When planning for a wedding reception or other formal occasion, planners and caterers are meticulous in their preparation for the appearance and logistics of the event. Whether it’s a wedding reception or a more corporate-style event, making sure that the event is both elegantly presented and goes off without a hitch is essential to success.
A key, though often overlooked, aspect to this is the bar. Many caterers and event planners don’t give adequate consideration to the bar and it’s role at the event.
There may or may not be a bar available on the premises. If there is, it makes the most sense to make use of what’s available. If the event is larger than the venue is typically accustomed to though, you may want to consider using an additional portable, foldable banquet bar to keep a line from forming and slowing down service.
If you need to provide your own point of service for drinks, you’re generally left with two option:
Portable Banquet Bar or Fold-out Table?
For less formal events, like an office party, it makes sense to use a fold-out table. However, if it’s a wedding or other formal event, a fold-out table detracts from the quality of the event, both in appearance and functionality
A portable foldable banquet bar is more professional and is specifically designed to allow bartenders to work as efficiently as possible. Since it’s specifically designed to be used as a bar, it has all the included amenities bartenders need like an ice tray, cutting board, and speed rail.
Whether you use a table or a portable banquet bar, you’ll want to make sure that it visually works with the rest of the decor. One common way to do this is to hang drapes or use a matching tablecloth draped around the bar.
Some portable bars come with LED lighting which offers you another way to enhance the visual appeal of the bar. By having LED lighting, you can use the bar as a focal point to draw attendees’ attention or to complement the rest of the decor.
Make Service Easy
Depending on the size of your event, having enough stock on hand and enough space to store it can become an issue. For liquor, this is fairly simple since you don’t need to have it temperature controlled. However for wine, beer, and soft drinks you need to make sure you have a way of keeping them at the appropriate temperatures.
You can do this either by buying separate containers or bins filled with ice or by using a back bar. Back bars have the advantage of a more professional appearance and are specifically designed to serve this purpose. A back bar can also be used during different parts of the events to store hot or cold dishes for staging before serving.
If you’re trying to estimate how much alcohol and mixers to purchase for the event, a good estimate is usually one drink per person per hour.
An effective way of making sure you don’t run out of drinks while not risking wasting stock is to focus on keeping it simple. Don’t do offer guests fancy cocktails, but instead just focus on simpler drinks with common ingredients that can be reused.
Portability – Set-Up and Tear Down
Portability and set-up can be another important factor, especially if because of the venue you’re time is limited. It’s worth investing in an option that saves time since the labor cost of setting it up and taking it down repeatedly will add up.
Having a portable foldable banquet bar with wheels will allow you to move the bar mid-event if needed. Common issues include accommodating to any unforeseen space needs or because you see an opportunity to improve guest experience by moving the bar around to a more convenient location.