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How to hire a Bartender in London?

A bartender preparing drinks

Planning a party, wedding, or corporate event and want to elevate the experience? Consider hiring a bartender. Not only they mix and serve drinks, but they also add flair to your event. Whether you want a cocktail maker for a house party or a professional bartender for a large-scale event, here's all you need to know about hiring the right bartender.

Bartenders are skilled at making and pouring drinks, serving customers, and providing excellent service behind the bar. There isn’t a bar in the world, whether in restaurants, hotels, or events, that can function effectively without trained bartenders.

A Bartender, especially when engaged for a short-term work, typically focuses on the following tasks:

  • Crafting a wide range of beverages, including classic and innovative cocktails, to suit the theme and requirements of the event or establishment.
  • Managing and organising the bar inventory, including sourcing ingredients such as spirits, mixers, and garnishes, and ensuring their quality and freshness.
  • Leading and coordinating bar staff to ensure efficient and seamless beverage service.
  • Maintaining high standards of bar safety and hygiene, adhering to health and safety regulations, particularly in relation to alcohol service.
  • Engaging with guests, offering insights into beverage choices, and providing exceptional customer service, including accommodating special requests and preferences.
  • Developing and maintaining standard operating procedures for beverage preparation and presentation.
  • Collaborating with the restaurant manager or event coordinator to ensure a smooth service flow between the bar and dining areas.
  • Adapting beverage menus and service styles to align with the specific ambiance and expectations of the restaurant or event.
  • Demonstrating expertise in mixology, including knowledge of various drink recipes and techniques.
  • Ensuring responsible alcohol service and adhering to legal and ethical standards related to alcohol consumption.

Traditional Methods to hire Bartenders

Recruiting the right bartender in the UK's bustling hospitality scene is both an art and a science. Traditional recruitment methods, while time-tested, come with their own set of limitations.

In-Person Networking Events

In-person networking events, such as job fairs and industry meetups, have been a cornerstone of hospitality recruitment. They allow employers to meet potential candidates face-to-face, providing a sense of the applicant's personality and professionalism.

Limitations of In-Person Networking:

  • Geographical Constraints: Potential candidates from outside the immediate area may be unable or unwilling to travel, limiting the pool of applicants.
  • Time and Cost: Organizing and attending these events requires significant time and financial investment from employers.
  • Subjectivity: First impressions can be misleading, and decisions may be influenced by personal biases rather than the candidate's actual qualifications.

Job Postings in Industry Publications

Placing job adverts in trade magazines and industry-specific publications has been a traditional method to attract bartenders.

Limitations of Industry Publications:

  • Limited Reach: With the rise of digital media, fewer job seekers rely on print publications, reducing the effectiveness of this method.
  • Delay in Response: Publication cycles can delay the job posting process, making it less responsive to immediate staffing needs.

Walk-In Interviews

Walk-in interviews offer a quick way to screen candidates, providing immediate feedback for both parties.

Limitations of Walk-In Interviews:

  • Inconsistent Quality: The spontaneity of walk-ins may attract a wide range of applicants, not all of whom may be qualified.
  • Operational Disruptions: Hosting walk-in interviews can disrupt regular business operations, affecting service quality.

Recruitment Agencies

Many establishments turn to recruitment agencies specializing in the hospitality industry to find qualified bartenders.

Limitations of Using Recruitment Agencies:

  • High Costs: Agencies typically charge a significant fee, which can be a barrier for smaller establishments.
  • Mismatched Expectations: Agencies may not fully understand the unique needs and culture of each bar, leading to mismatches between candidates and employers.

Referrals from Existing Staff

Referrals from current employees can be a reliable source of candidates, as existing staff are likely to recommend people who fit the team's culture.

Limitations of Staff Referrals:

  • Limited Pool: Relying solely on referrals can limit the diversity of applicants, potentially overlooking qualified candidates outside the existing network.
  • Bias: There's a risk of creating a homogenous work environment, where new hires are too similar to current staff, stifling creativity and innovation.

Cost Analysis: Hiring a Bartender in the UK

When hiring a bartender in the UK, several factors influence the cost.

Hourly Rate: On average, you can expect to pay around £40 per hour for a bartender. However, this may vary based on the bartender's expertise and the event's specific requirements.

Package Options: Some bartenders offer package deals that include not just their services but also the cost of drinks, equipment, and glassware. For instance, hiring a cocktail bartender for an event can start from £200 for a 2-hour service, with subsequent hours typically costing extra.

Size and Type of Event: The cost can also depend on the size and type of your event. For instance, a more significant event requiring multiple bartenders could cost more.

Location and Travel Expenses: The geographic location of the event and associated travel expenses can also impact the cost. Costs in larger cities like London may be higher than in other regions.

Remember to have a clear understanding of all costs involved before hiring a bartender to avoid surprises. Always discuss your specific needs and budget with the service provider.

Are you looking to hire Bartenders for your busy bar or event ?

Are you looking to hire a competent bartender for your club, bar, restaurant, upcoming event or party in London and surrounding areas ?

