Now, an event bartending holds many opportunities if you’re looking to make it a side gig or a full-time job. 

It’s something you can do along with your main job, plus you can start up with little capital and learn between the ropes easily, even if you have no experience.

But of course, you’ll need to know some basic things between the ropes if you want to start up your event bartending service. 

In this article, you’ll get all the information you need to start your event bartending from scratch. Sounds cool?

Let’s have some fun!


Who is an event bartender?

Unlike the traditional bars set up in a specific location for tasty customers to come in to have a drink or two, event bartenders are the opposite.

An event bartender is someone who goes to different locations to bartend private functions or event/parties.

In event bartending, the bartender goes to weddings, birthdays, funerals, indoor hangouts, corporate events to bartend using its bartending equipment, like a portable bar, alcohol mixer, etc. 

What would it cost to setup an event bartending?

Now, starting up bartending for events is more affordable than owning a traditional bar in your neighborhood or another location, paying for rent, staff, and other costs of running the business.

The cost to set up an event bartending service is at least $800. You’ll need that amount for some supplies like a portable bar, chair, mixer set, alcohol, etc. 

Nevertheless, that’s an estimate of what you’ll need for some essential equipment to get you started. The portable bar comes in large and small sizes, with the larger ones costing you more and requiring transportation means.

It’s better to start with something on the lower end. A small foldable table that can fit right into a suitcase would work just fine. Plus, it saves you the cost of transportation.

Asides from your bartending tools, the client will provide everything else you’ll need like liquors, wines, alcohol, beers, etc. Your clients only need your bartending prowess.

How do I start event bartending with no experience?

There are some ways you can gain lots of experience to start your event bartending service, even if you’ve never been behind a bar.

There are three ways you can learn to become an event bartender even with no experience

  • Be a barback
  • Learn from a restaurant bar
  • Go to a bartending school

Alright, let’s talk about those choices

Be a Barback 

This one way you acquire the basic skills needed for your event bartending when you have no experience to start as a barback.

Being a barback requires no experience at all. What’s needed is your willingness to learn.

As a barback, you’ll be assisting the actual bartender in the bar, though the routing involves taking care of most of the manual labor, restocking, cleaning, etc. 

You’ll be quite crucial to the bartender, which puts you in an excellent position to learn from an expert. 

It will be of tremendous help if you’re someone that has absolutely no idea about bartending.

You’ll get to:

  • Watch the bartender as he mixes and pour different cocktails, liquors, etc.
  • You’ll learn a lot of client communication skill, which you’ll need in your event bartending 
  • You’ll know how to multitask, attending to large number of tasty individuals
  • Get you familiar with the different types of garnishes and barware, making it easy to know exactly what to buy when setting up event bartending.

Another way you could learn the ropes of event bartending with zero experience is: 

Learn from a restaurant Bar

If you don’t like the idea of learning the act of bartending as a barback, you can be a server or hostess at any restaurant that has a bar.

Restaurants usually carry out training for servers, teaching them the basics of mixing drinks and client communication, which are both something you’ll need for your event bartending.

Restaurant bars offer more learning flexibility. They are not as crowded as nightclubs, lounges, or other bars. It gives you a gentler environment to learn at your own pace and get some experience. 

Remember, all the intention is to get such basic experience to start your event bartending. You’re not looking out to be a pro. That comes with years of experience. 

Furthermore, restaurant bars won’t need almost the entire night because they close earlier compared with other bars like nightclubs. 

Though you won’t experiment with different liquors or cocktails in a restaurant bar, it is still an excellent option to learn the basics needed. 

Bartending School

A barback or a restaurant bar is not the only way you can learn the art of bartending. You can also learn from a bartending school.

In a bartending school, you will be taught the basic and other crucial skills like pouring, mixing, etc. It will help you gain some experience for your event bartending. 

Nevertheless, though bartending schools will give you some sound experience, it’s not going to teach you how to manage a tough crowd of tasty people, still wearing a smile on has your bartend.

Asides from that, you won’t have real-life experience on how to attend to clients (i.e., you won’t learn social interaction), which is quite essential, especially if you’re the shy type. 


What are benefits of event bartending?

Every freelance business has its benefits that tags along with it when you’ve done everything required, and bartenders for events are not an exception.

The benefits you’ll get as an event bartender are unlimited freedom, flexibility, networking, more cash, and more fun.  

  • Unlimited freedom

 As a freelance bartender for events, you are your own boss, which means you get to the working hours without pressure from anyone.

  • Networking

You’ll get to have some conversations with people you’re serving, which is a good opportunity to advertise yourself to others that need your services in their upcoming event.

  • Make more money

Freelance event bartenders have an opportunity to make more side income, aside from the primary work you’re already engaged in. 

You can make close to $200 – $500 per week bartending for events, and it will keep going only. After a couple of years, it is possible to make $1500 in just one week. Plus, it’s all going to be your profit because you’re not paying any staff or any cost aside from transportation. 

  • More fun

Event bartending is the kind of freelance job that makes you happy when your guests are delighted. 

What’s more fun than entertaining beautiful people at a birthday party and getting paid for it? Plus, you’re also advertising yourself to potential clients.


Common questions and answers


No, you don’t need a license for event bartending because you’re not selling alcohol to consumers. You are simply providing alcohol, crafting alcoholic beverages, and serving. If you were to sell alcohol, or alcoholic beverages then yes, you would need a Alcohol License.


Some people think some jobs out there are categorized as gender-based, but that’s not the same with this service. Event bartenders is a freelance job that anyone can venture into.


Event bartenders usually charge $40 to $80 per hour, while others charge as much as $350 for a few hours. Even though you’re starting new in event bartending, you mustn’t sell yourself short. All you have to do is fix a competitive fee so you don’t look underrated.


Overall, event bartending is an excellent way for you to make extra cash, other than your primary work. It’s a freelance gig you can learn even with zero experience if you’re willing to learn the ropes. 

We’re confident that this article will be beneficial if you decide to include becoming a bartender in your bucket list. Have fun! 

To make it easy, why don’t you join our bartending team. We are Party Shakers that provides mobile bartending services across Los Angeles. Email us: [email protected]