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The Low-Down On Open Bar Packages

Posted by Lyssa Test on Apr 25, 2017 11:41:00 AM
Lyssa Test

You have a lot of options when planning an event, but one of the most crucial details is arguably the booze. You want your guests to have a great time, loosen up, and enjoy their food but the drinks can quickly add up if you don’t plan correctly! Bar packages can help keep costs down and guests happy, but you’ll need to pick the best package for your event. We’ve outlined all your beverage options and packages plans below so you can be an informed event planner.

Three different cocktails lined up on a bar

Cash Bar

A cash bar lets your guests buy their own drinks and takes the financial pressure off you! This is a great option to keep rowdy crowds in check, but can turn some guests off. If you opt-in to a cash bar, make sure you inform your guests so they have money on hand!
On Consumption Paying on consumption takes a pay-as-you-go approach. If you aren’t expecting your guests to drink very much, this is often a cheaper alternative to drink packages. Let your guests order whatever they want and simply pick up the tab at the end of the night. Just watch out, if you have thirsty guests with expensive tastes, the bill can add up quickly!
Drink Tickets Another way to keep the financial burden off your guests but keep your guests happy is to issue drink tickets. This keeps guests from getting too rowdy and lets your attendees enjoy themselves without spending their own money. Attendees can usually buy additional drinks after redeeming all their vouchers.
Champagne Toast While a toast isn’t technically a drink package, it’s definitely an add-on that lets your guests participate in a little celebratory fun! Clink glasses and toast to your successful event!
BYOB If you’re hosting your event at a raw space, you can often bring your own catering and alcohol. Some venues may require you to get insurance or a licensed bartender, but bringing your own is another great way to entertain guests but manage costs.


Open Bar Packages

An open bar is a great option for any event if you have room in your budget! You can pay per person, per hour and per drink, letting your guests enjoy your event to the fullest without worrying about how much money they’re spending. Open bar packages come in many different “tiers,” which you can find outlined below.

Beer & Wine Limiting an open bar to beer and wine can help keep costs in check. Often called a “soft bar,” a beer and wine bar lets your guests mingle and compliments any meal. Normally house red and white wines are served, but you can specify if you want more premium bottles served. If prearranged with the venue, cocktails can be purchased by guests on their own dime.
Standard Open Bar 

If your guests are mixed drink lovers, consider upgrading to an open bar with liquor. A standard open bar usually has the usual suspects like vodka, rum, gin, etc and most mixers and sodas available. The liquor brands are normally whatever the bar serves as its house liquor, so the quality could vary.

Premium Open Bar  If you crave “the good stuff”, this is your best bet. While more expensive than your standard house liquor bar, a premium open bar will have top shelf brands like Belvedere, Bombay Sapphire, Patron, Maker’s Mark, etc. Talk about a way to impress your guests!


When choosing what bar package is best for your event, it’s best to keep your guests in mind and what they like to drink! While beer and wine might be great for a networking event, you might want to splurge for the premium open bar for your company holiday party if your team is notorious for ordering Ketel One shots on the company’s tab. Either way, when the booze is flowing your guests are sure to have an excellent time! Bottoms up!

Check out the rest of our "Demystifying the Events Industry" series, like our drink guide, appetizer guide, and food options guide. Or click the button below to start your search for great private events spaces:

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Topics: Food and Beverage