Most people think that the real compensation for an employee working at a bar or nightclub is their tips; and for the most part that is true. Many bartenders and servers consider their tips as their paycheck and their paycheck as their tip. However, many nightlife employees have families which rely on both their paycheck and their tips to make ends meet. Sadly, one night of bad tips or an unexpected illness can lead to some tough budgeting decisions; especially around the holiday season. For these reasons, it has been customary for decades for an employer to give out holiday bonuses as an act of kindness to their employees.

Small Businesses Lead the Way

This practice is still in full effect for many occupations including office workers and upper management at retail stores. However, most of the time the only ones who get to enjoy this perk are people who work for small businesses. As a small business owner, you rely heavily on a very specific group of people. Remember, each of them is an important fixture in your business! Likely, you know every one of their names and see them on a fairly regular basis.

Giving out bonuses is generally seen as a way to attract and keep top talent when you’re smaller than the big name competitors. But even small businesses have been getting away from rewarding their employees. So, this begs the question: should you give your employees a holiday bonus or not? Here are the pros and cons of giving out holiday bonuses to your employees so you can make that determination for yourself.


Image of a Happy Employee Receiving a Holiday Bonus GiftThe most notable reason that giving your employees holiday bonuses is a good idea is that you will be building loyal and hard-working employees. If your employees aren’t feeling rewarded or appreciated, they tend to slack off more and care less about their job; and your bar or nightclub. Additionally, you can have the best qualified bartenders and servers if you offer bonuses. The best people will always follow the money and the appreciation. Obviously, you don’t need to compensate for holidays like Halloween. Just stick to the major occasions and you should be on the right track.


Obviously, most business men don’t want to pay people more than they need to. After all, your employees are getting paid a fair wage for their work, and you create an environment for earning tips to boot. Furthermore, once you give out compensation, you’ve set a dangerous precedent that they’ll be receiving one every year. Giving out holiday bonuses to your employees will ultimately hurt your bottom line, and that is also the most important thing at the end of the day.

Freeing Up Extra Capital for Holiday Bonuses

One of the biggest challenges that some people face is having enough extra money to reward their staff. If you are determined to give out extra cash, freeing up some room can be a tough job. Consider lowering your costs on certain items to have more resources available. For instance, you can buy wholesale bottle sparkler packages instead of only ordering a few at a time. If you have bottle service at your venue, these dollars can add up quickly! This same principal relates to all of your supplies, so think ahead and make good choices. Just don’t order too many of one thing if you won’t use them over the span of a few weeks.

Only you can tell whether you see value in giving your employees a bonus or if you are more centered on the success of your business. However, weighing the pros and cons can help you make your decision. Just make sure you take into account that your employees might counting on their Holiday bonus before you decide whether or not give them out.