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Portable bartending, where a company takes the drinks, blenders, cups, and bar to the customer, has exploded recently and is likely to keep growing. Since the mobile bartender is often the most talked-about person in the room, starting a mobile bartending business could be a fun way to live and a good way to make money.

But before you start making those mixed drinks, you’ll need to learn how to start and grow a business. This step-by-step guide has all the information you really need to get your mobile bartending business up and running.

Step 1: Find Out if this is the Right Business for You?

Positives Vs Negatives

Work from home for flexibility.
Fun work: If you like throwing parties for a living, you can do that for a living.
Get paid at each event.
Strict Regulations – If you sell booze, you must have a liquor license.
Accidents could happen if you serve too much, so you need insurance.
  • Size and progress in the past: In the United States, the catering business will be worth $16 billion in 2022. It has grown by almost 40% in the last ten years.
  • The catering business in the United States is projected to grow by 4.1% in 2022.
  • In the United States, there will be 144,560 food businesses in business in 2022.
  • Number of people employed: In 2022, 295,017 people will be working in the US cooking business.

Cost of Starting Mobile Bartending Business

For a flexible serving business, the start-up costs run from $6,000 to $12,000. The price includes the bar itself, along with glassware, tools for making cocktails, and a car to move it.

Investment Items:

  • On the move bar
  • Glassware
  • Cocktail Making Equipment
  • Bar car for moving

Is Mobile Bartending Business Profitable?

Depending on how many people come to an event, you can expect to make about $50 per hour. If you sell booze, you will also add a fee to the price. If there is an open bar, the owner will pay for the booze. You’ll likewise get tips. The numbers here are based on the idea that you’ll make $500 per event. Your net income should be somewhere around 90%.

When you were at your best, you could finish two times a week and make $52,000 a year. If the margin was 90%, this would bring in $47,000 in profit. As you get repeat business and recommendations, the number of jobs could go up to 10 per week. At this point, you would hire staff, like more bartenders, which would cut your profit margin to about 40%. With a $260,000 annual income, you’d make a nice profit of $104,000.

Entry Barriers

  • The skills a good bartender needs to have
  • Catering companies and other mobile bars are also competitors. 

Step 2: Create a Strategy

Identify a Gap

Research the mobile bartending companies in your area to compare their services, prices, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market hole to fill. A mobile draft beer system or mobile bartender service, for example, might not be offered in the local market.

This could get your word-of-mouth marketing going again and start getting you people right away.


You’ll have to decide if you want to give the alcohol to your parties or if you want the hosts to do it. You could also provide food and make a list of special drinks.


A mobile server usually makes about $50 per hour. If it’s a cash bar and you provide the booze, you can charge more for the drinks. You’ll also offer advice. Your net profit should be around 90%.

Once you know your costs, you can use this step-by-step profit margin tool to figure out your markup and end prices. Remember that the prices you use at send-off should depend on what happens in the future if the market justifies it.

Target Market

For corporate events, your goal group will usually be more established businesses and people. You should promote to them on LinkedIn and Facebook. You could also try to work with companies that provide food to do bartending at events they serve. You can call them directly or look for them on Google or Yelp.


In the beginning, you might need to run your business out of your home to keep costs down. But as your business grows, you may need to rent an office and hire people to work in different roles. You can look for local business space to rent on Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.

If you’re looking for a commercial place, you might want to consider these basic rules:

  • It is in a central position and can be reached by public transportation. 
  • The room has a lot of natural light and is well-ventilated. 
  • The lease can be extended if your business keeps growing. 
  • It’s ready to use and doesn’t need any big repairs or improvements. 

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

This will serve as a manual for your startup to follow as it launches and stays focused on its primary objectives. A business plan also helps investors and partners learn more about your company and its mission:

  • Executive Summary: A brief outline of the whole business plan that should be written after the plan is done.
  • Business Overview: A summary of the company’s goals, vision, purpose, assets, and control structure.
  • What we make and what we do: Explain in detail what you’re selling.
  • Do a SWOT analysis and look at market trends like changes in demand and growth opportunities.
  • Competitive Analysis: Look at your key rivals’ strengths and flaws and make a list of what makes your services better.
  • Sales and Marketing: Look at the unique selling points (USPs) of your business and come up with sales, marketing, and promotion plans.
  • Management Team: An overview of the team’s tasks and professional backgrounds, as well as a business structure.
  • Operations Plan: Your company’s operational plan includes how it will get supplies, where it will put its office, what its most important assets and tools are, and other practical details.
  • Financial Plan: A three-year plan for money, including start-up costs, a break-even analysis, predictions of profits and losses, cash flow, and a balance sheet.
  • Appendix: Add any other papers related to money or business.

Step 4: Create a Marketing Plan

Even though some of your business will come from people who see you on the street or find you online, you should still spend money on advertising. Getting the word out is especially important for new businesses because it brings in more customers and raises brand recognition. 

Once your website is up and running, link it to your social media accounts. Social media is a great way to promote your business because you can make interesting content and sell your goods.

  • Facebook is a great paid advertising network that lets you target specific groups, like men under 50 in the Cleveland area. 
  • Instagram has the same benefits as Facebook, but its audience is different.
  • Website: Search engine optimization (SEO) will help your website rank higher in relevant search results, which is important for increasing sales. Make sure your website’s calls to action are improved. Try changing the text, color, size, and placement of calls to action like “Register Now.” This could greatly boost sales.
  • Google and Yelp: Getting mentioned on Yelp and Google My Business can be very important for businesses that depend on local customers to get noticed and gain customers.
  • In-Person Deals: Offer your mobile beverage services to local restaurants.
  • Post a movie about your portable bartending. Use fun, and maybe it will go viral on the Internet.
  • Newsletters and email marketing: Send regular emails to current and future buyers. Make them special.
  • Create a blog: Start a blog and update it often. Diversify your information and share it on different channels.
  • Find recommendations. Give new clients reasons to get references from current customers.
  • Paid social media ads: Choose sites where your goal crowd is and run targeted ads there.
  • Pay-per-click marketing: Using Google AdWords to improve your search engine results. Research your catchphrases before you use them.
  • Influencer marketing is a way to promote your mobile drinking business by paying people who have a lot of fans on social media. There are micro-influencers who have fewer fans and lower interaction rates.
  • Testimonials: Tell how your mobile beverage service helped customers.