What to pay a bartender?

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
2657 posts
Sugar bee

We have kind of a similar situation.  Our bartender was a referral from the caterer and doesn’t bartend full time.  He’s asking $150 for the entire reception (5 hours), so $30 per hour.  I’ve been told that is a decent deal for our area (Raleigh, NC) and that it’s common to see bartenders charge in the $35-$50 per hour range.  He is also not putting out a tips jar, although I do plan on tipping him an extra $50 for the night because he’s been really helpful with planning.  

I would ask your caterer first to see what the normal rates would be, then add on whatever you think is fair.  A beer/wine event doesn’t require as much bartending skill as a full open bar.

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