Bar prices more expensive than food?

posted 1 year ago in Food
Post # 2
762 posts
Busy bee

I haven’t priced around packages like this to compare, but generally restaurnts and venues make their bigger mark-up/profit on drink rather than food, so it doesn’t surprise me at all.

Post # 3
5872 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

I think you’re just getting a low priced meal for food, I wouldn’t imagine a 5 hour open bar would ever be less than $24 a person.

Post # 4
3403 posts
Sugar bee

It’s pretty standard in my area for the bar to be more expensive…it’s a set amount of food vs unlimited open bar.  

Post # 5
2737 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

Alcohol was the most expensive part for us..

Post # 6
13885 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Think about bar prices – a glass of average wine in my area is $10 – so an open bar for 5 hours at $37 doesn’t sound outrageous to me. 

Post # 7
8936 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
emvee :  If that’s the total for 5 hours, it seems fairly reasonable for beer & wine. Most places by me price open bar by the hour. Yours comes out to under $8 per person per hour which is probably average for around here. 

ETA: Oh wait, you said it also includes liquor. That’s a good price! Even for house stuff. 

Post # 8
5399 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

That’s pretty cheap for a 5 hour open bar. 

Post # 9
4769 posts
Honey bee

Assuming that that price is per person for the duration of the event versus per person per hour, which is something that I have seen that exorbitantly priced at some venues, that’s a pretty fair price, in fact possibly even cheap depending on your location and the venue – especially if you don’t have to pay separately for the bartender.

I live in the Midwest where I would say your average drink of hard liquor in a mixer like soda or glass of house wine would be about five or six dollars for well liquor and $8 maybe $9 for top shelf. Your average person is going to consume 6 drinks during a 5 hour reception. Average is calculated as two drinks the first hour and one drink each additional hour. Some may drink more, some may drink less but that’s the average. So 6 drinks at 6 bucks a drink is 36 bucks. And that would be for well liquor. Top shelf would come out to about 54 bucks if you were paying by consumption. So unless you have a crowd of extremely light drinkers who you can guarantee will be consuming only one or two drinks per person, then this will be a good deal for you vs paying it as consumption per drink.

As for whether it is worth it to pay more, that depends on your crowd.  I usually do for events I throw because most of my friends are whiskey and bourbon snobs (myself included) and if it included extras like amaretto and Bailey’s for mixing with after dinner coffee then I would.  If you have mainly beer drinkers, then it might not be worth it.

Also it sounds like you’re just getting a good deal on food. But I guess that depends on what that cost includes.

Post # 10
674 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

Well food and bar is way cheaper then what I found in my area. Having a bar is an exspensive cost. It really depends on you location. Is it by hosted or consumption because that can affect prices. Do what you can afford and what’s important to you. If the bar is a big thing to you your obviously going to spend more money but if you don’t really care or are not big drinkers your probably going to go the cheaper route. 

Post # 11
4037 posts
Honey bee

I agree with the prior poster, about getting a good deal on your food pricing.

Northeast U.S. 2014 prices, for my daughter’s wedding, including tax and gratuity – alcohol was 30% of the total, per-person charge. The pricing was done a la carte, for 4 hours of top-shelf open bar (don’t know if the 4 hours was a state rule or venue maximum, but we couldn’t add to it). The food included substantial cocktail hour food (buffet and passed), and 4 plated courses, including the cake. The open bar charge for the few guests under 21, was half the adult rate, so it was over $26 per kid, for 4 hours of soda. 

Post # 12
510 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

My open bar for 5 hours (beer and wine only) was $32 a person but our plated dinner was $120 a person. So for the bar, that sounds very standard to be honest. As others have said, it’s your meal that is a great deal and making the bar seem so much more expensive. 

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