1) Cash bar - everyone buys their own drinks.
2) Full Open bar - everyone can take what they want on your dime.
3) Ticket Bar - everyone has a set number of tickets, redeemable for whatever you as the hosts decide to make them good for - with this system there are three sub-systems
a) Basic - tickets are redeemable for 1/2 pints of beer, glasses of wine, soft drinks, or juice. Average ticket cost for this system is about $5.15 after tax and gratuity, but does change depending on what people take with their tickets.
b) Basic + Rail - tickets are redeemable for sub-system 'a' plus speed rail drinks, so rum & coke, gin & tonic, vodka & orange, etc., but not for high-end liquors, scotches, or high-end cocktails. Average ticket cost for this system is about $6.20 after tax and gratuity.
c) Anything Goes! - tickets are redeemable for anything at the bar
Of course, with the ticket system, once a person uses their tickets, the bar goes to being a regular Cash Bar. There is no average ticket cost as guests are able to take anything they like, but are limited to the number of tickets they have.
4) Limited Open Bar - guests can take certain drinks on the hosts tab, usually the same drinks available with 3a or 3b, but pay cash if they want the higher end liquors and cocktails
5) Open Bar Cash Limited - you set a dollar limit on the open bar, guests take whatever drinks they want and we keep tally until the pre-arranged limit is reached, at which point the bar switches to a cash bar – limits can also be placed on this system as with options 3 and 4, extending the life of the cash limit on the open bar system.
Something to keep in mind is that with any system where the hosts are picking up the tab on drinks, you will always only pay for what gets consumed as we will keep track of exactly what gets taken by the guests. We never do a flat rate for an open bar.