What to expect when running an open bar

icnivad
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What to expect when running an open bar

Post by icnivad » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:59 pm

Hey, I was hoping to get some info from camps that have run open bars in high traffic areas on what to expect, mostly in terms of alcohol consumption. How many gallons a day of liquor do you plan for? Beer? Mixers? Cups? Ice? Anything else worth imparting?

Thanks.

jonvance
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Post by jonvance » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:23 pm

We have an adult (lots o' alcohol) lemonade stand at the Deviant Playground. Last year, with 9:00 plaza placement we served 100 gallons of spiked lemonade and 50 gallons of regular lemonade (had to have that option or too many people went away disappointed).

Depending on the theme of your bar, you can likely get away without having a nonalcoholic option.

The spiked stuff was fairly typical in strength, about 1oz of booze to 7oz of lemonade for a standard beverage. We provide cups when visitors don't have them, but shockingly a case of 500 cups lasted two years and there are about 75 left in there.

Note that the major reason we didn't serve more was because we A) chose not to, and B) ran out by Friday. We had the thing open for about four hours a day for five days. Clearly, we could have served a lot more and plan to just about double our output this year.

So a quick breakdown of our consumption:

20 gallons of booze (cheap vodka, gin, rum, whiskey and schnapps)
110 gallons of lemonade (mixers are important - they're HEAVY)
30 bags of ice
300 or so giveaway cups

icnivad
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Post by icnivad » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:25 pm

Thanks for the response. I assume you guys were 4 hours a day during the heat of the day?

jonvance
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Post by jonvance » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:26 pm

Indeed :) We tried to run it at night now and then, but who wants lemonade at night?

Dustdevil
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Post by Dustdevil » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:30 pm

Brain Freeze camp is not in a high traffic area. Last year we went through 55 gallons of frozen margaritas. 1 pt Tequila, 3 pts mix, 1 part water. We ran one slushy machine until it died and we quit when we ran out of mix.
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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:36 pm

I'd skip the cups.

trenton
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Post by trenton » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:42 pm

I bring a keg of MY favorite beer and keep it on the dl and still run out by saturday evening but cups run out first

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:56 pm

Skip the cups, indeed. You might want to have a few, plastic, perhaps with the bar name on it, but the event as a whole--and incidentally your own life there--is much easier (and green) if you don't give out MOOP. People should be carrying their own cups. With lids.
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Badger
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Post by Badger » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:16 pm

1) Don't be afraid to NOT serve someone.

2) Don't be afraid to cut people off.

3) Don't feel bad when asking someone to leave for whatever reason.

4) Always have a digital camera on hand. If someone or something feels creepy trust your gut and try to get a pic of the person in it. NOTE: there are two instances in my experience as a Ranger when doing this helped us catch a sex offender and a predator that dosed a woman.

5) Don't be afraid to ask for what you need.

6) Don't be afraid to ask for ID's and not serve folk if they don't have one.

7) If you are given the line "But this is Burning Man!" you should immediately cut them off. Or light something on fire and throw it at them.

8) Make every effort to keep your side of the street clear of obstructing bikes and whatnot when people show up.

9) Don't do it alone.

10) Get to know your neighbors, get to know your BRC Rangers.

11)...
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jonvance
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Post by jonvance » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:51 pm

Totally agree about carding. The law states that you have to knowingly serve a minor to be in offense, so if someone looks like a minor, by all means card them, Burning Man be damned. I've only done this two or three times in two years, and of course they didn't have ID.

The nature of our bar pretty much means no one goes overboard (who binges on lemonade?) but cutting overdrinkers off is great advice too.

As far as the cups are concerned, you can certainly leave them behind - screw anyone who doesn't have a receptacle for your free booze; however, we got them for about six cents apiece and only use a couple hundred a year, and they are burnable (we provide a box for used cups).

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Post by MozyBonz » Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:02 pm

Badger wrote:1) Don't be afraid to NOT serve someone.

2) Don't be afraid to cut people off.

3) Don't feel bad when asking someone to leave for whatever reason.

