Looking to hire a bartender in the London area? Weddings, birthday parties, graduation celebrations, fundraisers and corporate events often require bartending services. Whatever the size of your party, there will be people within the London area who can fulfil your needs. Typically, it costs between £50 and £100 per hour to hire a bartender in London. In addition to this, minimum time periods often apply. However, the total cost depends on a number of factors. Continue reading for our guide to ensuring you get the best service for your money.

Why should I hire a bartender?

When you are planning an event, whatever the size or purpose, there will be many stresses along the way. Hiring someone to prepare and serve drinks can really take the pressure of you as the host, not just during the planning stage but throughout the actual event too. The bartending company will have a reputation to keep and they are highly experienced at what they do, so the pressure will be on them to deliver a top-class service.

Why do bartending hire costs vary?

Size of your function

The larger the party size, the greater the number of bartenders you will require. Therefore, the total price will increase. Furthermore, remember to factor in the length of time it will take for glass collection and washing up. It is not simply the pouring and serving of drinks that is involved. Sometimes, glass collectors are different people from the bartenders and charged at a lower rate. This is worth checking prior to making your choice.

Range of drinks

Depending on the nature of your function and the guests who will be attending, the drinks served will no doubt differ. If you are hoping to provide a range of cocktails rather than standard beers, wines and spirits, the price will be increased. Cocktails take a longer length of time to prepare and require a level of experience too. Therefore, more bartenders will be needed to cater for the needs of your guests within a sensible amount of time. If this does not happen, long queues will lead to frustrated guests.

Day of the week

As is the case with many services, prices vary hugely depending on when your function is being held. Mondays to Thursdays tend to be quieter days and prices reflect this. On days when demand is typically low, you will often find yourself charged less. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays see an increase, with Friday and Saturday nights costing the most. Additionally, you will find yourself paying more if your event is held on a Bank Holiday, for example, Good Friday.

Equipment needed

Some prices are inclusive of everything you require to make your party go off with a bang. Other companies charge extra for the hire of glasses, for example. It is worth reading the small print before making a final decision to ensure that you know exactly what is priced for in your quote. You should also do your research fully on what is provided by the venue you are hiring.


How can I lower the cost of hiring a bartender?

Bartending hire can cost a significant proportion of your event’s budget. However, if you are certain that it is a necessity, there are several ways in which you can reduce the amount you need to spend.

  • Look carefully at your schedule – if your event is six-hours long, do you really need bartending services for the entirety? If it is a corporate event, without any form of presentation, the chances are the answer is yes. However, for weddings, there are periods of time, during the ceremony for example, where people are not expected to be drinking. If you can reduce the length of time you require this hire, you will be able to reduce your costs significantly.
  • Limit the range of drinks – reducing the number of drinks on offer can lower your spend. Even if you are keen to offer cocktails at your function, why not limit the range to two or three popular ones? That way, your bartenders will be able to prepare them much more quickly. In fact, some elements may be able to be prepared in advance. Overall, this will require fewer staff members and you will save money.
  • Source your own alcohol and equipment – some bartending companies allow for this, others don’t. However, if you are able to track down your own alcohol, this could save you money. Wholesale retailers often have good offers on, so it is worth looking there before making a decision. Glass hire is another expense. It may be possible to hire from your venue rather than the bartending company. It is possible that they will do you a good deal if you order them whilst booking the actual event.
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