Category Archives: Sales

4 Tips to Maximize VIP Bottle Service

Bottle service is a crucial component of many top nightclubs’ business. It transforms standard clubs into elite, highly desirable clubs. It’s a way to attract high-status patrons and, above all else, make revenue faster than ever before.

But just because you offer bottle service doesn’t mean you’re doing it well. Here are 4 tips to improve your bottle service offering and maximize your club’s results.

1. Know where and how VIP guests are being booked

It’s common for nightclubs to get inundated with reservation requests from promoters, staff, agents, and guests themselves. The more organized you are with tracking reservations, the better your entire VIP service will be. Have a central location where all reservations are documented to make sure nothing gets lost in the process. Give your bouncers access to these VIPs so they are never stopped at the door or have to wait in line.

2. Know your clients and give them a customized experience

VIP guests don’t want to be treated like a number. They should be greeted at the door, walked to their table, offered their personal top-purchased liquors, and attended to by their favorite server Having a customer relationship management system in place helps track this information to give seamless VIP service from all staff members.

3. Manage inventory accordingly

It’s hard to predict the type and amount of liquors to purchase, but you can’t afford to run out of a top client’s favorite bottle before he even arrives. Take time to analyze history and trends of the bottles that are being purchased in your club, especially by your regular guests. Having a system like this in place not only helps you to better plan, but it also strengthens customer experience.

4. Interact and engage clients on a personal level

Promoting your nightclub in general and promoting your VIP tables won’t be the exact same. It’s no longer about summoning the masses for VIP. These clients demand a personal touch. Send personalized emails, texts and phone calls to past clients and keep them up-to-date with what’s happening at your club. While doing so, make sure you’re giving them information that’s specifically relevant to their interests and habits. A client won’t be impressed if you inform them of a new tequila brand if they’re solely vodka drinkers.


Amplify your ambiance. Make your clients feel exclusive by offering comfortable seating, elegant tables, and sexy mobile tablets. These factors will not only get your clients to stay longer (and order more), but will make you the state-of-the-art club.


​Whitney Larson is the president at Vēmos. Contact her at whitney.larson@vemos.io.

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.

I believe treating the two as exclusive parts of your venue hurts you more than it helps. Both bottle service and bar service are important aspects of your club’s performance. The bar crowd controls the atmosphere and ambiance of the venue, which attracts the bottle patrons who bring in the revenue. Having a strategy to blend the two together is what makes the biggest impact as a whole.

The most successful clubs are those that integrate both areas with a similar 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 venues, but they’re the ones that are advancing their business most rapidly. When everyone in your venue (including your bottle service staff, your security, and your bartenders) is focused on a level of personalized service based on that guest’s past habits, that’s when you truly win. That’s when you start building loyalty, organic word of mouth growth, a higher spend per person, and your next wave of bottle service customers all in one.

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 more than ever before.

So how could this work?

With the combination of an ID scanning system that’s tied to your POS system, you get insight on every guest that walks through your door. You’ve likely had this level of insight on your bottle service guests already with your reservation management system. Now it’s possible to tie it back to the general bar crowd.

Every guest needs to have their ID to drink, so it’s an easy thing for you to leverage. You scan their ID and notice it’s their 10th time coming in a month. Use that information to personally greet them and cover their first drink. If your ID scanner is tied to your POS, you also get insight on spending habits. Notice they spend a lot each time they come? Offer them a VIP table instead.

It’s the small details that make a person feel like you notice them, and that’s what makes the biggest difference. This is true regardless if they’re a bar customer or a VIP, it’s just that historically there hasn’t been enough information on the bar customer to provide them with that level of service. So 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 the entire atmosphere of your venue and, with the right tools, can be persuaded to spend even more.

Tips for Hosting a Profitable Event

The fall through the end of the year is typically the busiest time of the year in the nightlife industry. It’s a heavily event-driven season, with all the holidays and celebratory moments driving people to spend more time out with their friends. Fortunately, hosting events is one of the best ways to get people through your door. And it can be a serious money maker for your business if you take the time to plan it out, get everything in place, and throw a good party.

Here is a 5-step plan to set you up for success when hosting an event so you don’t end up owing more than you make.

1. Plan your event

Sounds obvious, but I’ve seen a lot of events getting thrown together without a ton of thought, and those are typically the events that end up with a financial loss. That’s why taking 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? Could be a great opportunity to have a comprehensive theme.
  • 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. All the details easily start to come together once these bigger questions are outlined.

    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. Systems like Vēmos combine all your data from across your venue into one dashboard, so you know exactly who made up your sales and what they bought. Which marketing campaigns brought people to pre-buy their tickets? At what time did your sales start trending upwards? What time of the night did the majority of your guests check in? How much did a general admission guest spend at the bar? Was your labor to sales ratio what you expected it to be? And most importantly, what could you do differently next time to do even better? Optimization is key to long-term success, but you can’t optimize if you don’t have the system that provides the answers to all these questions. The more you know, the better your results.


    Ready to take your event to the next level? Get started for free.


    Get Our Event & Ticketing Suite for Free

    Get everything that comes with our event management feature as a standalone product.

    Step Up Your Game in 2018

    The end of the year is coming to a close, which means you’re most likely gearing up for your New Year’s Eve party. But in the midst of all this, it’s also the time to a assess your business and set your venue up for even more success in the coming year.

    We’re at this critical juncture as an industry of keeping up with the demands of customers, the expectations of general consumers, and continuing with everyday business to keep things afloat. It’s a lot to manage, especially with the busy holiday season.