4) Always have a digital camera on hand. If someone or something feels creepy trust your gut and try to get a pic of the person in it. NOTE: there are two instances in my experience as a Ranger when doing this helped us catch a sex offender and a predator that dosed a woman.

5) Don't be afraid to ask for what you need.

6) Don't be afraid to ask for ID's and not serve folk if they don't have one.

7) If you are given the line "But this is Burning Man!" you should immediately cut them off. Or light something on fire and throw it at them.

8) Make every effort to keep your side of the street clear of obstructing bikes and whatnot when people show up.

9) Don't do it alone.

10) Get to know your neighbors, get to know your BRC Rangers.

11)...

fuck...... Badger you left nothing for me to say.


But seriously What he said.

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Nick Collide
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Post by Nick Collide » Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:01 pm

11. Try to have something else going on in your bar besides "just" drinking (good conversation, chance to meet new friends, etc.). At the Booby Bar we have a differently themed party every night and encourage people to come in costume and participate.

12. When it stops being fun, stop doing it.

13.

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Post by CrackFox » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:06 pm

As Nick mentions, having a theme helps. It kinda gets people into the right frame of mind.

Honestly, the key to running a fun B Man bar is to use common sense. Don't over extend yourself. If you're not having fun, you kind of set a negative tone and nobody wants to go to the negative nelly bar. Creating a conversation pit and providing entertaining music is also a plus. At least it has been for us. Also, make certain you have some water on hand. There will be lots of newbies showing up who either don't carry water with them or forget to hydrate themselves. It's a good opportunity to build up your good karma and look out for our fellow burners.
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icnivad
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Post by icnivad » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:58 am

Some great info here. Thanks for the responses. We aren't actually a "bar camp", but a fairly large forest(ish) themed camp with a 60 foot dome, music, misters, etc.. Last year we were on 'A' and we had a couple big dance parties with open bars but I don't think we kept track of how much alcohol we went through each night, or even know how much we brought to the event. This year we've been placed right on Esplanade, so I figure our traffic will end up increasing and we'll want to be open more as well.

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C.f.M.
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Post by C.f.M. » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:50 am

Edible shot glasses: http://obitch.wordpress.com/

Cups: If they're not souveniry, don't waste space with them. People who don't better than to have a cup with them do their livers a favour and get a free lesson in how to !@#% go to a burn.

If you go with cups, no plastic. Burnable.

Cut.people.off. Or, if you're uncertain, just say no.

You are under no obligation to serve people you don't want to.

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Token
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Post by Token » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:50 am

13. Trash, more than you can imagine.

14. Skid marks on furniture. Hand out those disposable paper pants they use in radiology.

15. Mud. Drinks spill from cups and both ends of customers. Coolers get tipped over.

16. Bar must be sturdy. Eventually body shots and or dancing on the bar will happen. No, it wont be the sexy lingerie model.

17.

You must at all times display the sign: " We reserve the right to serve refuse"

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Post by CapSmashy » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:00 am

18. Have a large volume gray water disposal plan. Lots of wet bar muck and it has to go somewhere, including draining off that nasty cooler water periodically.

19. Have a "secure the booze" plan. Unless you are staffed to keep the doors open 24/7, you'll need to be able to keep your inventory from wandering off while you sleep.
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C.f.M.
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Post by C.f.M. » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:01 am

Token wrote:13. Trash, more than you can imagine.



15. Mud. Drinks spill from cups and both ends of customers. Coolers get tipped over.


17.You must at all times display the sign: " We reserve the right to serve refuse"
Excellent points. Some people will think that, because you are interactive and serving alcohol, you're also serving as a trash dumping point.

You guys might want to talk about a uniform way of dealing with assholes.

People who are pissed off you don't have a cup for them, or are cutting them off (or not serving for any reason you please, to start with).

Appoint a few key people to deal with people (a la bouncers).