Whether it's for a wedding, a special evening, or even to strengthen your bar team, hiring a reliable bartender can sometimes be a tedious task.

If you have not had much luck with job boards or the use of temp agencies, and candidates in the hospitality and catering sector are not rushing in, lack motivation, or have not got the experience or skills you are looking for, Brigad is here to provide a solution.

Publish short-term work offers on the Brigad app or website to interested independent freelance Bartenders and other hospitality professionals, who are ready to work and able to pick up short-term shifts and fill gaps in your staffing rota.

With the Brigad business app (available for download via the App Store or Google Play), you can be easily connected with the Bartender your business needs.

Hire a Bartender: Day vs. Night Events

Day events and night events require different considerations when hiring a bartender.

For day events, bartenders should be apt at crafting refreshing, lighter cocktails suitable for daytime consumption. They should be prepared to handle potentially higher temperatures and outdoor settings, where keeping drinks cool might be a challenge.

On the other hand, night events often have a different vibe, where bartenders might be expected to create sophisticated, complex cocktails to match the evening atmosphere. The ability to operate efficiently in low-light settings could also be crucial.

Regardless of the time, ensure your bartender can adapt to the event's style and guest expectations.

How Many Bartenders Do You Need for 100 People?

When it comes to hosting a gathering of 100 people, it's crucial to ensure that your guests' needs are met swiftly and professionally. The general rule of thumb is having one bartender for every 75-100 guests. However, this ratio can vary depending on certain factors.

  • Type of drinks served: If your event involves serving intricate cocktails, consider hiring more bartenders. The preparation time for cocktails is usually longer than for simple drinks like beer or wine.
  • Guest preferences: If you anticipate that your guests will be frequenting the bar, consider hiring two bartenders. This can ensure smoother service and shorter waiting times.
  • Event duration: For longer events, having more bartenders can prevent them from becoming overwhelmed and maintain the quality of service throughout.

Remember, while it's important to accommodate budget constraints, the success of your event hinges on the satisfaction of your guests.

Understanding the Role of bartenders at Events

At events, cocktail bartenders play a pivotal role that transcends simply serving drinks. They act as artisans of the drink world, using their creativity, skill, and entertainment flair to engage guests and enhance the overall atmosphere.

Their expertise allows them to create unique blends and personalized drinks, adding a touch of luxury and exclusivity to the event. This not only makes each guest feel special but also contributes significantly to the event's success.

A bartender's role is versatile and adaptable. They can put their own spin on classic drinks, reinventing and refreshing them for a particular brand or event. They are not just service providers; they are integral to creating a successful, enjoyable, and memorable event.

Furthermore, their presence can transform a simple gathering into an extraordinary experience, leaving a lasting impression on guests.

Choosing a Cocktail Maker for Your Wedding

Choosing a cocktail maker for your wedding can be a game-changer, making your big day even more memorable. Start by considering the scale of your wedding and the number of guests. As a rule of thumb, you need one cocktail bartender for every 50 guests.

This ensures that everyone is served timely and efficiently. Examine the menu next. Do you want a full open bar, limited bar or just beer and wine? The choice will impact the type of bartender you need. If you opt for an open bar, consider hiring a bartender who can create a variety of exquisite drinks.

Also, consider if the bartender is providing just service, or service and alcohol. This will impact your budget. Lastly, remember to check with your venue.

They might already have a bartender available or might allow you to supply your own alcohol. Make sure the bartender you hire aligns with your wedding theme and can craft drinks fitting the vibe of your event.

Benefits of Hiring a Bartender for Parties

Hiring a bartender for your party comes with numerous benefits that can elevate your event experience.

  • Professionalism: A bartender brings a high level of professionalism to your event, ensuring smooth operations at the bar.
  • Variety and Quality of Drinks: They are skilled in crafting a wide range of cocktails, enhancing the diversity and quality of drinks served.
  • Entertainment: The art of cocktail making can be quite entertaining. A bartender's flair and skill can add a unique entertainment factor to your event.
  • Ease and Convenience: With a professional handling the bar, you can focus on enjoying the event without worrying about the bar operations.
  • Enhanced Guest Experience: A bartender can provide well-crafted drinks and personalized service, creating a memorable experience for your guests.

Remember, a cocktail bartender does more than just mixing drinks; they can transform your party into a special occasion.

What is Brigad ?

Brigad is an app that allows hospitality establishments to easily connect with highly-qualified, self-employed hospitality professionals in London and surrounding areas.

To start with, simply download the Brigad Business app via the App Store or Google Play. Create an account and you can get started. 

Sign-up for free and post a mission corresponding to your needs for a Bartender in under 3 minutes. Chances are that your mission will be accepted within a matter of hours by a qualified Bartender. 

How to use Brigad when looking to hire a Bartender

Restaurant, pub, bar, café, and hotel food & beverage (F&B) managers, owners, or operators looking to hire independent Bartenders or other hospitality professionals can easily create a mission using the Brigad app. 

