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How to Start a Bartending Catering Business in 2023

Bartending caterers move to different event sites, staging anywhere the event organizer or client requires. Several bartending operations include alcohol, trademark beverages, glassware, and personnel, although many involve the service user to supply the beverages and drink.

Business owners with knowledge in the bar and restaurant industries who want to branch out on their own are particularly fit for this commercial enterprise. Bartenders and caterers frequently work evenings and weekends. This allows for more flexible work hours, giving you freedom throughout the week to concentrate on your company’s growth.

Steps on How to Start a Bartending Catering Business

  1. Conduct Market Research

Evaluate the offerings, pricing, and client testimonials of bartending catering firms in your region. You’re aiming to fill the void space. For example, perhaps the local market lacks a professional bartender service that serves specialty refreshments or a mobile bottled beer station. You can fill this gap.

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a. Who is our Target Market?

Customers that wish to throw either small or open gatherings that could involve alcoholic drinks are your target audience. Birthday celebrations, graduation ceremonies, anniversaries, and charity events occur throughout the year, guaranteeing that your services are constantly in demand.

For corporate gatherings, your primary clientele will be established individuals and corporations. You can reach out to them on Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also collaborate with food outlets to bartend the gatherings they cater.

b. Is Bartending Catering Business a Profitable Business?

Yes. In the previous five years, the bartending caterer industry has grown significantly. With the market primed for further expansion within the coming term, business owners have a high chance of meeting their development objectives.

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Several have achieved great things by offering franchise opportunities, while others can serve numerous clientele on just about any single night.

c. Are there any existing industry niches?

Providing a certain sort of drink gives your customers a notion of your bar’s style. You may choose to serve drinks, champagne, or local beer to your customers. You may also serve other snack selections to go with your beverages.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Emery’s Catering
  • HD Liquid Catering
  • Patricia Catering & Cocktails
  • Sponsored
  • Revel Catering and Events
  • Sponsored
  • Gelato Go
  • Sponsored
  • Over The Moon Bartending
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Bartending Catering Businesses?

Maybe! However, take into consideration that your initial move will be to approach your state’s Alcohol Beverage Control Board. Each jurisdiction has its own set of restrictions and legislation, and the ABCB can direct you on how to reach your municipality to check whether there are any.

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Since each has a distinct regulatory body that handles its liquor regulations, it is critical that you should be aware of the legislation before opening a bartender catering service in one area.

f. Is There a Franchise for Bartending Catering Business?
  • Prohibition Mobile Bar: $20,000.
  • With A Twist: $50,000 – $75,000
  • The Hub Tap–On Request
  • YorPub: $107,586 to $129,719
g. What Do You Need to Start a Bartending Catering Business?
  • A reliable vehicle
  • Your bar
  • Glassware and other accessories such as napkins, straws, and other things.
  • Alcohol and mixers
  • Liquor license
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.

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Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a bartending catering business are;

Creative Bartending Catering Business Name ideas
  • Chilled Served
  • Blend To Taste
  • Cellar Glass
  • Olympus Cocktails
  • Truck 27
  • Truck Bar
  • One Call Bar
  • Magic Alcohol
  • Cantu Lounge
  • Wide Taste Bar
  • Home touch Bar
  • Green Lounge
  • Zeus Bar
  • The Tarred Lounge
  • Tasty Savor Wheels
  • Mix It Up
  • Premium Shaker
  • Grape Wheels
  • Contract Mixer
  1. Register your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Bartending Catering Business?

Corporate entities exist in a variety of shapes and sizes, every one with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Pick thoughtfully since the corporate entity you pick for your bartending catering business may influence your taxes, personal liabilities, and business registration requirements.

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Nonetheless, new business owners are advised to create an LLC since it provides liability coverage and pass-through corporate taxes while being easier to form, unlike a corporation.

b. LSteps to Form an LLC
  • Select a Name for Your LLC.
  • Save the Articles of Organization.
  • Select a registered agent.
  • Choose between member and manager management.
  • Make an operating agreement for your LLC.
  • All tax and regulatory obligations must be met.
  • Annual reports must be filed.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Bartending Catering Business?

Businesses that sell alcoholic drinks must get a liquor permit from the proper state or municipal body. If you want to serve food too, you need to obtain a permit from your local health authority. The local health agency inspects food enterprises at irregular intervals on a constant schedule.

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d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Bartending Catering Business?
  • Hospitality Skill Certification for Bartenders
  • Food Safety Manager Certification
  • Certified Food Manager (CFM)
  • Certified Professional – Food Safety (CP-FS)
  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • Certified Purchasing Card Professional (CPCP)
  • Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW)
  • ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Bartending Catering Business
  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit and Building Approval
  • Business License
  • Driver’s License
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

Despite your ability to create your own trademark drink, applying for intellectual property rights just to safeguard your beverage may be a waste of everyone’s time. Nevertheless, if you believe your brand’s name, logo, motto, or any other content should be protected, you can consult an expert IPP attorney to assist you in applying for an IPP.

