Depending on what expectations you have for your event, whether or not you are serving alcohol, will there be food served to you and your guests, number of meal courses, how intimate the occasion will be, type of event, how large your venue is, how many guests are attending, will determine the number of staff you have during your special occasion.
Here are a few examples how to determine the number of staff you'll need for your upcoming event!
ALCOHOL SERVICES- 1 Bartender and 1 barback for every 50 guests. It is very important that the bartender tends to the bar and the guests. The barback will maintain the bars' inventory and will make the run to and from the bar to replenish all the bartenders needs. We are big believers in "never let your bar unattended!" Barbacks are not an option. Your bartenders cannot leave their stations during service. It's best to be safe and have as many barbacks on hand as you need to keep the flow of drinks hassle-free.
SCENARIO 1 (STANDARD EVENT) guest count 25- 1 bartender
(VIP EVENT) guest count 25- 1 bartender, 1 bar back
______________________________________________________________________________________________ SCENARIO 2 (STANDARD EVENT) guest count 50- 1 bartender, 1 bar back
(VIP EVENT) guest count 50- 2 bartender, 1 bar back
SCENARIO 3 (STANDARD EVENT) guest count 75- 2 bartenders, 1 bar back
(VIP EVENT) guest count 75- 2 bartenders, 2 bar backs
SCENARIO 4 (STANDARD EVENT) guest count 100- 2 bartenders, 2 bar backs
(VIP EVENT) guest count 100- 3 bartenders, 2 bar backs
SCENARIO 5 (STANDARD EVENT) guest count 150- 3-4 bartenders, 2 bar backs
(VIP EVENT) guest count 150- 4-5 bartenders, 2 bar backs
______________________________________________________________________________________________ SCENARIO 6 (STANDARD EVENT) guest count 200- 4 bartenders, 2 bar backs
(VIP EVENT) guest count 200- 1 captains, 4 bartenders, 2 bar backs
All signature cocktails that are curated through a Top Shelf Mixologist must have a
Consultations are available in person or over the phone.
Live consultation versus phone consultation-
$50 phone consultation- 1 hour
$75 in person consultation *not including ingredients*- 1 hour
Will be reflected on the final bill
BUFFET SERVICE- What really determines how many servers you have behind your buffet table are; the type of food being served; how many additional servings you'll have stored for replenishing and how many different dishes you'll have. Keep in mind would you like your buffet lines to be self-served or serviced?
SELF SERVED BUFFET VS SERVICED BUFFET?
Self-served buffet lines are usually seen as a more "cost effective" route. But they have their pros and cons.
Pros of self-served buffet lines: guests can go at their pace and serve themselves portion size to their liking.
Cons of self-served buffet lines: guests are may over serve themselves not leaving enough for others behind them in line, have a higher expectancy rate of messes, spills, cross contamination of serving utensils, etc.
Serviced buffets on the other hand you have a server maintain portion control, maintaining spills and cleanliness of buffet line, quick and immediate replenishing of all dishes, are knowledgeable of what is being served, can educate the guests of each item, and coordinate the pace of the guests in line.
Ex: Let's imagine you are having a buffet line including the following dishes. We will call this EVENT 1
-corn on the cob
-mac and cheese
-Total guests count: 150
- dish pans for each item for replenishing in the back kitchen area.
For extremely efficient service you would ideally have one person on each station, but this is not always necessary.
For a total of 8 dishes and 24 replenishing dish pans. Assuming everything is pre-cut and proportioned you would need, -4 buffet servers-1 captain-6 bussers
SCENARIO 2 (STANDARD EVENT) - guest count 25, 6 dishes, 2 pans per dish for replenishing. (Assuming all dishes are proportioned and precut) -2 buffet servers-1 busser
SCENARIO 3 (STANDARD EVENT) - guest count 200, 10+ dishes, 4 pans per dish for replenishing. (Assuming all dishes are proportioned and precut) -1 captain-5 buffet attendants-8 bussers
PROTEINS- such as chicken, fish, lamb, beef, pork, etc. may require a carving station (upon client's discretion) Adding a carving station will require more time to serve the guests but does add a more individualized ambience to your buffet line. For carving stations, it is customary to have one server to carve each protein dish at a time.
PRE-CUTS & PREPORTIONED- when proteins and sides are precut and proportioned ahead of time this will allow your guests less time in line and more time to enjoy their meals at the table.
