Firstly, the technical part. As an event planner or a host, you would feel at ease knowing that your guests will be well taken care of by someone who knows a great deal about cocktails. Whether ordering a classic Manhattan, an ever-popular Mojito, or a Shirley Temple for the youngster in the crowd, hearing “Sorry, what’s in it?” in response is a nuisance to be avoided. Professional bartenders know their drinks by heart and will prepare them with great attention to detail, which surely will not go unnoticed by their customers.
Secondly, in addition to having an extensive cocktail repertoire, experienced bar staffers perform their duties speedily and efficiently. Bartender’s job is fast-paced in nature. They have to be able to withstand crowds of people firing various drink orders at them, often multiple at once, create and mix beverages quickly, serve them to the guests, rinse (their shakers, usually) and repeat for several hours. Such abilities develop with months of continuous practice and are honed with years of it. So when considering hiring someone, inquire about their past work experience or ask a staffing agency to make this information available to you.
Last but not least, the “secret” ingredient of your mixologist’s appeal is in their presentation and attitude. One way to use this to your advantage is to find a staffing or talent agency that specializes in providing model bartending services, which means that you can select specific print or runway models with cocktail mixing skills to work at your event. You will be able to handpick your personnel by reviewing their profiles containing photos and sometimes even brief video introductions. Such service is especially useful for brand activations, product launches, and other events where selecting models with a certain look is a part of your branding strategy. Examples are a client from the fashion industry who might want to hire bartenders that look similar to the fashion models representing the designer and choose them based on their height, which can be provided upon request by the model staffing agency. Or a beauty company debuting a product for afro-textured hair wanting to select models with natural curls and style them using the new product to give it additional visibility during the event. This way they get the bartenders to double as promo models while performing their main duties and the entire event will appear to be well thought out and conceptualized.
In conclusion, when selecting your bartenders aim for a combination of proven work experience, brand-coherent (or just nicely uniformed) look, and a friendly, service-oriented demeanor. Select the right people and your guests are sure to leave your event with lots of positive associations, catchy Instagram photos, and great memories.