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Owner, Event Director, and Bartender
Chicago, IL. 
surrounding areas
"Our bartender was so helpful and fun! Five stars all the way. I'll definitely be calling next year" 

  Christina B. ~ Business Executive, Chicago, IL.
Bartenders in Chicago's Party Tips

We wanted to share our experiences which will help you save time and money for your next party. 

#1 - Can I have any fun at my own party?

If you've ever hosted a party before, you know it's a lot of work. Everyone gets to have fun but you! Trying to accommodate everyone's needs can be a daunting task. Getting ice (and lots of it), buying the alcohol (how much?), setting the right times, coordinating the snacks, and making sure everyone's needs are met come with its own headaches. Many times, the party host ends up taking out trash, telling people where the bathroom is, and going on beer runs because you didnt expect the 20 somethings to show up. We suggest making a list of everything you need well before the day of the party. Depending on the situation, you might need as much as 5lbs of ice per person. We suggest keeping things simple. So here goes...

#2 - Signature drinks.

These are fun drinks created just for your party. Maybe have a Emily's Punch (really a sex on the beach) and a mike's margarita (Texas margarita). You can create a theme around the cocktails you select, and it does wonders for you pocket book. If you are only buying liquor for those drinks, savings will be tremendous. Couple that with beer and wine, and you have the making of a unique themed party that everyone wants to go to. Spend a few bucks on an alcohol guide. The difference between a full bar and having signature drinks are easily hundreds, and sometimes thousands for larger events.

#3- Alcohol and Event Insurance

Especially with larger parties, there's always a concern with your guests driving home. We have all experienced the "that guy" situation from those who have had a little too much to drink. When you have a common source of alcohol, it's difficult to monitor how many drinks people are actually consuming. If you have liquor out in the open (a bunch of liquor on a table) for consumption this risk goes even higher. We suggest obtaining liquor liability for the evening. Home owners insurance does not cover this level of alcohol consumption, and you certainly don't want to be liable as the party host. Of course, a reputable bartender service such as www.BartendersinChicago.com is fully insured, and will cover all of your guests should the unthinkable happen. Ask them for a copy of their insurance certificate. Almost all others will claim to be insured until you request proof.

#4- Where do I buy the least expensive wine and beer and liquor?

We have found the best place to get beer and wine is a large bulk discount store like Sams. They offer reasonably priced beer and wine. There is not much profit for beer and wine at bulk stores; so you are better off buying those items from a big retail chain. When it comes to liquor, it's tough to find discounts. If you are buying a lot of one type of alcohol, ask for a discount from your neighborhood liquor store. For example, if you are going to buy a case of Vodka, you should be able to get about 5-8% off retail. 

The ultimate discount is buying on a military base for all of these items. It might time to call in that favor from your closest military buddy.

#5- Hire a bartender service.

Do you want to take the entire bar off you hands? Hire a bartender service. 

Your bartender service should be willing to provide:

Bartender Liquor Liability and General liability  
Signature drinks for your event  
Design and Display of Signature Drink Menus i.e. “The ignited martini”  
Set up and Clean up of Bar Area  
Consultation for beverage purchase, arrangements, and logistics
AND ORGANIZED STRUCTURE for payments and conference calls.  
Coolers, straws and napkins  
Bar equipment- Cork screws, shakers, etc…  
Alcohol purchase spreadsheet tool- A great guide with ratio’s and estimated purchase quantities. Just plug in your guest count!

We hope this information will help you plan your next party, wedding, or event. If you follow some of these simple rules, your guests will have a fun and responsible time. Good luck with your party planning!

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