How to hire a bar: Your questions answered
Our list of FAQs below will hopefully answer any questions you may have about us and the process of how to hire a bar. However, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
How big is the bar?
Our bars come in modular 1.5m sections, meaning you can add as many as you need! Depending on the number of guests, we often suggest:
- Up to 150 guests: 3x3m bar
- 150-250 guests: 4.5x3m bar
- 250+ guests: Add an extra 1.5m section per 100 guests
We also provide corner sections for our bars, so there is the option to create a right angle or u-shape too.
Do you need a license to sell alcohol?
Yes. The sale of alcohol is covered by the Licensing Act 2003, so you must have a license in place to do so. This is done in two ways:
Your venue may have a license that covers the sale of alcohol (known as a premises license), which is issued by the local authority. This will be done in cases where there are regular instances of licensable activities taking place or if there are over 499 people in attendance.
Temporary Event Notice
If a premises license doesn’t apply to your venue, the license can be issued as a ‘Temporary Event Notice’ (TEN) from the local authority. A person can apply for up to 5 TENs per year, but if you have a personal license to sell alcohol then this number increases to 50.
A TEN will need to be applied for ten days prior to the date of the event. We can handle this on your behalf should you wish, charged at a fee of £30.
How are payments taken?
We take card payments on our bars. If you are buying a drinks package for your event, putting money behind the bar or picking up the tab for all the drinks, we usually take a bank transfer wherever possible. Though if it is a spur of the moment decision, we are happy to take a card payment.
What drinks do you sell?
We offer a comprehensive range of drinks on our bars, including draught beer, cider and a small range of pre-agreed cocktails as standard. We also stock wine (white, red & rosé), prosecco, a good range of spirits (with house and flavoured gins on rotation) and soft drinks.
Where possible, we try to use as many local brewers and suppliers as we can, who all offer an incredible range of quality products.
Do you offer drinks packages?
If you would like to provide a drink or two for your guests, we can offer a drinks package to suit your budget. We’ll also chill the drinks, serve them and provide the glassware free of charge.
Previously, we have provided prosecco, beer, G&Ts, cocktails, Pimms and soft drinks, amongst others.
Our table wines are sourced from a local expert, based on your budget and what wine you would like.
A popular option for many events, this could include Asti, prosecco or champagne, for example.
When planning the drinks package for your event, we would suggest providing around 10% as a non-alcoholic option.
If you have an idea in mind for your drinks package, please get in touch for a bespoke quote.
How long is set up and take down?
We will often try to set up our bar the day before the event where possible, especially if it is a wedding or party, or in a garden. This helps to reduce any pressure and rushing around on the day, and means we won’t need to bring any equipment through a newly decorated room.
Set up usually takes around 1-2 hours, while taking down is usually around an hour. It will depend on the venue as to whether we take our equipment away on the same night.
How many staff will work on the bar?
Our bars are manned by a minimum of two staff, which will increase in line with the size of the event. At least one member of staff will be a personal license holder. We also use glass collectors to ensure that tables and event space do not become cluttered.
We are always looking for self-motivated staff members to join our team, so feel free to get in touch if you are interested.
Do you need power?
Yes, as our bar service requires power to operate.
If you are running a small event, such as a wedding or party, we can operate from a double socket. We provide PAT tested extension leads and multi-sockets.
If you are running a larger event, like a festival or country show where we’ll be running multiple coolers, fridges and freezers, we will need a dedicated 16A supply. On rare occasions this may increase to a 32A supply, but we will inform you of this once we have details of the event. Power can either be provided by the event organiser or we can supply our own generator.
All of our equipment is PAT tested annually.
What area do you cover?
We are based in Winchester and typically cover Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey and West Sussex. However, we can cover the whole of the South and even London.
Can you make cocktails?
Yes, of course, we especially love an Espresso Martini! We offer a choice of two pre-agreed cocktails at all our events as standard.
We can even provide dedicated cocktail bars, which are a great option for summer garden parties.
Can I just hire the equipment?
Absolutely! Our dry hire package is an increasingly popular way to run a bar at an event, as it gives the organiser the opportunity to stock with drinks of their choosing and keep the profits.
We offer wedding and party dry bar packages that include the bar, a back bar, fridge and draught beer dispense, as well as optional glassware hire. We can also hire set ups for larger events.
If you require staff too, we are happy to work with you to organise this.
Where have you worked before?
Over the last 10 years, we’ve been here, there and everywhere! We’ve worked with festivals including Winchestival, Frimley Lodge Live and Basingstoke Live. We’ve provided corporate bars for the likes of BMW, The British Army and Krispy Kreme. And we’ve had the pleasure of being a part of many couples’ special days at weddings all over the South, setting up in traditional venues as well as gardens, fields and village halls.
The way our service and set up works means that we can be completely flexible!
Do you provide glasses?
Yes, if you’re having a full bar service or buying one of our drinks packages, glasses will be provided as standard, free of charge. We also offer glass hire for events where we aren’t providing the drinks.
Options include glass, polycarbonate or recyclable single use.
If you hire glasses from us, we don’t charge a breakage fee and they can be returned dirty.
“Fabulous job by Stuart and his team at our wedding Sept. we wanted a rustic theme and he was able to help us achieve this! Great contact throughout and very personable. Thank you!”Stella McGrann
“Stuart was very helpful, and the cocktails they created went down a storm with our guests! The bar was lovely and so in keeping with our theme. Would definitely recommend and use again if we ever needed a bar!!”Mark Weeks
“Excellent bar service from Stuart and Tash at Fobfest. Very efficient set up and take down, good comms, very friendly. Bar design looked perfect in the barn and really added to the theme. Stuart happily accommodated additional drink selections. Highly recommended.”Nina Woolvett
“I recommend Winchester bar services, a first-class way to provide a mobile bar for your private parties/events. With reasonable prices and friendly bar staff they enhanced my party and were very professional in all their dealings, plus the bar was free to hire!”Mr D, Southampton. Hampshire wedding bar
“Thank you so much for your fantastic mobile bar service. It was so nice having such a friendly and professional team organising our wedding bar. I will be recommending your mobile bar to anyone I know who needs a bar for any events.”Mrs B, Dinton. Hampshire wedding bar