Bottle service is an increasing trend that can bring higher profits to bars and nightclubs. It’s essentially selling a patron a full bottle of liquor at a significant markup. Some establishments provide mixers to go with the bottle and maybe even a VIP seating area or secluded table for the patron and their guests. This allows the patron to have a private party atmosphere and a VIP experience. For this, the patron is willing to pay a significantly higher price. For many in the nightclub scene, bottle service is the best way to highlight their status. As a bar or nightclub owner, this is a way to significantly increase revenue and great source of loyal repeat business.
With this added revenue and increased profit comes an increased risk. When someone uses bottle service, they own the bottle and there can be a tendency to over-serve themselves or their guests at their semi-private party. This leads to an increased risk of litigation for the nightclub for failing to cut off over-indulgence. There is also an increased risk in general liability claims from customer accidents as over-served customers fall down or otherwise get injured. Another risk is someone over-serving themselves (or a friend) and then getting behind the wheel of a car. These risks can do significant harm to a business.
There are ways to mitigate and manage this risk. The first is through the use of a designated server for the bottle service. This server can observe customers and make decisions on who to serve based upon their observation. The second, and most effective way to mitigate risk, is to use the dedicated server in conjunction with a bottle lock. A bottle lock is a device placed over the mouth of a bottle, preventing anyone who does not have the proper key from pouring a drink from the bottle. The dedicated server retains the key to the lock. The server can unlock the bottle to serve guests or decide not to, based upon their observations. A trained server can monitor consumption and make a risk-based decision to serve or not to serve a particular guest. While the customer paid for the whole bottle, the server retains the key and the ability to serve responsibly. An added side-benefit is that this eliminates the risk of those who would use the service as a way of allowing their under-age friends to have drinks in the bar. With the lock, before any drink could be poured, the server can determine the true age of potential underage drinkers. The server also retains the ability to head off those who might drink and drive. The server could make the polite suggestion that a member of the party switch to a soft drink and even if they refuse, the server has the key and the bottle lock cannot be opened without it. It’s a safe and non-confrontational way to reduce liability while being socially responsible at the same time. Some might see this as infringing on the benefits of the service, but in practice it actually enhances the patron’s experience. Having a way to control who consumes out of the bottle and how much, as well as having a dedicated server plays very nicely into the atmosphere of the service and it’s use as a status symbol.
Bottle service, when used with a dedicated, trained server, and a bottle lock is a great way to increase revenue and protect profits for a bar or nightclub.
For more information about Bottle Service contact us or call 1.770.426.0547.