Why a Small Menu is Ideal for Your Private Event

Hosting a gathering is hard. I seldom do this on a personal level due to my obsession with diving into planning and prepping every detail because one can not just simply “throw” a party… No! I like to chopper in-hand deliver my parties to my guests giving them an experience, a memory, a story they will never stop talking about. And drinks paint a huge part in this canvas of a special date.

Now, I am here to really break down the importance of a great drink menu AND also explain why it isn’t as important in the ways you may think. Also, keep in mind that most people want to save money and not spend half of their entire budget on the alcohol. I know it’s literally half of my business model to serve alcohol, this is a great place to cut some corners and use it to add some flair to your event…like that extra cocktail table section, flowers, an upgrade on the silverware or table linens. OR even glassware…yum!

A majority of people believe in quantity. Offering a fully stocked alcohol selection is probably ideal for a busy down town bar BUT really not the case for a private event. For starters, you’re going to have to buy everything..so budget increases an average of twenty to thirty percent with every added drink. Not to mention, you’re almost always going to just have one or two heavy hitters on the menu and most of the ingredients won’t even be touched. This is from 4 years of ONLY doing weddings, parties and one time gatherings where you buy in bulk for your family and friends.

Second, indecisiveness. I love you and your guests and I will always take the time to explain what each item on the menu is and that’s a rule for my staff. You’ll never get a “there’s the menu” answer to “what do you guys have??” from a guests. Never. We will always follow that with a “what are you in the mood for? Fruity or Straight up?” and depending on the answer help guide them to the right choice their happy little soul desires.

However, if we display a menu with two or three signature cocktails on it, people see the options and choose faster, feel more comfortable choosing and are overall happier with the experience.

Psychologically, it’s proven people are happier with less options that an overwhelming selection to choose from.

So speeds things along. Do you like standing in lines? Probably not. And faster more efficient interactions with each guests gives us the option to spread the happiness faster.

Finally, overlap. A lot of drinks have overlap in ingredients and can really simplify your shopping process. One nice trip to Costco and you’re done!

A small menu is always ideal and with 5-6 ingredients aside from the alcohol can really do justice to a great, solid cocktail selection.


Luis Moreno