How to Decide Between a Host Bar and an Open Bar

Host bar versus open bar – Ever wondered the difference between these two arrangements? Hotel event managers ask this question a lot, so I thought it would help clarify the difference.


Host bar
Host tape payment is measured based on consumption. You pay a waiter fee and settle the bill at the end of the night that covers all alcohol consumed. Some hotels will charge you for each drink and will keep track of the number of orders placed for each type of drink. Others will measure the bottles at the end of the night and estimate the number of drinks consumed. In either case, you will be charged for all alcohol consumed.

Since the Host Bar is cheaper than the Open Bar, it’s a great choice for an audience that doesn’t expect to drink much. Be warned – not many guests know the difference between the Host Bar and the Open Bar. As far as they are concerned, their drinks are covered so they can have a drink just to put it down, forget it, and order another. This can be very costly. I heard many stories from planners who were surprised by the bill at the end of the night.

I warn you of this especially for weddings and social functions. This type of tape will probably be best suited for a company event with a crowd that doesn’t bother.

open bar
Pay for an open bar is the hourly rate plus the waiter rate. For a specified amount of time and fees (for example, $ 20-25 for the first 2 hours), your guests will enjoy unlimited drinks. You will likely have the option to choose from a selection of spirits, wines, and beers that you would like to serve to your guests. It goes without saying that premium spirits will give you a higher hourly wage.

Although you will have to stick to an open bar time frame, it’s a great way to give your guests a good time and not have to worry about the bill at the end of the night. Many customers suffer from the effect of labels when choosing a host tape and are unaware of how much will actually be consumed. At the same time, if you expect low alcohol consumption, an open bar is probably not your most profitable option.

Study your guest list and make an informational decision the next time you decide to order a drink. Smart planning will save you money at the end of the night.

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