  1. Do your Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Bartending Catering Business?

A bartending catering business may cost between $6,000 and $12,000. The cost of the mobile bar, glasses, and cocktail-making apparatus, along with a truck to deliver your bar, are all included.

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b. What are the Costs Involved
  • Setting up a business name and corporation: $150 – $200
  • Business licenses and permits: $100 – $300
  • Insurance: $100-$300
  • Business cards and brochures: $200 – $300
  • Website setup: $1,000 – $3,000
  • Mobile bar: $2,000 – $3,000
  • Equipment and supplies: $1,000 – $2,000
  • Vehicle to transport bar and equipment: $1,500 – $3,000
 c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Bartending Catering Business?
  • Vehicle for transportation.
  • Equipment
  • Permits and licenses
  • Plans for branding, advertising, and marketing
  • Insurance
  • Supplies and ongoing costs
  • The Cost of Hiring and Training New Employees
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility?

Once you have gathered the expertise required to launch your bartending catering business, you’ll really have to begin stocking your shelves. Although an office is not necessary to be successful, there would be a lot of tools to keep. As a result, numerous entrepreneurs rent a big enough location to arrange and store all materials.

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e. What are the Ongoing Expenses for Running a Bartending Catering Business?

You will need to buy booze, beverage, mixers, and appetizers ahead of time. In addition, your company will suffer the following continuing costs:

  • Payroll taxes—bartenders must make at least $150 for each event, including tips.
  • If you elect to lease a facility, you will have to pay rent.
  • Utility bills.
  • Insurance coverage—both for the corporate car and for liability.
  • Marketing
 f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  •  Manager: $42,860
  • Business development specialist: $33,750
  • Bartenders: $32,660
  • Drivers: $22,440
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Bartending Catering Business
  • Bank loans
  • SBA-guaranteed loans
  • Government grants
  • Friends and Family
  • Crowdfunding
  • Personal
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

King’s Services will be a well-known private bartending service that provides skilled personal bartenders that deliver high-quality bartending services.

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At King’s Services, we will assist busy people by linking them with bartenders who can serve at their events, thus allowing them to spend less and have more fun. To guarantee the safety and enjoyment of our clientele, all our servers will be thoroughly verified and trained.

b. Products and Service
  • We will provide mobile bartender services to our customers’ visitors, serving both alcoholic and non-alcoholic classic and unique mixes.
  • Consultation Service
  • Training sessions.
c. Mission Statement

Our objective as King’s Services is to cover our town and all neighboring areas with our mobile trucks giving only the best items.

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Vision Statement

At King’s Service, our objective is to establish an amazing bartender catering business with easily identifiable trucks that will suit the demands of our clients.

d. Goals and Objectives

Our goals and objectives for the first three years of business at King’s Services include:

  • To outperform clients’ expectations
  • Grow the number of clients serviced by 25% every year
  • To establish a lucrative and long-term start-up.
  • To achieve a net profit of $150,000 after taxes by year three.
  • By the third year, the net income should be greater than 10% of sales.
e. Organizational Structure
  • Manager
  • Accountant
  • Marketing and Sales Executive
  • Client Service Executive
  • Bartenders
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Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
  • Adequate investment
  • Communication
  • Networking
  • Staff development
  • Local procurement
  • Costs have risen.
  • Continuity is lost.
  • Keeping abreast of new regulations and standards.
  • Financial command.
  • People want personalized services from bartending caterers, such as unique cocktail alternatives that the client may select ahead of the event.
  • Many bartending catering firms have trucks that look like food trucks and may work outside.
  • The growing prevalence of bartending catering is increasing competition in the business.
  • It’s difficult to keep track of how much alcohol visitors have been offered, which increases the risk of overserving.
b. How Do Bartending Catering Businesses Make Money?

The services provided by bartending caterer businesses earn cash. Some guests will simply want bartenders, whereas others will demand full service (drinks, glasses, mixers, and so on). Make sure you provide potential customers with a choice of options to pick from.

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c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Be innovative, and use every marketing channel available to you.
  • Post free classified advertising on internet classifieds sites.
  • Acquire ad space in a local newspaper.
  • Approach and place business cards with the persons in charge of arranging events at local venues.
  • Contact party planners, DJs, caterers, and other event specialists. Describe your bartending service and request references.
  • Look in the ads for persons looking for a mobile bartender for their events.
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Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your product/Service?

This is determined by how you build your company. A bartending caterer often earns around $50 per hour. You could apply a markup on alcoholic drinks if it’s a cash service and you offer the booze. You will also give suggestions. Your profit margin should be approximately 90%.

b. How Much Profit Do Bartending Catering Business Owners Make a Year?

