How to Hire Party Servers

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If you’re planning a big event like a major party or a wedding, it may not be convenient to have all your guests jostling for position at the bar or food tables. Party servers can circulate the food or drink to your guests and also help with other fundamental chores.

Compute the appropriate number of servers for your guest number. One is sufficient for a seated dinner party of ten or a cocktail buffet for twenty. Hire two for thirty guests. Use four servers for a guest list of forty or more.

Ask your caterer or the company providing party tents, tables or other necessities if their services include providing servers.

Ask neighbors, friends or hosts of events you’ve recently attended for names of willing helpers. Or your favorite server at a local restaurant may be willing to moonlight and bring some friends.

Contact a local college or bartenders’ school for potential servers.

Check your local online or newspaper classifieds for people offering this service.

Establish and communicate a dress code for your servers. It should be a reflection of the spirit of your event. A formal sit-down event may call for servers in coordinated black and white, while a themed Polynesian party may inspire you to ask for tropical print shirts and dresses.

Instruct all servers ahead of time on what you expect from them. They may take coats, show guests to assigned seats, tend bar, prepare snacks, serve and/or clean up.

Pay servers at the end of the party. Experienced workers should earn more, with higher rates also for late-night and holiday hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your dress requirements are unusual or elaborate, you may want to provide the uniforms yourself to ensure that they adhere to your ideas. Don’t forget to ask for sizes when you hire your servers.
  • Some bartending schools have websites which help you hire their students to bartend or serve at your event.
  • People don’t usually tip at parties, so make sure you pay helpers enough to make it worth their while to show up and provide good service.
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