What to look for when choosing a mobile bar

A well stocked bar is something all weddings and events need, so it’s no wonder mobile bars are growing in popularity. However, choosing a suitable one for you isn’t always an easy decision. Here’s our views on how to make this choice a little easier!

Check your venue is happy for a mobile bar on site

Most hotels are happy to accept a mobile bar supplier onto their site, but it pays to double check with them first.

What type of bar do you need?

Deciding on the type of bar you need isn’t just a choice of alcoholic or non-alcoholic. There are several options available to you. A dry bar hire is one where you’re provided with a bar unit, ready stocked with the equipment, glassware and ice you needs – along with staff, if you require them. You just have to provide the ‘wet’ stock (the drinks!).

Free bars are when your guests don’t pay for the drinks, but you cover the overall bill at the end. A cash bar, on the other hand, is when the guests need to buy their own drinks, as per a traditional bar. You can, of course, opt for a combination – where you provide the first couple of drinks, before guests have to buy their own.

Alternatively, you may just need bartenders, especially if you opt for our mobile bar unit – so opt for a mobile bar supplier that has this option available. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need one experienced bartender for every 50 guests.

Specialised or not

Another option you have open to you is that of the specialised bars.A bar can be a functional area in a corner or a real specialised statement piece, but you need to decide what it is you want. For some, they want the bar to offer specialised drinks – such as tea, cocktails, or Champagne – so it makes sense to look for a specialised bar. Others would prefer the bar area itself to be a statement piece that enhances their overall wedding theme – preferring a converted horsebox or even a converted bus! We personally love the Vintage Bar Box – http://www.vintagebarbox.com/ .

Ensure they can provide the type of drinks you need

The bar will need to be stocked with the type of drinks you want. For weddings, that often means a range of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. It also needs to cater for your personal preferences – for example, are you more of a beer bottle and alcopop type person, or a Champagne and wine drinker?

It pays to ask your shortlisted choice of bars to each provide a sample drinks menu, to ensure they’re on the same page as you.

Always go with a professional supplier

It should go without saying really, always opt for fully licensed and insured professionals. Check they have both Public Liability insurance and Employers Liability (if providing staff). You’ll also need to confirm that they have a license to sell alcohol.

Opt for a mobile bar that has a cancellation and amendment policy

There are several unforeseen circumstances that may cause you to cancel or postpone a wedding – especially if it’s being held outside. It’s therefore crucial that you opt for a mobile bar supplier that has a cancellation and amendment policy in place. This will enable you to relax, knowing that if your wedding date needs changing or cancelling, you’ll be able to recoup at least some of your initial outlay.

Check out their website and social media

You’re looking for reviews and testimonials, as well as their gallery of photos. Why? You want to ensure they’re going to fit in with your wedding theme – and they’re experienced in what they do and are able to provide you with a good level of customer care.

Don’t just opt for the cheapest

There are lots of new and established options available to you, but the cheapest isn’t always the best choice. Sometimes, you need to pay more to get the quality of service you require or the professional staff you need. Our parting advice would therefore be to take your time and look around. Shortlist those that interest you and ask them to provide a sample menu – before you make your final choice and part with any deposit.

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