You’ll earn around $50 per hour for an event, depending on how many people come. If you sell the booze, you will also earn a profit from it. If there is an open bar, the guest will cover the cost of the alcohol. You can earn $500 for every event.

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You may perform two events every week for the first year or two, raking in $52,000 in yearly earnings. That would also result in a profit of $47,000. Sales might increase to 10 events each week as you gain repeat business and recommendations.

At this point, you would engage additional bartenders, cutting your profit margin to roughly 40%. With a $260,000 yearly income, you’d generate a tidy profit of $104,000.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • Industry Experience
  • Location
  • Clientele Base
  • Niche
  • Investment
  • Capabilities
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Bartending Catering Business Product/Service?

Your profit margin should be about 90%.

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e. What is the Sales Forecast?
  • Year One: $143,000
  • Year Two: $342,000
  • Year Three: $890,000
  1. Set Up your Shop/Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Bartending Catering Business

When selecting a business facility, consider the following guidelines:

  • The site is centralized and freely obtainable via public transportation.
  • Well-ventilated and roomy, with plenty of natural light.
  • Rental that is customizable and may be prolonged as your company expands.
  • Space that is ready to use and does not require any substantial upgrades or repairs.
b. What is the best state and city to start a bartending catering business?
  • The most favored states are: Hawaii, Arizona, and California
  • States with the lowest number of bartenders include Utah, Alabama, and Oklahoma.
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate?

Your mobile bar will require a variety of glassware, together with apparatus for holding and serving beer. A jug, muddler, cocktail shaker, and electric blender are also required, including a vehicle and trailer. Some bartending caterers sometimes employ hybrid bar/vans or trucks rather than bars on rollers to make moving from one location to the next simpler.

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Since the price of petrol to drive from one location to the next is among your most essential operating expenditures, the type of vehicle and bar you choose has a direct influence on your profit margin.

  1. Hire Employees

If you’re starting small from home, you might not require any staff. However, as your company expands, you will most likely require employees to cover a variety of positions. Roles available in a bartending catering firm include:

  • Bartenders – serve drinks during gatherings.
  • General Manager- Will be in charge of scheduling, ordering, and accounting.
  • Marketing Manager – SEO and social media tactics
  1. Launch the Business Proper

Yes, you will need to appropriately debut your firm, however, before your formal grand opening, it might be beneficial to conduct several trial-runs. This may include:

  • Friends and Family Night: Keep in mind that you can bring your crew’s friends and family to a sneak peek opening. This is an additional dependable technique to get into things, particularly when you are under less pressure because you know all the visitors.
  • Neighborhood Meet-up: You may also extend invitations to soft openings to nearby companies and neighbors. It provides you with an opportunity to meet all your neighbors and spread the news in your neighborhood.
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a. What Makes a Bartending Catering Business Successful?
  • Focus your advertising efforts on attracting major clientele who often hold huge events.
  • Share your expertise about mixology by conducting courses or writing a blog. This might be done online or in person.
  • Catering snacks or meals might be added as an extra service.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Bartending Catering Business?

If you’ve ever worked in the service sector, you know how unpredictable it can be. This provides another dimension of excitement for many, ensuring that almost no 2 days are the same. You will be responsible for the following activities as the operator of a bartender catering business:

  • Answer phone inquiries and queries from customers.
  • Speak with consumers ahead of time to discover their vision and preferences, inspect the venue, and make a note of any guest reactions or sensitivities.
  • Purchase any materials required for upcoming activities.
  • Plan ahead of time and/or employ bartenders for forthcoming events.
  • Develop a drink “menu” and back it up with specialized drink ideas depending on your client’s tastes.
  • Show up early to open up the bar
  • After the event, clean up.
  • Service and cleaning of vehicles used to deliver goods on a regular basis.
  • Advertising, communication, and administrative responsibilities
  • Check up with customers to get feedback and confirm they were satisfied with the service.
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Most bartending catering service owners want to be the company’s face while delegating practical bartending to their personnel.

c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Bartending Catering Business

Establishing a thriving bartending catering business is simple at first glance—you bring the ordered materials to the event and serve beverages to attendees. Whether it’s a marriage or a fundraiser, your customer wants to make their dream for this important day a reality.

As a result, it’s critical that you turn up on time and make sure every thing is taken care of. You’ll frequently be staging in an unknown location or with unknown catering staff, so flexibility and preparation are key.

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You would also be expected to engage with attendees all through the event. Bartenders have excellent communication skills and can engage with almost anyone. It is vital that you remain courteous and professional and assist wherever possible, even when the work does not fall under your job description.

Find employment as a server or bar manager for at minimum a year if you are proficient in the skill of mixology but have never worked in this industry. You would then discover stunts and shortcuts, as well as the fundamentals of running a bar effectively. You should also become used to having to stand for 8-12 hours each day.