Start a mobile bartender service and enjoy the social life you love, meet a variety of different people, and benefit from experiencing various venues.
If you like to meet a lot of interesting people and go to a variety of events, this can be an awesome business for you to start.
This is a terrific business which falls into my category of great home based service business ideas you can run from your home to keep your overhead costs low.
To get started, you’ll want to check on any licensing requirements from your state or local government to determine what is required to serve alcoholic beverages in your area.
In addition, I’d suggest contacting your attorney and insurance agent to request their assistance on developing contracts for your clients and making certain you have adequate insurance coverage for your business.
Next, find a good quality mobile cart to meet your mobile bartender needs – large enough to efficiently hold glasses, beverage supplies, and paper/cleaning supplies.
Take a look at many of the internet suppliers to identify the lowest cost for drink supplies.
Think about options for pricing your services – will you charge a flat fee? An hourly rate? What will the fees be if you provide the alcohol or if the event organizer provides it? Will you provide snacks or appetizers?
Make sure you'll be able to cover your costs and make a profit before considering the amount of tips you may make
few hours of time. As you know, tips are not guaranteed and could create a problem if you're counting on them as cashflow and profitability for your business.
Develop a good quality price list and brochure listing your services. If you have friends who have been a bartender or cocktail waitress, can you hire them to help you for a few hours when the event is large enough?
Once you’ve established your pricing, contact
local hotels, recreation centers, event planners, and businesses to let them
know about the services you are offering.
As a mobile bartender, you can add a variety of other services to your business.
1) Add snacks or appetizers to your list of services provided.
2) Partner with other local businesses to provide restaurant food delivery or catering services
3) Provide event planning services along with your bartender business to help your busy clients.
3) Serve the alcohol for corporate events such as poker events, black-tie events, etc.
4) Specialize in providing bartending services at business conferences and conventions.
5) Expand your business and teach bartender classes.
6) Work at class reunions or family reunions.
7) Specialize in working for businesses at grand opening events and client appreciation days.
8) Sponsor or serve at poker/game parties.
9) Invest in ATMs to provide cash to party-goers (my neighbor does this with his mobile bartending service).
10) Add a gift basket business to your services and provide your hosts with their very own gifts for each event they book with you (make sure to showccase your gifts at your events to show what you can do for repeat business).
Resources: Mobile cart, vehicle, computer, phone, internet, drink supplies. Check out BarsandBartending.com for some fun resources -- gummy shot glasses, a free bartender cheat sheet, bomb shot recipes, t-shirts, and more. . .
Time Required: 5-15 hrs/week; full-time 30-40+ hrs/week
Training: Before you start your mobile bartender service, previous experience will be extremely important to allow you to learn about the industry, how to make specific drinks, and how to best handle peak periods during an event. This experience can come from having worked at a local pub or restaurant, working with someone who owned a mobile bartender service, or having thrown a variety of parties yourself where you’ve learned to master these skills. Study inventory management to determine the best way to manage your supplies while being mobile. You definitely don’t want to run out of supplies during a busy party (where you’re making money).
Market: Individuals, Families, Businesses Events, Non-Profit Charities
Home Based: Yes
Location: Local, Regional
Start-Up Costs: $500 - $5,000+
Minimizing Start-Up Costs: As a mobile bartender you can minimize your expenses by finding a good quality used cart or trailer which can be towed with your current vehicle and avoid a large expenditure.
Keep your costs lower by offering a few select drinks – a couple types of beer, wine, and a few of the more popular liquors with limited mixers. This will help keep your inventory costs low and allow you to manage the stocking of your mobile cart efficiently.
Request pre-payment or a deposit from your clients for supplies for each event to avoid having these costs come out of your pocket and negatively impact the cash flow of your business. Attend networking events and use word-of-mouth advertising to let people know you’re in business and the services you can offer.
Determine a low-cost way to accept credit cards or make certain you communicate you only offer a “cash only” bar.