Bar Crowd vs. VIP Crowd: Which is Better?

I was recently in an online discussion with industry leaders about which business model is best for nightclubs: bottle service or bar service. It seems there’s not one simple answer to this question, and everyone has a different viewpoint. However, most resonated with the idea that it doesn’t have to be one over the other; that they’re both critical to the success of a venue.


We believe treating the two as exclusive parts of a club hurts your venue more than helps it. Both bottle service and bar service are important aspects of your club’s performance, especially in today’s landscape. We see the best clubs are those that integrate both areas with the same approach, value both with the same level of priority, and treat all customers – whether bar or bottle service customers – on a personal level. Not only do guests prefer to go to these clubs, but they’re the ones that are advancing their business most rapidly.


One person in the discussion pointed out the bar crowd controls the atmosphere and ambiance of the venue, which attracts the bottle patrons who bring in the revenue. We couldn’t agree more. While it’s possible to succeed focusing on one over the other, it doesn’t make as much of an impact if you were to treat the two together. Putting effort into both sides of this equation optimizes your club’s performance and maximizes your revenue.


A customer relationship management (CRM) system works to bring that personal service to all guests, especially when it’s tied to your point of sale system. While it’s true your big spenders at the VIP tables deserve the ultimate personal service, your bar crowd deserves some personal touches, too. And in the age of big data, people are used to being treated as an individual by brands than ever before.


Your CRM system can help you do this without extra time or effort. What’s more is it can potentially increase your revenue by converting your bar guests to a big-spending bottle service guest. Here’s an example.


Your CRM system helps you know who your guests are so you can identify them in line (especially when you have a mobile CRM system). You can tell from this system if a guest is a regular attendee for your bar crowd, which means you can offer to upsell them to bottle service right then and there. It’s always best to be as personal as possible when doing an upsell, so mention that you notice they come in often and think they would enjoy a bottle service experience. They’ll be more likely after this experience to continue to be a bottle service customer, become more loyal to your venue, and refer friends.


Even though it’s natural to want to pour your energy and resources into your VIP section, don’t forget about your bar crowd. They’re an important aspect of your club and, with the right technology tools, can be persuaded to spend even more.


Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketing for BookBottles. Contact her at whitney.johnson@bookbottles.com.

Top