Category Archives: Data

The Power of Being Connected

Running a successful nightclub isn’t easy. You have several different areas doing several different things, not to mention an array of staff members to account for. That’s why it’s more important than ever to stay connected, both from a personnel and an operations standpoint.

Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to stay connected in today’s landscape, especially with efficient technology solutions. Here’s how you can improve your interconnectivity and, in turn, your profits.

1. Find the right platform

There are technology platforms out there specific to the nightclub industry that streamlines operations into one centralized spot. This solution increases efficiency across the board by correlating information from multiple sources and uncovering key statistics about your business. So not only are you connected through this one platform, but you’re also gaining valuable business insight.

2. Start small

Technology platforms are robust and come with a lot of bells and whistles. But just because it has everything you could ever want doesn’t mean you have to start using every feature right away. The reason technology, or any new system for that matter, seems overwhelming is because people think of it as one big overhaul rather than a series of small steps. Pick the features that you absolutely need today and blend it into your current operations. Once you get the hang of the new features you added, you’ll feel more comfortable about what technology can do for your venue and you will be ready to add more necessary features.

3. Give staff access to the platform

Once you’ve identified which features make the most sense for you, it’s time to unveil it to the team. The same platform noted above has the capability to provide individual logins to each member of your team. And, depending on that person’s role in your club, you get to choose what they can and can’t access, helping to keep your data more secure. Giving staff access (even if it’s limited access) to a technology solution that combines information in one spot is an efficient way to get everyone on the same page.

4. Train staff on the platform

Get all staff members together who will be interacting with the platform. Having everyone in one place makes it easy for you to introduce the system, show them how it works, and answer any questions they may have. After all, your customers interact with multiple members of your staff on any given night, so it’s crucial for each staff member to be adequately trained to handle any type of customer, including VIP customers, and work with one another to give the impression that your club is well run.

5. Experience an interconnective club

Customer experience is elevated when staff and departments are running in sync. While the customer can’t directly attribute their experience to a well-run system, they can feel the difference between a venue running each department in a silo vs. one that is interconnected. This helps increase customer loyalty and customer spending to keep you in business for years to come.

Whitney Johnson is the global director at BookBottles. Contact her at

Do You Know How Your Venue is Performing?

The key to measuring the success of your club is by analyzing critical data. Yet, most venues don’t look at their data to get an accurate gage of how well their club is performing. The problem is few venues have a system in place to analyze this data, and even fewer have the necessary time and resources to comb through data points to make sense of it all. As a result, venues are operating blindly and wasting time and money on areas that may not be working.

To get a true sense of how your venue is performing, you should be able to rattle off:

  • How much money you made or lost over a given time period
  • Which days of the week are your busiest
  • What type of liquor you sell the most on a given day
  • How many tables are reserved a night
  • Which promoters are bringing in the most guests
  • Which servers are upselling the most and making the most tips
  • What types of promotions or events bring in the most traffic

If you don’t have an answer to these points, it’s time to put an analytics system in place. Don’t cut yourself short by only turning to your point of sale (POS) system to provide this data. While it’s true that most POS systems collect data, it’s oftentimes presented in convoluted ways. It’s nearly impossible to get a glimpse of your club’s employee performance, promoter performance, individual guest sales, or trending liquor sales. That’s why it’s more important than ever to turn to a system that not only collects, but also reports the data you need in meaningful ways.

The best systems are fully integrated solutions that collect data from any area of your club and analyze and present it in one central spot. These systems are beneficial in a number of ways, because they:

  • Allow you to identify the audience you want to measure (servers, promoters, customers, overall club performance, or all of the above)
  • Provide insight on trending liquor sales, which helps with inventory planning
  • Report key information on individual guests – average spend, total spend, group size, favorite liquors, and top purchases – so you can better serve them
  • Present the results you chose to identify in easy-to-read charts and graphs, which removes the manual labor of you combing through all the data

With this type of system, you’re able to easily review the data that’s presented, benchmark it against your goals, and optimize your results to work in your favor. If something isn’t working – such as a certain type of liquor isn’t selling well or a promoter isn’t providing results – then fix the problem. The more you now, the more you can do.

Hosting a Profitable Event

Hosting events is one of the best ways to get people through your door. But if you don’t take the time to plan it out, get everything in place, and throw a good party, your event could take a dive for the worst and leave you owing more than you made.

Here is a 5-step plan to set you up for success when hosting an event.

1. Plan your event

Planning is one of the most important aspects of throwing an event. You need to first identify what you want to get out of the event, and plan accordingly to achieve it. The best questions to answer during this step are:

  • What is your goal?
  • What is your budget, and how much can you spend in each area of the event?
  • Who is your audience and what are they interested in?
  • Is this going to be an event tied to a holiday or time of year?
  • How will you get the word out about this event?

