Bottle service (also known as table service) – one of the man’s greatest tributes to the pleasures of hedonism. Welcome to the good life – drinking alcohol brought to you by scantily clad bottle girls as you black out and run up the tab – you only live once, right? There is a case to be made for VIP bottle service. In many instances, bottle service can be pretty comparatively priced to standard clubbing, with some ancillary benefits.
You do not need to have bottle service to get into a club. You do however need to be on the guest list, and you’d be amazed how many people just don’t do the homework of that one phone call before turning up at the door. If you don’t feel the need to have a table, this is the way to go. If however you want a dedicated space and you are anxious about getting in, then the bottle is the way to go.
Bottle service is the sale of liquor by the bottle in mostly American lounges and nightclubs. The purchase of bottle service typically includes a reserved table for the patron’s party and mixers of the patron’s choice. Some clubs and lounges also allow free entry to a limited amount of guests with bottle service purchase.
You do not need to have bottle service to get into a club. However, if you want some dedicated real estate and are anxious about getting in, bottle service is the way to go. Almost all clubs these days have VIP tables arranged throughout the club. When you get bottle/table service at a club, you are paying for bottles, mixers, and table space/real estate.
What are the advantages to getting bottle service?:
- You get expedited entry in a VIP bottle service line – While everyone else is stuck waiting for entrance you get an express entry. Bottle service gets you past the doors of NYC’s Most exclusive clubs without the red tape of the strenuous selection process
- You get real estate – a place to sit, put your things. Bottle service comes with alcohol and complimentary entry *at most venues. (often the cost is pretty close to getting in on general admission and buying drinks at the bar).
- If you’re a guy, you can bring girls back to your table If you’re a girl, you don’t have to flirt with guys to mooch drinks In New York bachelorette parties can often get discounted or even complimentary tables on slow nights – ask us about it!.
- A VIP host who will make you drinks.- Get served like a king or queen. Make your drink ? Not with this service.
- Get the drink you want it when and how you want it – No waiting for drinks at the bar trying to flag down a bartender for that watered down drink
Bottle Service Pricing:
In addition to bringing out the bottles, bottle service girls also help you make drinks. Pour shots, refill your mixers, remove empty glasses, etc. Each table booking has a minimum spend – that is, the amount you need to spend on alcohol to get the table/section. The minimums that you are sometimes quoted (always ask about this) doesn’t include tax/tip – which you can estimate to be about 20% (9% tax, 11% tip) – 29% (9% tax, 20% tip) depending on the venue.
The minimum spend on each table varies based on some different factors:
- Holidays / Day of the week – minimums are almost always higher on Fridays/Saturdays.
- The DJ or live performer talent – big names = bigger budget = more significant minimums.
- Table location – The closer you are to the action the more you’ll have to pay.
- Size of Group – The more extensive your group means, the more space you take up.
- Type of Alcohol or Brand of Alcohol – Premium bottles are more expensive then non-premium – meaning Ciroc will cost more than Absolut.
- Size of Section – Bigger sections usually come with more significant minimum spends to procure the part.
- The gender mix of your group – clubs don’t like crowds of all guys- so they crank up the minimums on these units.
How much does bottle service cost and is it worth it?
Bottle service can be worth doing if you are a group – people get stuck on the total amount and don’t do the math. For example, let’s say you have eight people and want to go to a club. You are looking at the entrance pricing at the door plus a tip for the bouncer if you don’t want to wait. Then once you get inside, drinks will run about $15-20 on a Top Shelf mixed drink. And $10-15 on a bottom shelf drink, it only takes a few before your tab is close.
The key to balancing the equation is having enough guys in your group that are willing to throw down. As a gal myself, your sky-high cork Louboutins are killing your feet, a table is also a plus. Gives you a place to regroup. And for friends to find you. Hear that guy?
The trick for larger groups of guys and girls you might want to consider a hybrid approach. Where the guys get in on a table, the girls use guest list / pre-sale tickets. This way you’re able to keep the minimums lower. The girls don’t count as comps on the table, but they can join you at the table. Some things to keep in mind if you’re trying to employ this method: If girls are planning on getting in on the guest list, they often will need to be there earlier than the guys.
Larger Groups Bottles
You’ll want to make sure your girls are capable of getting ready and mobilizing early. With larger groups bottles often gone in a flash. You’ll want to make sure to let your bottle girl know that you’re the only one who can order. This is not because they’re stingy, this is because they have a serving license to sell you the drinks. Some clubs will store your un-drunk liquor for you. Apparently, this is worth it if you buy the expensive stuff. But not so much for an ounce of Absolut!