VIP Archives | Sparkler City

Bottle Service

Determining Table and Bottle Pricing in your Club

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Originally when nightclubs first became trendy, the only costs were for drinks and possibly a cover charge to get in the door. Over the last few decades, club owners have found all sorts of new ways to generate revenue such as bottle service, VIP seating, and more. When you’re pricing out a cocktail, the formula is really straight forward. You figure out the cost of the ingredients, add on your target margin, and you come up with a final price. However, determining table and bottle pricing can be a little trickier since it is skewed based on the demand of your limited seating areas and the “cool factor” of buying bottle service. Fortunately, there is a pretty simple way to figure it out if you know what you’re doing.

Bottle Service

There are two main ways nightclubs handle bottle service. Option one is used if there are plenty of table in the club and groups can simply order a bottle with mixers for their table to enjoy. Option two, the more popular option, involves having a limited number of tables available that are exclusively for groups who are buying bottle service.

To put it bluntly, a table for bottle service is worth whatever people are willing to pay. It’s always good to start off with a base price at the beginning of the night, such as 1 bottle for $300 or 2 bottles for $600, and then slowly increase the price as tables begin to fill up. It’s not uncommon for a nightclub to charge twice what the initial going rate for bottle service by the end of the night if the club is very busy. Just remember that it is completely supply and demand, so if the group wants bottle service they will pay what you ask.

Table Pricing

Some venues like to offer tables to VIP customers as a way of showing their status. Usually, this requires an additional purchase of a VIP package when they arrive at the club. Similar to bottle service, the cost of a table can fluctuate based on demand. However, it is usually much more affordable to be seated in the VIP area compared to getting a table with bottle service. You should also keep them separated so the bottle service customers are considered the top echelon while the VIP customers are a close second.

Advanced Booking Fees

Sometimes large groups want to reserve a section of your nightclub for an event such as a birthday party or a bachelor party. This can mean big business, but it can also hinder your regular business model because of the amount of space they will take up in your venue. For this “hassle”, you should charge an advanced booking fee. Typically, the industry standard is somewhere between 25% and 50% of the normal cover charge per person in the group. This should also be non-refundable in case the group decides to cancel unexpectedly so you aren’t out the labor and materials costs for preparing for their arrival.

Though pricing out VIP packages and bottle service requires some flexibility and a keen business sense, with a little practice it is fairly straight forward. Just remember that you’re selling an experience and that demand should guide you while you’re determining table and bottle pricing in your club.

Reserved VIP Table

How to Avoid Double Booking VIP Tables

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For decades, bars and nightclubs have been offering VIP seating to large groups and high rollers. Traditionally, a person or their agent would make a phone call to the club’s host or hostess and they would write down the reservation in their book. This system worked very well because all of the reservations were kept in one centralized location, but it was far from perfect since human error played a role in the process. This meant that the VIP booking system worked most of the time, but there was no way to find out where the problem was if something was lost or entered incorrectly.

Flash forward to modern times, the way people make reservations for their VIP table has drastically changed. First came website bookings that allowed customers to book through an online form, then we saw the rise of smartphones with a whole plethora of apps that allow you to book a table at your favorite bar, restaurant, or nightclub.

With all of these different platforms and third party platforms that allow guests to book VIP tables, keeping all of the different reservations straight has become even more challenging. When you couple these methods with the traditional phone call system that s still in play, you can see just how tough it is to keep things organized and accurate. So how are you supposed to avoid double booking VIP tables? By putting in place the proper systems.

The first thing you’re going to need to do is setup a centralized reservation software system that is compatible with all of the latest third party apps that can accept reservations on your behalf. There are many options out there, so just do a little research to see which will work best for you. Next, you’ll need to make sure your staff is trained to use the reservation system so all of the bookings are made correctly. Here’s what you’ll need to do to make that happen.

  1. Create a unique username and password for each authorized employee. This will help you track statistics and any errors made in the booking process.
  2. Teach your customers how to add a reservation on a specific night and identify which tables are available.
  3. Make sure all of the third party apps that take bookings on your behalf are integrated in real-time for accuracy.

If you have everything setup properly and your staff properly trained, every single VIP table booking should come into your system without any possible conflicts. Having a centralized reservation system such as this will allow people to book from a wide variety of sources and everything will show up perfectly. This is the only way to truly avoid double booking VIP tables without fail, and every serious bar, restaurant, or nightclub owner should seriously consider investing in such a system.

Creating a VIP Experience image

Creating a VIP Experience

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When someone goes out to a bar or nightclub, chances are that they want to have a great night out that they’ll remember for many days to come. If they wanted an average night they could have just as easily gone to a movie or had a quiet dinner. Creating a VIP experience is the task you’re charged with. There is a big separation between what many clubs offer for service and what most potential customers are expecting. Bridging that gap is vital if you want to emerge as a top player in the nightlife industry in your area. Fortunately, a few simple and inexpensive enhancements to your venue, entertainment, and amenities can turn an average night out into an evening to remember forever.