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postcardbox
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Post by postcardbox » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:20 am

I'll go ahead and tell on myself. I wouldn't have known better to bring an extra cup because when I went in 06, I carried my water bottle...which was full of water. I don't really drink alcohol, but I do like lemonade! I'll look for your lemonade stand this year! And I'll make sure to bring an extra sippy cup too :!:

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swampdog
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Post by swampdog » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:17 am

Bartenders should feel free to demand a story, joke, song, or kiss from anyone who wants a drink from them. I did this when the bar was pretty quiet and got an outrageous shaggy dog story from Morty the Mortician that had the whole bar rolling with laughter.

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Post by C.f.M. » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:31 am

swampdog wrote:Bartenders should feel free to demand a story, joke, song, or kiss from anyone who wants a drink from them. I did this when the bar was pretty quiet and got an outrageous shaggy dog story from Morty the Mortician that had the whole bar rolling with laughter.
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boychaos
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Re: What to expect when running an open bar

Post by boychaos » Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:31 pm

[quote="icnivad"]Hey, I was hoping to get some info from camps that have run open bars in high traffic areas on what to expect, mostly in terms of alcohol consumption. How many gallons a day of liquor do you plan for? Beer? Mixers? Cups? Ice? Anything else worth imparting?

Thanks.[/quote]

Be prepared for a visit from the BLM LEOs. They'll come, take a look around, make sure there are no minors. They are legally entitled to do this. They were very professional last year when they came in our bar.

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:40 pm

postcardbox wrote:I'll go ahead and tell on myself. I wouldn't have known better to bring an extra cup because when I went in 06, I carried my water bottle...which was full of water. I don't really drink alcohol, but I do like lemonade! I'll look for your lemonade stand this year! And I'll make sure to bring an extra sippy cup too :!:
It is so rare to find anything that isn't alcoholed or caffeinated, that I quit carrying a cup.
When the rare bar has something, it's usually in a can.
I just try to carry enough water.

Even people drinking should be drinking more water than alcohol.

MRGUMBY
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Post by MRGUMBY » Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:50 pm

Just out of curiosity here...

What would you say is the ratio of IAJAA people is at a BM bar??

(Instant Asshole Just Add Alcohol)

Is it significantly lower than other public venues where booze is sold as opposed to freely given?
No matter where you go...there you are.

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Post by Barbie » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:53 pm

Lots of mixer- A way to scoop Ice is nice! Have a special- Peeps always come up to the bar & say what ever have or what ya making... and I think your supposed to have a No One Under 21 Drinking Sign. Don't serve anyone underage good way to get the WHOLE Camp searched and kicked out of the Burn! *and that would Suck just 'cause ya thought the Hottie was cute!
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Post by StevenGoodman » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:18 pm

Ask EVERYONE:

"Are you 21 years of age or older, and legal to drink in the state of Nevada?"

The Booby Bar rule is to ask EVERYONE, if you don't answer yes you don't get a drink. If you make it fun, no one gets upset. And asking everyone makes it a habit.

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:34 pm

About that ice scoop, yes have it. I think it's illegal to leave it there and it's definately illegal to scoop with hands or the cup.

If someone knows the health code on this sort of stuff, please speak up.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Gizmo
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Post by Gizmo » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:38 pm

Hide your trash cans. If somebody asks to put their empty beer can in your trash, say "we don't have any trash cans." Really. This goes for any theme camp with a lot of traffic.

Never give out cups. If they don't have one, ask them to lean their head back, and mix the drink in their mouth. Skip the ice for safety.

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thisisthatwhichis
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Re: What to expect when running an open bar

Post by thisisthatwhichis » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:45 pm

boychaos wrote:Be prepared for a visit from the BLM LEOs.

Yes, that, and underage-undercover LEO's............... It happens every year.........
TITWI

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:49 pm

Gizmo wrote:Hide your trash cans. If somebody asks to put their empty beer can in your trash, say "we don't have any trash cans." Really. This goes for any theme camp with a lot of traffic.

Never give out cups.
Yes, that trash thing is Incrdibly True! I would say a few cups so that if someone special comes by--that's why i said get something imprinted on it. Then it becomes a gift. And yeah, not for the crowd.

So, everyone buy at least one cup. Buy two and give one away.
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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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