Low Cost Start Up Businesses: Bartending Services
Browse articles:
Auto Beauty Business Culture Dieting DIY Events Fashion Finance Food Freelancing Gardening Health Hobbies Home Internet Jobs Law Local Media Men's Health Mobile Nutrition Parenting Pets Pregnancy Products Psychology Real Estate Relationships Science Seniors Sports Technology Travel Wellness Women's Health
Browse companies:
Automotive Crafts, Hobbies & Gifts Department Stores Electronics & Wearables Fashion Food & Drink Health & Beauty Home & Garden Online Services & Software Sports & Outdoors Subscription Boxes Toys, Kids & Baby Travel & Events

Low Cost Start Up Businesses: Bartending Services

How to start a bartending services business. Low start up businesses, bartending services.

I am currently doing a series of low start up costs businesses that just about anyone can do. Today I am focusing bartending businesses.

Usually when you think about bartenders you think about people who work at bars or restaurants but you can actually start your own business working at weddings and parties. This may not be the best business to start in a bad economy however because most people are not going throw big elaborate parties where they will hire a bartender to come and work at their party, But there is still a chance you could get some business and there is always weddings as well. Most banquet halls have their own bartenders but those who have their weddings at homes or other locations will need bartenders. Getting in good with a successful caterer is the best thing you can do for yourself if you wish to be an independent bartender. The caterer can recommend your service or work your services in to the cost of the entire food and drink cost of the wedding with their clients. On top of the salary earned you will earn tips.

You can also attempt to get jobs at sweet 16 parties by offering a fruit juice bar for the teenagers to enjoy. Or even a regular bar for the adults and a juice bar for those under 21.

Getting the Word Out

Like I mentioned above getting in to a good relationship with a caterer is a very wise move, but also getting to know other people in the wedding business can really help you as well. Becoming friendly with DJ’s, florists, and limo drivers can be really wise as well. You can make an agreement to pass out their cards and recommend you to their clients and you will do the same for them. You can also possibly share advertising space with them on flyers, etc. You should also get your own web site up or share a web site with others in the wedding industry.


A Bartender’s Responsibilities

For the most part your job will be to show up at parties and pour and mix drinks for guests. You can charge more money however, if you offer to do the shopping for the liquor as well, at the clients expense, of course. Doing this however, would require you to make a detailed list of what you would use for a typical party including garnishes and having a close estimate of what this will cost to present to the customer. If the customer will be doing the purchasing you should go over what types of drinks they would like to have at their gathering, and make a list for the client of what they will need to purchase to achieve those drinks. 

Job Requirements

While anyone can become a bartender you will need some training and you will need a license. There are plenty of bartending schools around and you can get a license in a very short time. To find bartending schools in your area go to: http://www.1800bartend.com/?gclid=CJGHj4eEl6UCFYgUKgodo11jaQ

Keep in mind that your training will become part of your starting costs.

Other Costs

After you have your bartenders license you wont need much more than that. However, if you want to appear more professional and be assured a good place for yourself to mix up drinks you might want to invest in a portable bar. That way you will have something that you can bring with you to parties and weddings where you can set up all the liquor and everything else you will be working with. Of course this also means having a vehicle large enough to haul this portable bar. So you may need to trade your vehicle in for a van, or a pick up truck.

What to Charge

Most commonly the average freelance bar tender will charge the client $25.00 per hour. If you shop for the liquor etc. then you should charge for that time as well. You can also expect some sort of tip or tips. Work it out with your client but your gratuity can either be worked out with them or you can ask if you can put out a tip jar to collect tips from guests throughout the evening.


You will mainly be working on weekends so keep that in mind. It is hard to have a social life when you are working every weekend, but if that is not important to you then this is a good business for you to have. Until your business really gets going you will probably need to work another job at the same time to make ends meet. Bartenders do make a nice amount of money when they are working but there often is not work available Monday through Wednesday and work on Thursdays is difficult to get as well.


Additional resources:

Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
in Entrepreneurship & Startups on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Entrepreneurship & Startups?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (4)

great article

With my prior bartending experience, I've actually thought about doing this and offering a theme drink menu, where they can choose what they'd like, such as tropical drinks, frozen drinks, some popular rails, etc.

A few questions?: 1. Are we able to purchase and provide our own liquor. 2. What kind of license(s) do we need if we are serving liquor, wine and beer. 3. How much do those licenses/permits cost.
S. Smith- That all depends on the state, city, and even sometimes the county that you're in. Most places will not give you a permit to buy and transport alcohol to other locations without having your own bar/restaurant as a set location. If you do have a bar and/or restaurant, you can get a catering permit, but that usually will set you back about $9,000 to $10,000 (again, depending on your alcoholic beverage commission). The best option would to have the customer supply the alcohol. It's less money and time on your part, and less legal issues you have to work around. I am in the process of starting my own business this way and so far that is the only way I can legally operate. Hope these answer your questions and doesn't discourage you from starting your dream!