Top Five Friday :: Cash Bar VS Open Bar // Pros & Cons

:: Cash Bar VS Open Bar // Pros & Cons ::

A common conundrum that couples face when planning their wedding is deciding to have a cash bar or an open bar. There are many differences of opinion as to what is the ‘best’ option to go for, and it can be a tough choice to make. Today, we will be discussing the pros and cons of both cash bars, and open bars.

A cash bar is defined as:

A bar at a social function at which guests buy drinks rather than having them provided free.”

An open bar is defined as:

“A bar at a special function at which the drinks have been paid for by the host.”

We consulted business owner Dave Foreman, of {MRSter Approved} Pour Masters Bar Service, for his professional take on cash vs an open bar.

Dave states:

You have 2 scenarios to consider. Licensed and unlicensed locations. Usually when there is a cash bar, there is a liquor license on property. This can get expensive for the [happy couple] if they have an open bar since the bottle prices are very high. If it’s a cash bar then you will have more of a variety and a lower invoice.”

Please see his further comments as indicated in our Top 5 Pros and Cons list as follows:

:: Pros // Cash (No Host) Bar ::

  • 1 :: Less risk of guests over-indulging. Dave adds, “The bartenders will always have control over how the guests drink, so it’s a small variable between a hosted and non-hosted bar.”
  • 2 :: Less expensive for the hosts
  • 3 :: Easier for controlling costs
  • 4 :: Less liability
  • 5 :: May be considered acceptable in your area

:: Cons // Cash (No Host) Bar ::

  • 1 :: Worry over what guests will think about having to pay for their own beverages
  • 2 :: Guests may not have thought about bringing cash for drinks
  • 3 :: The drinks may be too expensive
  • 4 :: Guests may leave earlier
  • 5 :: You may be perceived as a party-pooper

:: Pros // Open (Hosted) Bar ::

  • 1 :: Many guests will expect an open bar
  • 2 :: It’s widely considered classier
  • 3 :: It’s a way of giving back to your friends and family
  • 4 :: People will loosen up and enjoy the party even more
  • 5 :: Guests will generally have more drink choices

:: Cons // Open (Hosted) Bar ::

  • 1 :: Some guests may take advantage of your hospitality
  • 2 :: It may yield some unruly guests if people feel free to drink too much
  • 3 :: You may run a greater risk of people driving home drunk
  • 4 :: It may act as a distraction (hanging out at the bar) and keep people from watching or participating in other activities
  • 5 :: It’s expensive. However, Dave tells us that, “When you have a open bar at a non-licensed site, you can control your costs better and choose the brands you would like to serve.”

MRSter thanks Dave Foreman, who has been serving in the bartending industry for over nineteen years. Dave believes that bartending is not just preparing drinks, but also the customer service given. Way to go, Dave!

What are your thoughts on cash bars VS open bars? We would love to hear your opinions in the comments below!