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What to Consider When Hiring a Bartender

September 21, 2021 by The Cocktail Service

How do I hire the perfect bartender?

Bartender hire can be tricky. How do you find the perfect bartender? What traits does a good bartender have? When hiring a bartender, you need to know the answers to these questions, and more besides.

Depending on the kind of event you’re planning, and your experience with hiring bartenders, you may be more familiar with this type of bar staffing than others.

No matter your familiarity with hiring bar staff, for an event to be original, unique, and utterly bespoke, you’ll need first-class bartenders and bar staff that reflect the professionalism of the event itself.


How can I hire a bartender?

You can now find bartenders hire for hire to work your bespoke event through bar staffing agencies. A bar staffing agency such as The Cocktail Service can provide trained and experienced bar staff to work your event, bringing their expertise and professionalism to your evening to make sure it goes smoothly. 


Click here to hire a cocktail bartender for your event


What makes a good bartender?

A bartender pours coffee liqueur into a glass

A good bartender will offer first-class bar service, going above and beyond for guests to create an unforgettable experience. Staffing for events may require you to use a bar hire consultancy service, to help you find trustworthy and reliable bartenders who have great people skills, fantastic cocktail knowledge and a good amount of bar experience. As well as this, they need to tick the list of key bartender skills, and the elements behind a cocktail spec. Check out these top female bartenders as great examples.


What to consider when hiring a bartender

A bartender’s role is centrally focused on interacting with guests to provide a friendly and confident service while creating delicious first-class cocktails with efficiency.

Staffing for events, no matter how big or small will require a certain type of person. The bar staff you hire for your event will not only needed to reflect the standard you set for the event itself but also be incredibly skilled, personable and reliable.

Great service can go a long way, and a well-run bar can make the difference between a mediocre night and an unforgettable evening.

If it was you, what kind of bar service would you expect?

To narrow it down for you, we’ve created a helpful list of reminders of what you need to consider before hiring a bartender.


Qualities to look for in the perfect cocktail bartender hire


Team player

The Cocktail Service Bar Nation team at Red Bull Lab Bar at Latitude 2021

Team Players: The Cocktail Service team at Latitude Festival for Red Bull. Photo – Jenna Foxton

When looking for a bartender for hire, be sure to find out whether they’re a team player or not.

Working on a bar will often mean long hours, where you work together to provide impeccable service to meet the needs of every guest. This may mean giving a helping hand with a certain order, tidying up after one table whenever necessary, and generally being reliable on the night and willing to get involved. 


Cheerful and friendly

A bartender smiles, showing one of the most important factors when hiring a bartender: a friendly personality!

Nobody wants to be served by someone miserable!

Hiring a bartender for a private event means you’re looking for a professional service, and service should come with a smile.

Being friendly and approachable is a key quality of a bartender, as they are often front of house, interacting with guests directly, and depending on their skills, will perhaps be entertaining them with their flair bartender skills!

No matter if you’re organising a small gathering of 20 or a large unforgettable event for 200 people; a cheerful bartender who people remember for all the right reasons will make your event just that bit more special. 


Ability to handle stressful situations and busy bars

The Cocktail Service Bar Nation team at Warm Up Festival 2021

Able to handle the pressure: The Cocktail Service team managing a busy bar at Warm Up Festival 2021

Bartenders are often in the heart of things; if your event gets busy, everyone may want drinks at the same time; a busy bar can get loud, busy, and stressful.

A key quality of an excellent event bartender is to take this in their stride, and not be phased by the situation.

A cheerful bartender able to make light of this, work hard and create cocktails efficiently to handle the crowds will help ease those in the queue, especially if a bartender directly addresses guests to ensure they haven’t been forgotten. 


Ability to multi-task

A female bartender multitasks by pouring drinks whilst looking at an order slip

Bartenders will need to be able to handle different situations at once and get stuck in with all sorts of tasks.

Whether that be restocking the bar, prepping garnishes, or tidying their station for the next round of drinks, bar work is full-on. A perfect event bartender will be able to demonstrate efficiency and calmness to multitask throughout the evening to ensure the event runs seamlessly. 


Ability to adapt to situations

A bartender in bow tie pours a spirit

When you hire a bartender, this rarely means you are employing them full-time.

Bartenders for hire will need to learn about you, your event and everything you are hoping the event to be so they can create cocktails confidently in line with your visions. 


Good memory

A bartender demonstrating good memory by remembering the complex list of drinks to serve

Pictured: A bartender for The Cocktail Service mastering a lengthy order at LAPADA 2016

A cocktail bartender will need to remember complex orders and specific requests frequently.

For returning guests, nothing feels better than a bartender asking if you’d like the same again. It makes the guest feel valued, and premium bar service is bar service where staff go above and beyond for guests. This includes being able to quickly and professionally understand certain requests, even remember table numbers.

This will all contribute towards a night that flows seamlessly that guests will remember well. 



A bar back puts wine onto a shelf, show important it is to keep the bar stocked, a key factor when hiring a bartender

As well as being a great host and a confident cocktail connoisseur, when you hire a cocktail bartender it’s important to remember cleanliness.

The bar should be kept clean and well-stocked throughout the evening, to prevent any issues with cleanliness, health and safety and to avoid any unhappy customers. An untidy bar won’t be reflective of your vision for the event and simply won’t reflect well.

It’s the small things that go a long way, and a spotless, approachable bar where guests can relax as they wait for their drinks is another important aspect to consider. 


Good technical cocktail making ability

A mixologist from The Cocktail Service at an activation for Bowmore Whisky in the Aston Martin marquee at Goodwood Festival 2021

Pictured: A mixologist from The Cocktail Service at an activation for Bowmore Whisky in the Aston Martin marquee at Goodwood Festival 2021. Photo – Max Earey

An event bartender for hire should be technically gifted at creating complex and beautifully presented cocktails and drinks for guests.

No request should be too much, and a good bartender for hire will have cocktails on tap that they can create from memory quickly, cleanly and professionally, wowing guests and keeping the night running smoothly. 


Bartender Hire: In Conclusion

The ability to adapt, be a good team player, and a technical understanding of the art of making drinks are all key factors to consider when hiring a bartender.

If you’re looking to hire a cocktail bartender for hire, contact The Cocktail Service, a bar staffing agency with a reputation for creating unforgettable cocktail experiences, with years of experience and knowledge of the industry. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about our bespoke bar staffing for events. 


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