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Choosing a party bartender: personal and professional traits

party bartender

Bartenders are professionals who know how to mix drinks, talk to the guests, occupy the lonely visitors, and entertain the whole party with some show. They are showmen who are skilled in mixing incompatible drinks and making the tastiest cocktails in the world. They know how to handle money and persuade someone that yet another drink will be just what’s needed. Bartenders are also great psychologists and always know how to talk a guest into buying or ensure that the conflict doesn’t develop further. All in all, bartenders are indispensable staff members at any large party and entertainment event. Here we’ll talk about the personal traits and professional skills that any professional party bartended needs to demonstrate.

Professional qualities

Certificates and formal training

Formal training is not something that common in the bartending world. Moreover, frequently the best party bartenders are exactly people without any formal education at all. However, a certain certification that a person completed a course of cocktail making is essential since it’s the only guarantee that the cocktails at your event will be up to the standards.

Besides that, remember to ask whether the applicants have alcohol licensing; not all bartenders know about such a necessity so it’s one more good sign of a pro.


You never know what may happen at a party, so ensuring that your workers are covered by the insurance is essential! Besides their health, party bartenders should also have a General and Liquor Liability insurance to ensure that they are covered in cases of broken or stolen bottles of liquor.

Business website

Whether it’s a company of an individual party bartender today personal business website is a must-have for any entrepreneur in every niche. And bartending is not an exception here. Being leery about bartender’s website is absolutely logical in the current digitally-lead world. A website helps to evaluate their experience, read reviews, learn about pricing, and get contact information. This is the best way to learn about an expert. This is why experts advise hiring an individual with a pro website.


Personal qualities


Responsiveness in terms of bartenders means the ease of cooperation and contacting them. Highly responsive and professional party bartenders take calls and answer messages and emails within a day. If you contacted someone who did not respond you within the 48-hours time, then consider moving forward to the next potential candidate. If this “expert” is not interested in your offer, why should you be interested in them?

Work ethic

Work ethic is about a party bartender being trustworthy. Unfortunately, this is not something that can be evaluated from just a glance at a person. And for this reason, such a tool as online reviews and recommendations from the previous employers or just customers come in handy. Check online the trace of a particular bartender. You can even look for the official complaints register. (Note: don’t get surprised if you find no records there since not all bartenders do register officially). On top of that, work ethics also means neat appearance, on-time showing up, communication with good manners, etc. In fact, you need to be looking for a people’s person who can easily work the room.

A good listener

No matter what kind of event you have (a corporate event or a kids party), there will be people who will need a listener and even a psychologist. A professional party bartender is someone who manages to listen to this kind of customers and still to perform the rest of the duties at the highest standard. Listening skill is easy to spot when discussing your menu. Just pay attention to whether the potential candidate considers your desires and tries to follow the lead when choosing the right cocktail tastes. Keeping everyone happy at the party is one of their duties, so check it in all of your future employees.


Conflict resolution skill

Yes, any kind of event sooner or later becomes a battlefield due to some minor divergence of opinion. And usually, such conflicts happen at the bar. Your potential party bartender needs to have an eagle eye and spot such cases even before their participants do. And they also have to know how to quietly resolve such conflicts before they begin, or how to use force if needed. In a bar environment, events can and will get rowdy. If a fight breaks out, what position would you want your bar staff to take? It’s always good to have someone around who knows how to resolve a conflict. Having a person like this at your establishment or party is a valuable asset, so ask your candidate how they resolve conflict in various types of situations.


Your party bartender should be able to take responsibility and admit to the mistakes should something go wrong. Don’t hire an arrogant and haughty person since such individuals will only irritate your guests and can make no good to your event. There is no formal check for this kind of personal trait, so just listen to your guts and always recollect the reviews you read about this particular expert before.

Good sense of humor

The sense of humor is an indicator of emotional intelligence and ability to relax your guests. Waiting in the line for a drink can become frustrating at some point so having a joker who can lessen the tension and generate good laughter among the audience members is a great asset for any party and even establishment. People with a great sense of humor are all easy to get along with and also perfect to work with.


Bartending supplies

The party supplies required for any party bartender to perform the job include mixing cups, bottle openers, wine keys, garnish tray, cutting board and knives, towels, etc. Not all party bartenders include these add-ons to their pricing list. Some may offer them for an additional charge while others will ask you to rent them. It’s highly advised to hire bartenders with their own equipment since it usually costs less than renting a whole bunch of bartending equipment.

Custom menu

Not all party bartenders can handle personalized cocktails and individually matched menus. But those who do are the true experts of their craft. Customization of the bar menu is a perfect asset for themed parties or those who are willing to limit alcohol consumption at an event. Be ready, however, that customized menu is frequently charged as an additional service.


The bottom line

Party bartenders are jacks-of-all-trades. They know how to mix alcohol so that the head doesn’t hurt the next morning and at the same time they understand human nature in the nutshell. They can make a perfect show for the guests, just serve drinks, and even conduct basic therapy sessions closer to the end of your event. Whoever you decide to hire for a party, the most important thing is to ensure that your candidate knows how to handle the drinks and is open to the communication because a skillful and sociable party bartender is half of party success.

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