What is your general advice for the alcohol purchase?
Great question! Here are some general guidelines when you're considering types of alcohol to purchase:
1. Too much variety results in longer guest decision time, increasing the time it takes to service each guest. Elite's Bar Selection Advice: 3 types of wine, 3 types of beer, and ONE type (brand) of vodka and whiskey is recommended to service 99% of your guests.
2. The four pillars of any bar: There are 4 alcohol drinks which satisfy 95% of guests: Vodka, Whiskey, Beer and Wine. Adding to these types generally increases the budget drastically due to left overs and waste. For example: Buying a bottle of Gin only bc you know "uncle bob" likes Gin is not advised if you are trying to stay within budget. The drinks are free, so if a small % of guests can't drink their normal cocktail, they can make do with choices on hand.
3. Try to focus on what the group instead of personal preferences. Of course if you have unique-specific tastes, I would recommend a stash of your favorite drink:)
4. No need to separate the "drinkers" from the group. Our calculations account for this too. We have mixers and waters with this in mind, because non-alcoholic drinkers will still be going to the bar for nonalcoholic refreshments as well.
We don't feel comfortable having bottles in the reception since someone might accidentally break them and we have young kids around. What do you suggest we should do?
I wouldn't worry about bottles breaking and kids being put a danger; as this is a rarity. If it happens, it's usually cleaned up quickly without incident. The alternative however, would be canned beer. Another option: You could elect to have beer poured in cups and/or kegs; but it may significantly slow down customer service times. In which case, I would suggest adding another bartender.
If you are not doing any wine, I would increase the vodka by about 3 bottles. Many ladies attending weddings drink wine, so the general alternative for wine drinkers is Vodka.
If a client wanted less than 5 hours of service do you ever do this?
Clients are not required to utilize the entire 5 hours (suggested best use: 1 hr-set up +4hrs of Bartending) But it is not a minimum hours, but a minimum price. We are unable to change the flat rate structure without sacrificing the service; and quality of staff you expect and deserve. I hope you understand. However, 99% of occasions will end up utilizing all 5, once they delve in to the planning process a bit further.
Do you ever split the time, if they wanted 2 hours of cocktail, and 3 hours of bar at the reception?
It's all the same to us. The cocktail hour and reception are all the same if we are serving your guests the from the bar. If we need one bartender to service to service multiple bar locations at one event, we will arrange those details during our booking call.
Can we switch our current service to Elite?
Of course! I would love to speak with the client. Please provide their email and phone number. I will email them a proposal and follow up with them right away!
Do I need to rent a bar?
Generally, no. An actual bar is not necessary for events and parties...Here's why: Ideally 2 tables (4x6 or 4x8) works best; and most venues will provide this if asked. You will want to rent linens for these tables as well. Black is best, as it does not show stains or spills. Ask your party rental company for proper linen sizes to cover. Elite is accustomed to this type of set up. However, whatever the situation we will make it work.
It is just a small wedding of 30, is that too small an event?
We service events big and small. There is no event too small.