Once you answer these questions, you have a better way of moving forward. You know exactly how many promoters you need, what staff members are responsible for, how much money you can spend on talent, what type of talent you need to hire, if you can offer drink specials – the list goes on.

2. Hire the right talent

Talent is a big portion of what lures people into your venue. But you need to make sure you hire the right talent. Do your guests prefer a headlining DJ or a local band? What type of lighting and sound equipment do you need to enhance the experience for your guests? After all, the people you are throwing the event for should define the event’s path. Know what your audience wants and what they’ll pay to attend. And above all else, stay within the budget you allotted in step 1 to maximize your profits and achieve your goal.

3. Generate revenue, even before the day of the event

We’re talking about pre-sales. Every event or venue, regardless of size, benefits from the pre-sale of tickets and inventory. The best way to sell tickets in advance is to get everyone on board with a single platform. There are platforms available that allow you to create and manage an online event page, publish the page for consumers to purchase tickets, have the page integrate with a mobile app for promoters to sell tickets directly from their devices, and track ticket sales and results along the way. This type of platform syncs all promoters and marketing efforts together to maximize ticket sales and revenue.

4. Be a good party host

Your event efforts must continue, and perhaps even spike, during the night of the event. Treat everyone like VIPs, from the bottle buyer to the general admission guest. Focus on service levels and make them feel appreciated no matter what. Your guests will not only continually come back, but they’ll also tell everyone they know about their experience. This sets you up for success for the long run.

5. Analyze results to better prepare for the next event

The only way to know whether your event was a success is to analyze the data. If you got on board with the aforementioned platform, your life will be significantly easier since it will all be in one spot – not to mention the data will be broken down by individual guests and staff members to truly identify areas of strength and weakness. Once you know how well you did, you’re able to better set yourself up for success for your next event. Optimization is key to long-term success. The more you know, the better your results.

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Building Customer Loyalty

There are several forums online that raise an important question: how can nightclubs build customer loyalty? Unfortunately, many participants agree the best way is through loyalty cards and point systems. But here’s the thing: you’re not selling coffee; you’re selling luxury. And where luxury rules, point systems are out.

Your guests – especially your VIPs – have high expectations for the service and experience they receive at your venue. Because of this, they base their purchasing decisions more on emotion and desire than practical need. Points and other loyalty programs are practical. Not only that, but you’re treating your guest the same way they’re treated when they walk into a grocery store by asking them to flash their loyalty card.

The best way for nightclubs to build loyalty is by providing impeccable service. This means knowing your guests (again, especially your VIPs) by name, knowing which type of liquor they typically consume, knowing which servers they enjoy and which tables they prefer. It needs to be personal and it needs to be a luxurious experience for your customer. Great experiences means great memories, and great memories means more repeat visits.

Knowing your customers inside and out is easier said than done. The only way to truly understand the value of a guest is tying data back to your point of sale (POS) system. Fortunately, there are technology platforms available to nightclubs that capture rich data about your customers, including demographics, past liquor purchases, past reservations, number of visits, number of guests, and amount spent. This type of system connects with all areas of your club, including your POS system, and presents you with easy-to-read analytics about your customers, your club’s overall performance, and even server and promoter performance.

It’s this type of data that allows your club to offer the impeccable service your customers need. And that’s where the secret of customer loyalty lies.

Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketing for BookBottles. Contact her at

Guestlists: The Most Powerful Pre-Entry Tool

There’s no denying the importance of guestlists. In today’s landscape, they’re a fully ingrained component of a nightclub’s daily operations. Not only do they help control the number of guests, but they also help ensure the right ratio and type of guests are coming through your door.

So if guestlists are such a critical aspect, why do we as an industry treat them as a basic task? Until recently, we hadn’t gotten to a point where guestlists can be used as critical data to propel stronger business decisions. And while technology has advanced to the point where a number of guestlist software applications have arisen, very few tie individual guest information back in a meaningful way. What’s worse is many clubs still operate with pen and paper, collecting little to no information while reducing the speed of the night.

Below are the benefits of integrating a more powerful guestlist system in your nightclub:

Collecting guest information

Most guestlists do the mere task of checking people in. Some provide information on guests; few handle cover charges through a point of sale system right on the spot. Using a guestlist system that does all of this not only increases efficiency, but also provides in-dept insight of your guests, such as demographics, frequency of visits, average group size, and total amount charged at the door.

Understanding guest habits

Going a step further from the previous point, a guestlist system that’s integrated with other technology in the club is able to collect an individual guest’s habits. What types of beverages do they order? How much do they spend once inside the club? Do they only come on big event nights; Friday nights; every weekend night? These answers help to narrow in on who your guests truly are and allow you to better market to them.

Upselling guests

With all the provided data, you’re able to make better, more educated decisions about individual guests. This means you’re able to more easily upsell your customers to come on nights they wouldn’t originally have intended, or to sell them on bottle service instead of simply attending. This is the type of activity that grows your club’s revenues while increasing customer experience – a win-win for all.