A few years ago, Dylan Forsythe was spinning records at a friend’s wedding and halfway through the event, a thunderbolt idea took hold.
A graphic designer at the time (who DJ’d for fun on the side), Forsythe watched the bartenders hired for the wedding, studying their process from set up to tear down, — observing personalities, client and guest interactions, crisis management (no limes, oh no!) and event flow.
“I knew I could create something comprehensive and unique for events, so I went about researching everything I could find on ‘for-hire’ bartending services,” he said.
Three years later, Forsythe has assembled a core team of 5 regular bartenders, with 10 more at the ready, for the 350 clients he services annually through Bar Masters Mobile Bartending. Opened in 2017 and headquartered in Melbourne, where Forsythe grew up, the business extends its reach south to Miami, north to Daytona and west to the Tampa Bay area.
Barmasters Mobile Bartending brings the bar to you, with everything needed but the booze, he said. All bar sets up include coolers and ice scoops, straws and napkins, cutting board and knife, garnish holder, shaker/strainer, wine and beer tub, spill mats and pouring bottles. Just add beer, wine, Champagne and spirits and the party is ready to go. Additional packages for frozen drinks and signature cocktails also can be arranged.
To effectively plan for bar service, Barmasters has an online presence guiding users with an Alcohol Planning Guide (for purchasing) and short intake form for quotes on company services. The online grid breaks down the number of bottles needed by amount of expected guests, and includes extras such as sodas, mixers, fruit and garnish.
“I try to get back to anyone requesting a quote within 5 minutes,” he said, noting that this level of responsiveness and developing a clear line of communication (and friendly rapport) with clients has been key to Bar Master’s growth.
Further tuning in to requests and needs for clients led Forsythe to partner with Chef David Garner and add Delish Dish catering to his line up of services in 2018. Ancillary and add-on options include DJ services, game board rentals for Corn Hole and Beer Pong, speaker rentals and more.
With most major bookings for corporate and private events taking place between December and February each year, Forsythe suggests planners try to contract bar and catering services at least four to six weeks in advance of the event date, but can accommodate shorter timing and can book out a year to 18 months in advance if an event (such as a wedding or milestone celebration) has a specific date attached to it.
“For bigger events, I’d also recommend hiring an event planner,” he said.
Turning over the keys to the event allows party planners to actively participate, but does not require constant effort. That’s what event planners do, and it’ll provide great peace of mind and allow party hosts more flexibility to enjoy the event with less stress, he explained.
Bartenders from Barmasters are trained and insured. They carry additional certifications from Serv Safe, developed by the National Restaurant Association and experts who have direct experience with the risks involved in serving alcohol. Additionally, Barmasters carries liability, venue and general insurance for each event.
Looking back over the last three years in business, Forsythe is most surprised by the growth trajectory and repeat business. Last year, the first Barmasters Mobile Bartending service franchise opened in Miami. There are plans to open more all over the country.
“It’s been a wild ride,” he said, but clearly one worth taking. Cheers!
For more information, visit online at www.barmastersmobilebartending.com or call (321) 298-1129.
Shawna Lucas (formerly Kelsch) has lived and worked in Brevard county for the past 20 years, serving in a variety of jobs and community service roles. She’s a former food and news reporter for Florida today, and was owner/operator of a marketing company that assisted clients and partners such as the Florida Healthcare Coalition, Blue Cross & Blue Shield Foundation for Florida, The Brevard Health Alliance, and Florida Tech to identify and solve pressing community health issues. She has she has dual bachelors degrees in Journalism and Sociology from the University of Miami, and was an inaugural fellow at the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.