Will Work 4 Whiskey
August 8, 2011 8:36 AM   Subscribe

I've been asked to name my price to bartend at a private party this Saturday. What the the going rates?

THe party is for a graduation and will have around 100 guests. Primarily beer, wine, and sangria. proposed time is 3-8pm. This will be in the Philadelphia 'burbs.
posted by WeekendJen to Work & Money (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Depends on if you want a flat hourly rate or if you will have a tip jar.
posted by quodlibet at 8:45 AM on August 8, 2011

Response by poster: I would like to know the rates for both tip jar and flat rate.
posted by WeekendJen at 8:49 AM on August 8, 2011

Will you be setting up and breaking down? Will you be making the sangria?
posted by like_neon at 8:50 AM on August 8, 2011

Assuming this is a non-cash bar at a private party. Give yourself an hour for setup if you're handling that, and an hour for tear down, if that's your responsibility. That's 7 hours worth of work. A hundred people will not keep you hopping the entire time. Set a flat rate that will give you a satisfactory wage per hour. Do not expect to be tipped, as this doesn't sound like a cash bar situation, so your patrons won't have their money out.
If it were me, I'd ask for at least $100.
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:51 AM on August 8, 2011

Response by poster: Yes (set up break down) and no (make sangria) (sorry for leaving that out)
posted by WeekendJen at 8:52 AM on August 8, 2011

Response by poster: Assuming this is a non-cash bar at a private party. <-- that's correct
posted by WeekendJen at 8:53 AM on August 8, 2011

What's your time worth? I wouldn't count on any tips and the host might not want you to have a jar out anyway as it can look a little tacky.

I would ask how firm the 8pm end time is and factor that in as well, because sometimes if everyone is having a good time the organizer can be a pushover and then you either have to keep working or be the "bad guy".
posted by ODiV at 9:02 AM on August 8, 2011

no tip jar. that's horribly tacky at a private party. if a guest wants to tip you, they will. anything between 150-200 bucks would be appropriate. i've bartended in bars, restaurants and clubs as well as private parties and that's what i would expect to take home for a night of work.
posted by ps_im_awesome at 9:10 AM on August 8, 2011

For work, I've paid bartenders for approximately what you're looking for (beer and wine and the very occasional mixed drink [from pre-made mixers], no tip jar but tips allowed, ) and $100 is generally the offer. It's usually for fundraising events, so that's lowballing a little, but the fact that you're talking about a private event probably balances it out. If you're setting up and breaking down, adding $50 or so to that would be appropriate.
posted by penduluum at 9:18 AM on August 8, 2011

$25 an hour.
posted by AugustWest at 9:58 AM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I worked private party bartending in New York City not too long ago. Our pay was $22/hr plus a tip from the host (not a tip per drink kind of thing, as it was a party), which for like a three hour party tended to be between $50 and $100. Frequently an extra bottle of something was thrown in at the end of the night as well.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:09 PM on August 8, 2011

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