Better Customer Service is Vital to Creating a VIP Experience

If you truly want a bar or nightclub patron to feel special, the easiest way to accomplish that is to offer better customer service than your competition. That’s the most important step to creating a VIP experience. If you make each of your patrons feel like they’re your only patron, they are much more likely to come back and also to spend more money. Best of all, there isn’t really any financial investment necessary for this improvement. Only a time investment for new training; unless of course your bar or nightclub is drastically understaffed!

Improve Perceived Value

Taking everything up a notch can allow you to charge a lot more for the same items. Plus, your guests will have a great time. Little things like cotton napkins and higher quality plates and glassware can create the perception of a classier experience. In reality, nothing about the food or drinks have changed. If you master perceived value, you can cash in on a lot of recurring customers that will have really big bar tabs.

Creating a VIP Experience by Putting On a Show

Rather than just pouring drinks, your bartenders should be able to put on a show. Customers want to be impressed by the skills of their bartender. Hiring top quality staff and letting them have some fun behind the bar is important. This should also translate into things like your VIP bottle service where something as simple as one of our gold bottle sparklers can make the entire event seem better.

Dress Up Your Venue

Last, and obviously the most expensive, we have the option of giving your venue a facelift. Often times a nice bar or nightclub will just need a fresh coat of paint. Perhaps some new lightshades, and a few new decorations to make the place feel brand new again. Even if you need to invest a little more time and money than that, it will certainly pay off on the back end when your venue is completely remodeled. After all, it is hard to feel like a VIP when you’re looking at peeling paint.

Still looking for more ways to ditch your drab bar or nightclub? Is creating a VIP experience important to you? Well, you really don’t need to look any further than your own impressions. If you would want to be treated a certain way, chances are that your guest will want that too. This is discussed in publications like Nightclub & Bar Magazine all the time. Just think of the greatest experience you can imagine. Then charge people a premium for pulling it off correctly, and watch your profits start to rise.

Bottle Service

How Bottle Service Changed Everything

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Bottle service at nightclubs didn’t start showing up until the mid-1990’s after clubs started catering to European and Asian clients that saw high end bottles at their table as a status symbol. It was in a bar and nightclub owner’s best interests to push the idea of having a bottle directly on the table because it was a surefire way to sell more drinks with less labor involved. This push lead to a huge surge in bottle service popping up at nightclubs across America and a new trend was born.

Until bottle service became the standard for VIP treatment, clubs needed to rely on bartenders and waitresses serving the drinks directly to the customer. Though this got the job done and brought in revenues for the bar, it was slow and inefficient. Not only was the bar only brining in a fraction of its potential revenue, the customers were unable to enjoy their evening as well because they were standing in line at the bar or waiting for a waitress to refill their drinks. By simply placing a bottle on the table, each guest became their own bartender and a staff of five could now serve a room of two hundred people without even breaking a sweat.

This was, without a doubt, one of the biggest game-changers in the history of the nightclub industry. No longer were clubs simply for dancing and socializing with the occasional drink, they were full-fledged alcohol destinations that were bringing in the masses for an evening of drinking and partying with their friends. Businessmen quickly flooded the market with their limitless credit cards and $5000 suits to take over the VIP areas while the ownership of the clubs shifted from artistic people to business-minded groups. Some see the bottle service as the catalyst for ruining the club scene forever while others see it as the great money-maker that made the club scene more profitable than ever before.

However, it’s not all glitz and glamour with bottle service; there are a few pitfalls to consider as well. By placing bottles on every table, you are opening yourself as a club owner to a new set of potential problems. If there is a fight at your nightclub, the glass bottles are readily available to be used as weapons and the shattering glass can injure the innocent bystanders. This type of scenario is more common than you think, and the ensuing lawsuit can devastate you financially.

For this reason, any club that decides to offer bottle service needs to have ample security. Since you can cut down on the number of waitresses and bartenders you’ll need on staff, you can hire more security guards and turn them into liquor deliverymen as well. They can transport the bottles to the table just as easily as a traditional waitress, but hand-delivery of a bottle from a security guard will allow them to assess the people at the tables and spot potential problems before they get out of control.

All in all, bottle service changed everything about the nightclub industry and the way we treat our VIP clients. Though not everyone is in love with the idea of bottle service, it has made the entire industry more profitable and popular. While there are some who will never fully embrace the concept of bottle service at their establishment, it has become a crucial feature that many customers are looking for and will surely earn you more money if you welcome it with open arms.

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