Five Ways Bottle Service Can Build Your Business – Part I
Is it possible that owning and operating a nightclub could become a losing proposition? According to an article on the website newtheory.com club patronage by millennials is on a decline. The article, “Bid Farewell: Why Millennials Are Abandoning Nightclubs”, posted October 12, 2015, contends that, “Nightclub and bar attendance has been on a steady decline for the past several years and counting.” The reason for the decline is blamed on millennials and millennials are those who fall into the age bracket between 21 and 38 and they cite this information from a report by research firm, GFK. The story lists a number of reasons given by respondents to an anonymous online survey for not attending clubs regularly. Some of the reasons listed included:
• Expensive cover charges
• High priced drinks
• Long lines
• Slow bar service
• Rude staff
Looking at these reasons for not frequenting clubs, it is clear to me that a significant part of the problem could be solved simply by starting a bottle service which also includes using bottle locks.
The bottle service is simply a group package offered by the nightclub that is purchased in advance by the client for a V.I.P. style evening out. It may be for a party of two or more and the package price is determined by the number of people in the group, the type of reserved seating desired and the number of top shelf spirits or wines purchased (usually one or two bottles). A waiter or waitress is assigned to the group for the evening and serves as the attendant to the group for the night, including serving beverages and mixing drinks. Bottles are served with bottle locks on them to prevent someone from walking off with the party’s drinks. Bottle locks can only be removed by the waiter or waitress with a special detachment key that can be carried on their person. From a customer service perspective, this helps resolve a lot of problems before they happen.
An expensive cover charges was the first complaint listed. What is the reason for a cover charge? Cover charges should be for special events or DJ’s, according to nightclub.com writer Marcus Colon in an October 21, 2014 article, When to Charge a Cover. “ “Cover charges can be tricky because if you charge too much you’ll turn away customers,” says Karla Ortiz, national accounts director at Wanttickets, one of the nation’s premier online ticketing services that works with some of the top nightclubs in the country.” Cover charges may add revenue, but if party goers find someplace with a lower cover fee, they may not return. Adding a bottle service will increase profit through the purchase price of a service and any additional liquor/wine purchases a party may make. Groups purchasing a service pay no cover and it would also allow the owner/manager to lower cover charges for all other patrons.
An additional point to consider with cover charges is that it may hinder how much a customer spends in the club. A modest cover fee may be fine, but owners should recognize that patrons may not spend as much on their drinks or food. It may also mean reduced tips for staff. A bottle service can have a tip built into the price so staff will still be compensated and the customer knows up front what they will be paying. A bottle server who is customer service oriented will unlock bottles and mix drinks for his or her group and make the experience one that will entice a party to return again.
With the decline in club attendance, it is important to find ways to grow your business, not just protect what you have. Lowering or eliminating cover charges and adding a bottle service with the benefits of bottle locks will bring the customers to your establishment time and time again.
Get more information on bottle service, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 today.