TRAY PASSING- hors d’oeuvre involves offering carefully prepared food and beverages to guests from a tray. Tray-passing generally takes place before the entrée is served. However, from time-to-time passing takes place between courses, when serving desserts or late-night snacks. ______________________________________________________________________________________________
EVENT 1- guest count 25 (STANDARD EVENT)-2 servers
(VIP EVENT)- 2 servers
______________________________________________________________________________________________ EVENT 2- guest count 50 (STANDARD EVENT)-2 servers-1 busser
(VIP EVENT)- 3 servers, 1 busser
______________________________________________________________________________________________ EVENT 3- guest count 75 (STANDARD EVENT)-1 captain-3 servers-1 busser
(VIP EVENT)- 1 captains, 4 servers, 1 busser
______________________________________________________________________________________________ EVENT 4- guest count 100 (STANDARD EVENT)-1 captain-4 servers-2 bussers
(VIP EVENT)- 1 captains, 5 servers, 4 bussers
EVENT 5- guest count 150 (STANDARD EVENT)-1 captain-6 servers-3 bussers
(VIP EVENT)- 1 captains, 7 servers, 5 bussers
EVENT 6- guest count 200 (STANDARD EVENT)- 1captain-8 servers-4 bussers
(VIP EVENT)- 2 captains, 9 servers, 5 bussers
You need runners to restock empty trays, refill plates, and monitor chafing dishes to make sure they are always full, and heat is ON. If you plan to service guests directly from buffet, then you need extra staff to maintain the equipment, food and cleanliness. A good rule of thumb is to plan for 1 server for every 3 chafing dishes. For larger events having a "captain" is vital. Should you have tables for seating, the floor staff will be required as well, as 1 busser for 2 tables (up to 24 guests) when you use chinaware. If using plasticware, then 1 busser can accommodate 3 tables.
SIT DOWN MEALS THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS SYNCHRONIZED SERVING
-The absolute MINIMUM for such a service is 1 server per table up to 10 seats. In some cases, additional staff would be required. That is also only for the food. You will need additional wait staff for water, juice, or soda, depending on the level of service.
(STANDARD VS VIP). There are a handful of different variations of a sit-down meal.
EVENT 1 (STANDARD SIT DOWN EVENT)- guest count 25 - 2 servers
(VIP EVENT)- guest count 25- 3 servers, 1 busser
______________________________________________________________________________________________ EVENT 2 (STANDARD SIT DOWN EVENT)- guest count 50- 1 captain, 5 servers
(VIP EVENT)- guest count 50- 1 captain, 6 servers, 1 busser
EVENT 3 (STANDARD SIT DOWN EVENT)- guest count 75- 1 captain, 7servers
(VIP EVENT)- guest count 75- 1 captain, 8 servers, 2 bussers
_____________________________________________________________________________________________ EVENT 4 (STANDARD SIT DOWN EVENT)- guest count 100- 1 captain, 10 servers
(VIP EVENT)- guest count 100- 2 captain, 10 servers, 3 bussers
EVENT 5 (STANDARD SIT DOWN EVENT)- guest count 150- 1 captain, 15 servers
(VIP EVENT)- guest count 150- 2 captains, 15 server, 5 bussers
EVENT 6 (STANDARD SIT DOWN EVENT)- guest count 200- 2 captain, 20 servers
(VIP EVENT)- guest count 200- 2 captains, 20 servers, 7 bussers
KEEP IN MIND- THE NUMBER OF TABLES YOU HAVE AND TABLE SIZE WILL DETERMINE HOW MANY GUESTS YOU HAVE AT EACH TABLE & THE NUMBER OF SERVERS PER TABLE WILL VARY
-This is where the staff bring large platters of prepared food, and the guests do the “Please pass the peas,” thing with the various trays.
-This is where the kitchen staff prepares the plates in full before service. The wait staff bring the finished plates to the tables. Generally, what’s on the plate is what the guests get, with the exception of bread baskets or similar items. If there is a choice of entrees, the wait staff will take the guests’ orders prior to bringing the meal.
-While guests are seated at the table, The food is pre-plated in the satellite kitchen. One server is assigned for every two guests and all guests at a particular table are served at the same time. Each server carries two servings from the kitchen and stands behind two guests assigned to him or her. At the direction of the captain all dishes are set in front of the guests at the same time. This procedure may be followed for all courses. This is an elegant style of table service that is sure to impress your guests.
Just like any other hospitality setting the standard tipping rates apply.
Host pays 20% of total service amount directly to staff member cash, Zelle, Venmo, CashApp, or check.
Host can pay 25% of total service amount using a major credit card, Zelle, check, or cash upon remaining payment of invoice before or the day of the event.
Minimum: 4-hour unless an agreed upon shorter duration and higher hourly rate. Any adjustments will be made to the final invoice. Final payment must be no later than 24 hours after the event date end time.
Not every event is the same and we do understand that surprises arise. We highly recommend doing an in-person walk through of your event space beforehand with one of our Top Shelf supervisors. This will ensure that your event will run smoothly before, during and after your celebration. For more details to book a walk through please contact us.
Depending on your venue of choice. Some venues only allow a specific number of hours before your actual event start time. Please read your venue contract for those details.
For event spaces with no restricted set up time frame we recommend you take into account, what rentals our Top Shelf Team will be setting up. If your rental company is providing chairs, tables, linens, silver ware, dishes, decorations etc. It is extremely important that you have finalized all rentals that the staff will be handling with the coordinator you spoke to during your walk through or via phone/email.
If you are not using rentals, make sure that you have shown your coordinator where everything belongs in your event space so they can then coordinate and educate the rest of the team of where your items must be place.
Things to keep in mind:
-Do your items need to be hand washed?
-Are there specific areas your rental company has told you where to place rentals at the end of the event?
-Is there anything that staff will be handling that need extra care?
-If there are items in your home that you do not want to get ruined with spills, stains, make sure that you move them out of the event space prior to the event. Ex: If red wine is being served in a space there is predominately lighter colored furniture guests may spill beverages on such items.