(Closed) Bar Tab Estimate – how did you guys guess?

posted 7 years ago in Food
Post # 3
Member
996 posts
Busy bee
• Wedding: September 2009

I would have to find a receipt but I think our open bar was around \$2000 for 120 people. We had many people who drank a lot, and some who really didn’t drink at all. \$9000 is CRAZY!

Post # 4
Member
1675 posts
Bumble bee
• Wedding: October 2010

My understanding is that, in most cases, you will pay less for consumption than for a per person flat rate, because there will always be people who don’t drink at all, or who only have one drink over the course of the night.

I calculated our approximate alcohol costs by speaking with our venue coordinator and finding out how much most people drink in an hour. I then calculating three separate estimates: one for our cocktail hour, one for our dinner and one for after dinner. The cocktail hour and after dinner estimates included people drinking beer, wine and liquor (I think I broke it down by 40% wine, 40% beer, 20% liquor). For the after dinner portion I estimated the total number of people lessening with each hour. It also helps to know that type of crowd you’re inviting and if they’re heavy drinkers or not. Don’t forget that there will be designated drivers, so not everyone will be drinking.

Obviously, this is all just speculation at this point, but I feel pretty confident that my estimates will be pretty close to the real total (hopefully they will actually be too high and we will come in under budget!).

Post # 5
Member
5670 posts
Bee Keeper
• Wedding: August 2010

I would ask the venue for a list of prices for drinks per consumption. Then I would take the average to get a price range and account for 3 drinks per person. I know a lot of people who have had bars by consumption and 3 drinks seems to be the magic number since some guests don’t drink and other drink more than their share.

Post # 6
Member
1030 posts
Bumble bee
• Wedding: May 2011

3 drinks? In a 5 hour reception? Whoa. We are estimating 5-6 drinks per person (1-2 during cocktail hour, 1-2 during dinner, 1 after dinner). Our venue requires we do a consumption bar, but I think it’ll work in our favor because their drinks are very cheap (\$3.50 for beer, \$4.00 for wine, \$4.50 for hard liquor). We are expecting 100-110, so anticipating about \$2000-\$2500 for bar.

Post # 7
Member
2090 posts
Buzzing bee
• Wedding: August 2010

we had just udner 60 adults, with several who do not drink (AA), a 1 hour cocktail hour and a 5 hour dinner/reception. We had a full open bar for the cocktail hour (spirits and champagne), then poured wine with dinner (red and white, and beer).

Total with taxes and service charge (18% and 7.5% I think) was just over 2k.

I estimated 1 drink / per hour / per guest, and that was pretty close to accurate.

Post # 9
Member
463 posts
Helper bee
• Wedding: May 2010

i think you should also consider if your guests are light, average or heavy drinkers.

we did on consumption for cocktail hour, wine during dinner and a flat fee per person for open bar after dinner with 70 people in total.  at the end of it our tab was \$1200 for just consumption during cocktail hour and upgrading for better beer during the open bar after dinner.

We knew we had heavy drinkers to begin with so it wasn’t too suprising but still definitely stings.

Post # 11
Member
204 posts
Helper bee
• Wedding: July 2010

That sounds like a lot of money just for the alcohol, but the problem might be that your buying the alcohol through a hotel, so they might be jacking up the prices.

We had the option of buying our own alcohol. We had beer, wine, liquor, and champange and the total ended up being 2K for 150 guests. We asked our caterer and the person who own the beer/wine shop and they both gave very accuarate estimates based on our expected number of guests.

Post # 12
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
• Wedding: September 2010

I think by consumption is dangerous, frankly. We did consumption at our rehearsal dinner (35 people) and prepaid open bar at our wedding (75 people).

The bar tab at our rehearsal dinner was \$2,000, and it was only \$3,000 for double the guest size and double the time.

You know your guests best – are they heavy drinkers?

Post # 13
Member
996 posts
Busy bee
• Wedding: September 2009

roxy821: That’s what our caterer told us too. I think he said 3.5 drinks per person, and we had a completely open bar for 8 hours. We did shut it down during dinner and just had wine with the meals (about 1.5hrs.) except for my mother who apparently couldn’t live without her rye and coke.

3.5 drinks per person seemed RIDICULOUSLY low to us because we knew how much some of our guests liked to drink, but in the end he was right. The non-drinkers made up the difference.

EDIT: Obviously drink prices play a part in this. Our drinks were very reasonably priced. Most drinks were around \$4.50 each.

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