left for your bar services team. This inventory could consist of each type of alcoholic beverage with its quantity, bar decorations, or even something like stir sticks. Keeping this inventory helps ensure that the bartending service uses the supplies you’ve gone out of your way to provide and keeps the bartending team from accidentally packing up any of your things at the end of the night.

Throughout the event guests will often leave empty drinks on at the bar service area, and they can pile up quite quickly. Tavern Team recommends placing a designated trash receptacle close to the bar service area so guests can easily dispose of their beverages and Tavern Team can keep a clean and tidy work area. When Tavern Team serves at venues with potable water and sinks, draining beverages is a breeze, but not all bar service areas offer this option. If your event location doesn’t provide sinks, we recommend providing a bucket so the bartenders can dispose of drinks that guests leave behind.

Setting up your bar service area can be a little bit tricky if you’re hiring Tavern Team to provide a custom portable bar. Tavern Team always arrives early to set up the portable bar, allowing for at least an hour of preparation time. We recommend that you make sure that the bar service area has been mapped out and sent early to your bar service caterer. On the day of your event, be sure to put your alcoholic beverages – or a fair share of them – at the designated bar service area. This ensures that when your bartending service arrives, all of the supplies they need are in their hands. If you’re going to be unable to greet your bar service, we do suggest leaving a note specifying “drinks only for designated guests” or letting the bartenders know where they can find additional supply.

Throughout the event, your bartending service wants to make sure that you are satisfied and have nothing to worry about. Tavern Team makes sure to handle things internally as much as possible so that we can execute great service and let your event unfold stress-free. Unfortunately, there are some things Tavern Team is unable to handle. Tavern Team cannot acquire additional alcoholic beverages. If the bar is staffed with at least two bartenders, however, one of them is permitted to leave and acquire additional supplies, such as non-alcoholic mixers, disposable beverageware, or cocktail napkins. Clients will receive a bill for these additional supplies following the event.

Last call for your event will always be 30 minutes prior to Tavern Team’s contracted completion. At this time, Tavern Team will combine ingredients and beverages. Tavern Team will pack up unneeded supplies, let either the host or the DJ know that it is last call, and continue to serve until the finalized contract time. Here’s a tip for your designated packing person: Any beverages that have been on ice, such as cans of beer or seltzer or bottles of white wine, will be wet, and putting them back into a cardboard box usually spells disaster. We suggest using milk crates. These crates are great for holding up to 40 cans and aren’t airtight, so they won’t mold your beverages as they dry. We do recommend drying them off before putting them back into a refrigerator. You’ll notice Tavern Team uses milk crates for storage and ease as well.

At the end of your night when your event has concluded, guests will be approaching you, saying their goodbyes, and providing congrats. The bar services team will speak with a host, venue manager, or property owner to confirm that the cleanup has been completed and is sufficient. If your venue has provided a checklist or guide, we recommend forwarding that to your bar service team. These lists are usually pretty detailed and help you avoid expensive cleaning costs.

Are you looking forward to a stress-free event that truly allows you to relax and enjoy? 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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