How to hire a bar

When hiring a bar for your event there are lots of different components to making it run smoothly. We have been providing bars at all sorts of events from weddings to festivals for the last ten years.

Below is a list of questions that we are regularly asked followed by my responses.

How big is the bar?

Our bars come in 1.5m sections and are modular so you can just keep adding more sections until you have a bar that fits the event space and number of guests that you are expecting. For a wedding or party bar with up to 150 guests I would say that a 3x3m bar area is big enough. Anything between 150 -250 guests then I suggest an area 4.5x3m area to be able to hold the extra staff and kit required. As the events grow above 250 guests, we add an extra 1.5m section to the width per 100 guests. We also provide corner pieces to create right angle or u-shaped bars.

Do you need a license to sell alcohol?

Yes. The sale of alcohol is covered by the Licensing Act 2003. There must be a license in place to sell alcohol. This is done in two ways. The venue can have a license that covers the sale of alcohol, this is called a premises license, this is issued by the local authority and is put in place when there are lots of instances where licensable activities take place or there are over 499 people in attendance. Alternatively, if the event is not happening regularly or there are less than 499 people in attendance the license can be issued as a ‘Temporary Event Notice.’ A temporary Event Notice is issued by the local authority. A person can apply for up to 5 TEN’s (Temporary event Notice) per year. If you have a personal license to sell alcohol, then you can apply for up to 50. These need to be applied for ten days before the event takes place. For the events we attend we apply for the license on your behalf. We charge a fee of £30 to do this, £21 is the cost of the license and a £9 admin fee.

How are payments taken?

We take card payments on our bar. Our card machines run on 3G, or Wi-Fi so will always be able to find a signal. If you are buying drinks packages from us, putting money behind the bar, or picking up the tab for all the drinks we take a bank transfer for these wherever possible. 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. We have draught beer and cider as standard. The beers are a lager and a pale ale. We stock wine (white, red & rose) Prosecco, a good range of spirits and soft drinks. We use local brewers for real ale if that is going to be popular. We also offer small range of pre agreed cocktails as standard. We have a house gin and flavoured gins that rotate. We use local products wherever possible. We always get great feedback on the drinks we sell.

Do you provide drinks packages?

We know from experience that at a wedding or a party that the organiser often wants to provide a drink for their guests. We offer drinks packages to suit any budget. Just tell us what you would like to provide, and we will do you a bespoke quote. For welcome drinks we have provided, Prosecco, beer, G&T, cocktails, Pimms and soft drinks amongst others. The table wine is sourced from a local wine expert, just tell us your budget and what wine you like, and we will do the rest. Toast drinks are also popular, whether this is Asti, Prosecco or Champagne or anything else then we are happy to organise this. When planning the drinks packages, we always suggest providing around 10% as a non-alcoholic option. When you buy a drinks package through us we will chill the drinks, serve them and provide the glassware free of charge.

What does the bar look like?

Most of our bars are in the style of a rustic festival look. We have fantastic feedback abut the way that they fit into a lot of popular wedding venues and garden parties. The back bar is decorated with wooden crates, festoon lights and optic holders. We can also provide metal bars and dark wood bars. There are lots of pictures on our website and FB and Instagram pages.

How long does it take to set up and break down?

We try to set up our bar the day before the event if possible. Especially if it is a wedding or a party or at in a garden. This way it reduces the pressure on the day, and we won’t be trying to bring fridges and beer coolers into a decorated room. The set up usually takes 1-2 hours. It depends on the venue to whether we take our equipment away on the same night. If we do it takes around an hour to break it down.

How many staff do you have working?

Our bars are manned by a minimum of two staff. This increases as the event size grows. There will always be personal license holder at the event. We also use glass collectors to ensure that tables and the event space do not become full of empty glasses. We are always looking for self-motivated staff members to join our team so feel free to let us know if you or anyone you know might be interested.

Do you need power?

Yes, our bar service needs power to operate. If you are running a small event like a wedding or a party, then 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 a country show where we need to run multiple coolers, fridges and freezers then we need a dedicated 16A supply. On rare occasions this may increase to a 32A supply but we will let you know when we have the event details. This power can either be provided by the event organiser or we can supply our own generator. All our equipment is PAT tested yearly.

What area do you cover?

We are based in Winchester and most of our work is in Hampshire. We do also work in Dorset, Surrey and West Sussex. We are prepared to cover the whole of the south and London.

Can you make cocktails?

Yes, we can make cocktails. We especially love an Espresso Martini! We offer a choice of two pre agreed cocktails at all our events. This is becoming more popular at weddings and parties as time goes by. We can also provide dedicated cocktail bars. These are very popular at garden parties. We have also shaken cocktails at corporate events, hen dos and birthday parties.

Do you hire equipment only?

We do lots of equipment hire. This is becoming an increasingly popular way to provide a bar at an event. It gives the hirer a chance to stock the bar with the drinks they choose and if they are selling the drinks, to keep the profit. We offer wedding and party bar packages that include a bar, a back bar, a fridge and draught beer dispense. We can also hire set ups for larger events. We also provide glass hire.

Can you provide staff?

All the events where we provide a bar service come with a minimum of 2 staff. This increases as the numbers go up. We can sometimes provide staff at an event where we are supplying kit only. This depends on our staff not working at events where we are supplying a full bar service. We work alongside staff agencies so can recommend places to find staff if you need them.

Where have you worked before?

We have worked all over the place over the last ten years. We have provided festival bars at Winchestival, Frimley Lodge Live and Basingstoke Live. We have provided corporate bars for BMW, The British Army and Krispy Kreme amongst others. We have supplied hundreds of wedding bars all over the south, we have set up in gardens, farmers field, wedding venues, village halls and countless other places. The way our service and set up works means that we can be completely flexible. As long as it can be done in a safe way then we are happy to attend!

Do you provide glasses?

Yes, we do. We provide all the glasses for the event if you are having a full bar service. We also hire glasses for events where we aren’t providing the drinks. We can provide glass, poly carbonate or recyclable single use. If you hire glasses from us, we don’t charge a breakage fee and they can be returned dirty. If you buy and drinks packages through us, we supply the glassware free of charge.

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

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