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What Type & How Much Glassware Do I Need?

Specialty Glassware

Specialty Glassware

With any event, there are many factors to consider when it comes to selecting the venue, food, beverage, staffing, and rentals. Most caterers, venues, and event planners can help guide you to what works best for your specific budget and guest count.

But one of the most often asked questions is:

“What type and how much glassware do I need for my event?”

While there are no set rules for how much of one item you need, here are some tips to help you with your decisions.

What Type?

You’ll most likely need just one water goblet per person. Utilizing a larger size goblet will mean less refilling throughout the event. Keep in mind extra goblets for staff, DJs or members of the band, breakage, etc.

If you are having a champagne toast, plan on using a champagne flute or the traditional champagne flat. Consider having one glass for each of your adult guests, even if they are not big drinkers. It is nice to have something to raise during a toast, even if a guest is only taking one sip.

For wine service, choose a universal wine glass that you can serve both red or white in. With an average wine pour serving size around 5-6 ounces, using an 11-13 oz glass will allow the wine to be fully enjoyed by your guests.

When thinking about a beer glass, keep in mind that many of the beers that we drink today can be served directly in the glass bottle or can that they come in. This eliminates the need for a glass but having a glass available for your guests is always a good idea. Try and choose a beer glass that can also serve as an all-purpose glass for non-alcoholic drinks like soda. A 16 oz pint glass works perfectly for this.

For spirits and mixed drinks, consider using a rocks glass. With sizes ranging from 7 – 12.5 oz, these glasses are perfect for the standard cocktails.

How Much?

Plan on serving one to two drinks (beer, wine, or cocktail) per hour, per guest. Keeping in mind the following ratios as guidelines:

Full Bar: 30% liquor, 20% beer, 50% wine
Beer & Wine Only: 25% beer, 75% wine

Example: Let’s say your event is 4 hours long, you have 150 guests attending with a full bar being offered, and we figure one drink per guest, per hour. With the above ratio, that would be 45 guests consuming liquor-based drinks, 30 consuming beer, and 75 consuming wine. You would then multiply each by the length of the event to figure out the number of total drinks per type of beverage throughout the evening. So, in this case, roughly 180 liquor-based drinks, 120 beers, and 300 glasses of wine will be served. This will help you gauge the amount of glassware needed.

The above ratios may seem off to you and that is okay. You know your guests better than anyone else and should adjust the ratios according to their preferences. The above ratios won’t work for every event but should serve as a starting point to help you in the planning process.

Keep in mind that every time a guest is refreshing their beverage, they might not necessarily require a new glass. Having your bar staff ask if the guest would like to use their current glass, or if they would like a new one, can cut down on the amount of glassware needed.

Also, if you will have staff go around throughout the night clearing empty glasses and washing them to be reused for the event, you can reduce the amount of glassware needed.

Some additional factors to consider that can significantly alter the style or amount of glassware needed are:

  • Weather
  • The Type of Drinkers
  • The Type of Event
  • The Type of Bar
  • Number of Guests
  • The Length of the Event
  • The Date & Time of the Event

When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your bartender, caterer, event planner, and even your Lasting Impressions event rental expert can provide plenty of guidance to assist you in creating the perfect bar for your special event.

written by Ryan Harmon, Sales Representative, Lasting Impressions – Cleveland