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. These concepts include things 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. Sadly, 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.
There are two main ways nightclubs handle bottle service. Option one is used if there are plenty of tables in the club. 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. Those tables are exclusively for groups who are buying bottle service.
To put it bluntly, your table and bottle pricing should be 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. After, you can 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. Partially this is due to small enhancements like bottle sparklers and special “entrance” music. Just remember that it is completely supply and demand. So, if the group wants bottle service they will pay what you ask.
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 versus getting a table with bottle service. You should also keep the service tables in a completely separate area. That way, they 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. Unfortunately, it can consume a large amount of space 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. That way, you aren’t out the labor and materials costs for preparing for their arrival.
Pricing out VIP packages and bottle service requires some flexibility and a keen business sense,. However, with a little practice it is fairly straight forward. Just remember that you’re selling an experience and that demand should guide you. That’s the most important factor when you’re determining table and bottle pricing in your club.