The Pour Horse, Mobile Bar Co. in San Antonio, TX
Our goal is to provide the best guest experience (for every budget) while creating last memories and photo-worthy cocktails.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Thank you for the opportunity and letting The Pour Horse, Mobile Bar Co help you navigate and plan your bartending or beverage catering needs for your wedding! My name is Tassie Grantham, the dreamer, innovator and face behind the largest mobile bar company in the United States. Not only do we work over 400 events a year with 30 staff and the option of using one of our 3 mobile bars, but we also design and fabricate for other companies around the country. I understand both what’s needed for a successful event but also, how to navigate your bar expenses and bulking cocktails utilizing fresh juices. Our goal is to provide the best guest experience (for every budget) while creating last memories and photo-worthy cocktails.
What separates good bartenders from great ones?
There are many ways to impress your guests, one is to make sure you are dealing with professionals. Liquor liability insurance and alcohol beverage control certifications are a must. Venues require insured bartenders for the most part, but how do you know they are good?
- Reviews can be iffy at times but are still important. What negative reviews do they have? Was it a conflict within the companies control? How did they respond?
- Talk to other vendors and ask them for reputable companies, most are networked in and have worked with “good” and “bad” companies at some point.
- Follow social media and see what they have to offer.
- Ask questions! We are never bothered by endless emails by brides, we expect questions. A good company wants the bride to understand all that is included and for what fees.
What are the typical services/packages offered? How much should the couples expect to pay for these services?Some companies around the country do mobile bar events only, with or without bartending available. We happen to offer both packages with and without our mobile bars. Mobile bars cost a ton to build and maintain and many hours are spent before and after every event detailing.
You can expect to pay $200-$300/hr plus tax and tip with the mobile bars. Majority of wedding receptions are 4-6 hours in length. Travel fees may apply if your venue is out of a major city.
Without a mobile bar, (Bartender’s only), a couple can expect to pay $30-$40/hr per bartender plus any additional services such as mixers, ice, cups and garnish packages, set up and tear down as well as 18-20% as a starting tip out or “service fee” and any travel expenses.
How much of a deposit is required?
Majority of wedding vendors will require a 50% non-refundable retainer to save a wedding date. Vendors understand cancellations can happen, however, we all have a maximum amount of events we can work. Vendors want to be sure we aren’t turning down potential business as a date is reserved, a cancellation happens and we now can’t rebook that date. We have a 120-day cancellation policy as most weddings are booked 6-12 months in advance. This gives us time to potentially rebook the date with a last-minute wedding.
Majority of wedding vendors will require a 50% non-refundable retainer to save a wedding date.
We have a 120-day cancellation policy as most weddings are booked 6-12 months in advance. This gives us time to potentially rebook the date with a last-minute wedding.
What are the most common questions that couples ask you at the first introductory appointment?
- Most couples want to know the value at their initial consult. Weddings can be so expensive; who can blame them? We show our couples how to utilize bulked cocktails to help save.
- Couples also want to get the scoop on the other potential vendors. Always ask your bartending company about caterers, photographers, planners and DJ’s… Bartenders are social creatures by nature, take advantage of that!
Which parameters are the most important to couples?
Something every couple asks us is about how we deal with overindulging, we all have that cousin or aunt that may make the bar their home for the evening. Using a professional company is the first step. We can usually pick out troublemakers in the first 20 minutes but also have training on how to continue or discontinue service without causing a scene.
Service standards are very important at The Pour Horse, not just with bartending but also with our service staff.
What is the ideal waiter per table ratio at a wedding?
Service standards are very important at The Pour Horse, not just with bartending but also with our service staff. For buffet style, it is typically required to have 1 server per every 2 foods. There should also be a runner for every 3-4 types of food to refill as the options need. Everything changes with a sit-down meal. Think about a restaurant- you would never want 1 server per 30-50 guests, somehow, we, unfortunately, see this situation a lot. Ideally, you have 1 server per ever 10-12 guests. This way everyone gets their food around the same time and drinks can be refilled promptly.
For buffet style, it is typically required to have 1 server per every 2 foods. There should also be a runner for every 3-4 types of food to refill as the options need.
Ideally, you have 1 server per ever 10-12 guests. This way everyone gets their food around the same time and drinks can be refilled promptly.
How much beer should I provide for a party of 85 people?
The trickiest part of calculating alcohol is it’s not an exact science. We never know how much guests will drink. The best rule of thumb is to not give too many options; 2-3 types of beer only. Because we don’t know which beer would be the winner, cap it at 1 beer per hour per guest for each type of beer.
85 Guests – 4 Hours
Light Beer – 85 Guests x 4 Hours – 340 Beers
Imported – 85 Guests x 4 Hours – 340 Beers
Total – 680 Beers
What's your favorite cocktail?
Being in Texas, I’m a huge fan of fresh juice margaritas. For bulking purposes, you can always use a more budget and time friendly version such as the recipe below. Have fun with it, add fresh berries, Serrano infused simple syrup or fun garnishes.
Bulk Recipe - Add to Beverage Dispenser
½ Bottle (1.75 Liter) Blanco or Silver Tequila
3 Bottles Simply Brand Limeade
½ Cup Fresh Orange Juice
In each cup, have your bartender muddle 2 blackberries and 1 Serrano slice.
Pour the dispenser mix over ice and stirs
Garnish with a Serrano slice
How long can mixed alcohol last?
Citrus juices do not last long and should be mixed the day of the event and disposed of within 24 Hours. They should stay chilled throughout service. Other cocktails may last up to 3 days as long as they stay chilled and covered so that the alcohol doesn’t evaporate.
Was there ever a time you had to improvise?
We are constantly having to adapt and improvise. One of the reasons I pay our staff so well is that each one knows how to problem solve at the moment.
Oh boy, loaded question. We are constantly having to adapt and improvise. One of the reasons I pay our staff so well is that each one knows how to problem solve at the moment. A common issue is when the couple decides to bring mixers, ice, etc. themselves. Either they don’t always follow the amounts needed or sometimes the incorrect items are purchased. I definitely recommend utilizing and purchasing the mixer packages offered. A lot of venues are not near any stores and if the incorrect amount or item is purchased, we may have to improvise. Otherwise, you may rack up a costly urgent shopping run that could have been avoided by purchasing the mixer package offered.
There is an exception: if the company is providing standard mixers – it should not cost a more than $1.50-$2/Guest. Fresh juices are going to run more along the lines of $4/Guest as they are costly and time-consuming. This is the average amount we pay for your mixers, ice, cups, etc. Don’t be fooled into paying more.
The other issue we have run into is clients not providing a non-alcoholic beverage station for guests when catering is not at the venue. Catering is typically at an event while they heat food, serve food and pack up. Your bartenders are at the venue from start to finish. Ask about their beverage stations, if they are offered, skip the catering station and opt for the station that will be there the entirety of the event. Having to improvise and use mixers, makes us run out before the event ends and that’s no fun for anyone.