The Bartender Hire Company

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I hire just a bartender and nothing else?

Cocktail bartenders are priced at £50 per hour + VAT.

This covers your professional cocktail bartender, 60 minutes setup time in advance, 15 minutes break down time (you do not pay for this time), all cocktail making equipment, all of our assistance with helping you choose cocktails, writing up your shopping list, full insurance and a back-up bartender in case anything goes wrong with yours on the day.

Can we provide our own drinks?

Yes of course. We can provide you with a comprehensive shopping list based on cocktails required, guest numbers and hours spent serving.

Can you provide all the drinks?

Of course, we offer a complete cocktail solution. We ask you to choose the drinks, let us know what time you want us to arrive and we’ll take care of everything – we’ll even bring the kitchen sink! See our Complete Cocktail Service page for more information.

How many cocktail choices do you recommend for a small party?

Between 4 and 6 is the most successful. Too many and your guests will panic and choose something they recognise, leaving a large selection untouched. Also you will need to provide the bar with all the various spirits, liqueurs, purees, syrups and other mixers to accommodate all these drinks. Too few and your guests may get bored.

Realistically, how much will it cost me to put on a cocktail party at home?

If we base the question on a 4 hour service, for 40 people with you providing your own drinks, bar and ice, us supplying bartender, equipment, glassware and management, you’ll be looking to spend between £600.

What is ‘flair’?

Flair, or flair bartending is the art of throwing bottles and cocktail equipment whilst drinks making for the entertainment of guests. Referring to it as ‘juggling’ is an understatement.

How much room do you need to ‘flair’?

The more room the better! The smallest floor space we require would be 3 metres by 2 metres per bartender. If you want us to work on some marble floor or any other very hard surface we may limit the moves that we do to minimize any chance of accidental drops. If we are in a garden or a marquee however, drops can’t be heard so much and bottles have less chance of smashing so we can perform larger moves. Head space is important too, anything below 8 foot can be tricky.

Do you charge for setting up

Not any more. We’ve found that because some events require more setting up time than others, we have now waived setting up charges completely.

Do you have insurance?

Yes, we have full liability and employers insurance up to £10 million. Please email us if you would like to view a copy.

Do you charge VAT?

As we are a UK wide company operating hundreds of events per month, legally we have to be VAT registered and as such need to charge VAT on all jobs.

What’s your poison?

A Sazerac. Essentially rye and bitters in an absinthe rinsed glass.

Where can I get cocktail shakers from?

For your event, we always provide all of our own bartending equipment. This includes shakers, strainers, pourers, muddlers, juice containers, chopping boards, knives etc. If you wish to purchase some equipment for hosting your own party, send us an email and we’ll point you in the right direction.

How long has TheBartender been running?

Since September 2005. We have organised and managed over 8000 events (as of January 2018).

What happens if my bartender is sick on the night of my event?

We have backup bartenders fully equipped with access to all event details, equipment and transport.

Can I ask my bartender to stay for extra time on the night? Does it cost more?

You can ask your bartender to stay at their discretion, they will bring with them a job sheet with a box for you to fill in to request extra hours which we will use to invoice you after the event. This is priced at the same hourly rate that you were quoted with for your booking.

So why choose you over other cheaper companies?

Since we started back in 2005, a number of other companies have sprung up around the country after having seen how successful our operation was. They tend to be individuals or small groups of bartenders operating on a part time basis from their home, in and around their hometown, doing the odd job here and there. They will of course be cheaper on most occasions not having the overheads we incur maintaining offices and staff to support our nationwide operation, but as with everything in life “you get what you pay for”. Here are a few things to look out for:


With the dominance of the Internet these days it is incredibly easy and cheap to set up a website and with some glossy pictures and some well-worded copy (often hijacked from our site) it can give the impression of a professional business.

Do they seem professional?

Ask them to send you their quote to you in writing giving you the time to consider what you are paying for and from whom.

Are they easy to get hold of?

If they are operating from a mobile phone they are unlikely to have an office and therefore little structure to their business. Are they professionals? Will they get your booking right? We are currently working from a mobile number because we are between offices and haven’t a permanent landline in yet.

Are they a national company?

If they seem like a small operation how can they guarantee they can provide a bartender on the day of your event, if your bartender breaks his ankle the day before your booking who will replace him?

Check if they have insurance also. All of our guys are fully covered in case of any accidents.

Do they take payment up front?

If they operate on a cash on the night basis you can be sure they are a small outfit, there is a good chance they will spoil the occasion by messing up your booking, or cancelling on you at the last moment.

If you have any other questions, feel free to fire them over to