With Pride weekend upon us in New York City, our event staff is ready to rock - with their beverage stations all set up - to keep the refreshments at the ready! We thought now would be the perfect time for us to share our top tips that our bartending staff typically utilize when preparing an event beverage station and/or satellite bar:
- You will need a minimum of 2 ice buckets behind the bar. (Additional ice buckets are dependent on guest count/# of bartenders/size of bar). If possible, elevate ice buckets on milk crates. One ice bucket is to be used for white wine/beer/water-CHILLING and the other ice bucket is to be used for DRINKING ICE. Make sure you line all buckets with clear garbage bags. Do not use black garbage bags, this will dye the ice. Do not use drink ice for chilling or vice versa. This is a huge health violation. You must use an ice scoop (or shaker tin if not available) for all scooped ice. You may not use any type of glass to scoop ice.
- All white wine/beer/bottled water needs to be on ice a minimum of 45 min. prior to the start of the event.
- If floor mats are available make sure to place them behind bar prior to start of event.
- Stock all paper product including, napkins, straws, stirrers.
- If there is a specialty cocktail, does it need to be batched? If batched, who is in charge of batching cocktails? Should you be adding liquor when you’re serving or is it to be served as is?
- Know what you are to do with empty bottles. Are you to dispose of them? Are you to place them in product boxes? Clarify before start of event.
- Know who is to act as the designated bar back for that event. Is it a bartender, a server, porter/sanit, you?
- Keep bar clean and well-stocked for entire duration of event. This includes, moving all dirty glassware to lugs/racks (located in a sanit area), wiping bar down, restocking, etc. You should confirm with client/captain prior to the start of the event the proper way to restock glasses at the bar – i.e. is there room for lugs under the bar/should glasses on trays be used for replenishing / how should you transport lugs/racks to kitchen/sanit.
- When the event is over, you will need to then break down the bar.. This means, disposing of ice, removing linens, putting product back where it came from, making sure all dirty glassware is in lugs/glass racks. Before you leave, double check nothing is left at the bar. The bar should be deconstructed to how it was when you arrived to the event. There are often additional responsibilities for closing bartenders that have nothing to do with the bar. This may include throwing out trash or loading a truck. Be prepared for this.
We hope this list helps give some general guidelines when gearing up for your next catered beverage service. And Happy NYC Pride 2019 Weekend!