Simply select the dates and times, hours, days needed, the role needed, and add a description that details the requirements and expectations.

Your job offer, also known as a “mission” (the short or long-term shift for which you need filled), will be sent to only the most relevant, qualified, and fully vetted Bartenders who meet your criteria

Once one of them accepts the mission, you will be notified and put in contact.

The Bartender will arrive on the day of the mission ready to work, as they will have received all the necessary information from your mission description to successfully complete the mission.

This means you can be confident in finding the right Bartender to fulfill your business's operational needs.

No more wasting time selecting a profile from dozens, or even hundreds of options. Post a new mission on Brigad in less than 3 minutes, then just sit back and let the  algorithm handle the rest. 

Only the most relevant talents will receive your mission offer, and the most motivated Bartender will be the one to accept it.

Invoices are generated and payments are made automatically, simplifying the process for your business or organisation's finance team.

This allows you to focus on running your busy restaurant, pub, bar, café, or hotel food & beverage (F&B) operation.

Need to find a Bartender in a hurry? 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Post a mission on the Brigad business app in less than 3 minutes. 

Two thirds of missions are accepted in under 2 hours. Fill your staffing rotas efficiently, even in urgent, time-sensitive situations. Problem solved.

Benefits of working with Brigad when looking to hire a Bartender

Brigad provides a range of benefits for establishments like restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, and hotels, as well as catering venues and events in London, Birmingham, and Manchester, by facilitating connections with skilled Bartenders and other hospitality professionals.

A strict vetting process

The hospitality industry is too busy and fast-paced for people who aren’t serious and committed to the work. After a rigorous vetting process by our team of experts, only the most qualified Bartenders are offered access to the Brigad platform. 

As an owner, operator, or manager, you might worry about verifying the paperwork of the Bartender who is coming to work for you. However, you don’t need to worry about any of that, as we handle all checks for you.

All profiles on the Brigad platform undergo a strict two-step vetting process, executed by both the app and the Brigad team. This thorough verification ensures you work with only the best independent, self-employed (inside HMRC IR35), or freelance Bartenders and other hospitality professionals. 

The backgrounds, IDs, employment history, and training of all Bartenders are verified to ensure they are reliable and experts in their field before they’re able to accept any missions on the Brigad app. This way, you can be 100% confident that the person is who they say they are and have a legal right to live and work in the UK.

Important to note
Brigad is proud to boast a 98% show-up rate from talents (out of 100,000 missions posted and accepted since January 2022).

Essential Soft Skills of Bartenders in the Brigad Community

  • Communication Skills: Baristas must effectively communicate with customers to understand their orders, preferences, and address any inquiries or concerns. This includes clear verbal communication, active listening, and the ability to convey warmth and friendliness through interactions.
  • Attention to Detail: Precision in following coffee recipes, customizing drinks to customer specifications, and maintaining a clean and organized work environment are crucial. Baristas need to pay close attention to the details of each order to ensure high-quality service and product satisfaction.
  • Teamwork and Collaboration: Working efficiently in a café environment requires baristas to collaborate seamlessly with coworkers. This involves coordinating tasks, supporting one another during busy periods, and contributing to a positive and productive work atmosphere.
  • Customer Service Orientation: A barista's role is customer-facing, necessitating a strong focus on delivering excellent customer service. This includes the ability to handle complaints gracefully, make recommendations based on customer preferences, and create a welcoming café experience.
  • Adaptability and Stress Management: Baristas often work in fast-paced settings and must be able to adapt quickly to changes, manage multiple orders simultaneously, and maintain composure under pressure. This skill is essential for ensuring consistent service quality during peak times.

Only work with driven freelance professionals on Brigad

Freelance Bartenders and other hospitality professionals represent their own interests and build their own network of customers, which is why they are particularly reliable and motivated. So, you don’t have to worry about last-minute surprises, like a no-show an hour before a busy restaurant opens or a wedding feast needs to be cooked.

Key Feature
Once you start working with talents, you can create a list of your favourites (for any job role), so that you can easily find and work with them again.

A dedicated assistance team

A member of the account management and customer experience will be assigned to you to provide support during your first month on Brigad to make sure that you understand the features and are making the most of the platform. Should any problems arise, our  responsive Assistance Team is available seven days a week to ensure that solutions are readily available for any situation that might be encountered.

How much does it cost to hire Bartenders in London through Brigad ?

All prices are dynamically calculated to consider tension rates, ensuring competitive pricing tailored to your specific requirements. 

The cost is determined by multiplying an hourly rate by the number of hours you need a Bartender for. When you create a mission, you'll receive an instant quote

This is the fixed price you pay once a self-employed Bartender accepts your mission, so there are no surprise costs or hidden charges.

A dynamic pricing means that costs are competitively calculated for each new mission. 

You have control over the pricing, allowing you to adjust it upwards if needed. This flexibility can enhance the likelihood of your mission being quickly accepted by talented independent hospitality and catering professionals in London and surroundings areas.