Hire a CERTIFIED bartender
TIPS, Serve Safe Alcohol & Barcode are nationally recognized safe alcohol server programs. When you hire a certified bartender he/she will help you reduce your personal liability, spot overconsumption before it gets out of hand, help responsible drinkers have a more enjoyable experience, know how to handle intoxicated guests, provide you with peace of mind so you can enjoy your own event.
Hire an INSURED bartending service
As the host of an event, you have responsibility for the safety of your guests. If the event in is your home or business, check with your insurance agent about “host’s liability coverage.” This is included in many policies. Since the bartender is responsible for safe alcohol service, you’ll want to make sure you’re hiring an insured bartending service that is fully insured for liquor liability, general liability, and workmen’s compensation insurance. Otherwise, you are especially at risk since litigants look to assign liability to “the deepest pockets.”
Your bartending service should be able to provide you at no additional charge with a certificate of insurance that outlines the different types of coverage and the limits that they carry for each. For extra peace of mind, request to be named as “additional insured” on the certificate. There will probably be an extra charge, but it will relieve you of responsibility in the event of a claim for the bartender’s negligence. If your party is at a rented event venue, they may require that they be named as additional insured.
Be aware of UNDERAGE guests
Even if your event is in your home, underage guests are not permitted to consume alcoholic beverages, and to permit such a practice would jeopardize the safety of those people underage, potentially disrupt the enjoyment of your other guests, and expose you to civil and criminal penalties.
Pay only for CONSUMPTION
Be sure to purchase your beverage needs through a liquor supplier or bartending service that will provide a full refund for re-sellable inventory. Although policies may differ, unopened bottles with undamaged labels should be returnable.
TIPPING- How much and When?
Although there are no “rules” for tipping and the “customary” practices vary by region, type of service and cultural history, there are some guidelines we can suggest for private events.
The first question: how much? is easy if you’re at a restaurant or catered event, where the gratuity is usually added to the bill and is based on the cost of the food and beverage. For private events, where you are providing your own victuals, and you don’t want the service professional to solicit tips (i.e. tip cup, etc.) we suggest considering the equivalent of 1 hour of the billed time as a guide, providing the service has met your expectations. Of course, if the service has been above or below your expectation, feel free to tip accordingly.
The second question: When? Although tipping after the event is customary, a host may want to consider tipping in advance. Often a service professional will make an extra effort in this case. Also, since most people know in advance how much they will tip, this practice eliminates the end of event interruption of your revelry. This practice is especially helpful if your judgment is likely to be clouded by the “festivities”. If you feel your service professional went above and beyond, you can always add a little extra at the end.
The above information is for general guidelines and not meant to provide legal or insurance advice. Please check with your insurance and legal advisors for more complete information.