When it comes to planning a memorable event, few things can elevate the experience like an open bar. The allure of endless drinks flowing freely can create an atmosphere of celebration and camaraderie, but before you raise that toast, it’s important to understand the cost of offering an open bar at your event.

In this blog, we’ll break down the various factors that contribute to the cost of an open bar and provide insights to help you make an informed decision.

Drinks selection

The first factor to consider when calculating the cost of an open bar is the drinks selection. The types you offer, from basic drinks to premium top-shelf spirits, will greatly influence the overall cost. It’s essential to strike a balance between offering a variety of options to please your guests while managing expenses.

Guest list

The number of guests attending your event directly affects the cost of the open bar. More people means more drinks. Be sure to have an accurate estimate of the number of guests to avoid overstretching your budget.


Longer events naturally require more drinks, leading to higher costs. Consider whether a full open bar throughout the entire event is necessary or if limiting the open bar to specific hours would be more suitable.

Choose how we run the bar at your next event

At Winchester Bar Services, we’ll work with you to create the perfect bar for your wedding, party or public or corporate event. We offer a range of options to help you determine how you want the bar to be run, including:

  • The Pay Bar: Nice and simple. Your guests pay for their own drinks.
  • The Free Bar: Offer an open bar where guests don’t need to pay. A deposit per person may be required.
  • The Tab Bar: Put a set amount of money behind the bar for complimentary drinks, then guests pay for their own when this runs out.

If you’d like to find out more about our mobile bar hire options, get in touch with us today.