    But in 2018, we as an industry can’t afford to keep pushing out implementing new practices. There have been articles for the past few years claiming nightlife is dying. I disagree. I believe society is evolving, and we’re not evolving with it. We aren’t dying; we’re falling behind.

    Think about the experiences your customers have in every other industry. Retail, online entertainment, even coffee shops have all shifted to cater to individual needs based on timing and past habits. Retail stores send emails suggesting items you might like because of what you’ve bought in the past. Amazon reminds you of when you’re likely due to re-buy a household item. Netflix suggests a show you should watch based on what’s trending and what you’ve previously enjoyed. Starbucks knows once you get into the store what they should offer to up-sell you based on your tastes and budget. All of these industries start with tracking your behavior so they can later reach out on a very personal level to get you to spend even more. It’s personal. It’s data-driven. And that’s where we’re falling behind in the nightlife industry.

    In 2018, it’s no longer about opening your doors and assuming people will walk in. It’s about guaranteeing people will walk in, and the right people at that. But just like very other industry, it starts with tracking your customers’ behavior. And I mean every customer, not just your VIPs.

    Fortunately, tracking your guests is fairly simple with the right system. It shouldn’t add a ton of new processes to your staff, nor take up much more additional time to collect the data. The best solution is a system that has ID scanning, POS integration, and a CRM system at the core of its functionality. Solutions like Vēmos is built with these three at its core, combined with general admission, guest list, tickets, and reservation management features. The reason having the core is important is because you’re now able to track every guest who walks through your door, including their spending habits once inside.

    Take this example: It’s Friday night, and it’s Lucy’s first time at your venue.

  • You scan Lucy’s ID with the system to verify legality, but because you’re using a system backed by a CRM system, you have now created her personal guest profile in your database.
  • Lucy then goes to check in with the general admission cashier to pay cover. You now know Lucy is a general admission guest who has paid $20 to get inside, bringing her lifetime value up to $20.
  • Lucy goes to the bar and orders a vodka tonic. The next time she orders a martini. Every time she places an order, it’s added to her guest profile because your system is integrated with your POS and is backed by a CRM system. Her lifetime value in her guest profile rises every time she orders.
  • Lucy comes back with 5 friends as a guest list customer the following Friday. You scan her ID to verify legality, and are notified that this is her second time at the venue and she’s worth $x. You notice she’s brought more people with her. You thank her for coming back and bringing more guests to your venue. This provides personalization and gives her that specialized treatment.

  • Now that you have Lucy’s profile and see that it’s building over time, you’re able to amplify her experience. Does she keep coming back every week as a GA or guest list guest? Upgrade her to a reservation and start her off with a bottle of champagne to thank her for her loyalty. Is there a new concert coming up that you think she’d like? Send her an email or text message to buy a ticket before the concert is unveiled to the rest of the public. Do you think there’s a craft cocktail she’d like better that would earn you more revenue? Promote it to her.

    Because you started with collecting and tracking behavior, you’re now able to later reach out with personal messages to get your guests to come more often and spend even more once they’re there. This is what is going to get you to level up to other experiences in other industries.

    It’s no longer sufficient to make assumptions on how your venue is performing and who your guests are. It’s also no longer sufficient to just focus on the data from one area of your business. It’s about taking a comprehensive approach that provides insight into all of your guests. After all, the more you know, the more you can do. And with a new year approaching, it’s time to garner even better results and higher revenue than the previous year.

    Get a head start on the biggest event of the year

    We recently published 7 tips to get a head start on the biggest event of the year. Now with it being right around the corner, it’s time to start elevating your New Year’s Eve party and thinking of ways to take it to the next level. While countdowns and confetti are always the norm, here are a few added elements we’re seeing in this year’s parties.

    1. Create Experiences with Unique Themes

    Theme-based events have been popular throughout 2017, and the trend isn’t stopping for New Year’s Eve. The succinct nature that comes with a theme is what provides structure to the experience you’re providing. It’s no longer just a glamorized party; it’s a way to truly commemorate 2017 and welcome in 2018. And when you have a theme that’s fully thought out, you’re able to provide your experience right at the start, from when your guest first learns of the event, to when they RSVP, all the way down to when they arrive. The more you can get into your theme, the more enticing your party will be. This year, I’ve seen themes range from a frosty affair, to a tropical cabana oasis, to mission impossible complete with a video invite. There’s no limit to what you can do, it’s a matter of playing to your guests’ interest and executing the experience.

    2. Enhance VIP Offerings by Focusing on Details

    People are more likely to splurge on a VIP experience for New Year’s Eve, which means you have to take care of them and execute above their standards and expectations. While VIP bottle service is the everyday for many nightclubs, your NYE VIP service needs to be a step higher. People expect to pay top-dollar to receive this premier customized service, and if your staff acts like it’s just another area of your party, your guests aren’t going to get the experience they expect or deserve. To take your VIP to the next level, make sure you’re focusing on all the right details that elevate their night. Greet them by their name when they arrive. Turn your tables into cabanas. Provide a free hookah. Add in a layer of live entertainment. Think of ways you can use your theme to add layers of value. After all, this is a great time to wow your guests and build loyalty for the coming year.

    3. Offer a Signature Cocktail

    A signature cocktail can go a long way in wracking up those bar sales without burdening your staff on the busiest night of the year. Plus, when done well with your theme, they get guests excited to try something new and festive to ring in the new year. Work with your theme or embrace seasonality as inspiration of a signature cocktail. Bonus points for not making it overcomplicated for your staff, yet still memorable for your guests.

    There are many directions you can go with your New Year’s Eve party. The most important thing is to make sure it lines up with the type of party your guests want to attend. From there, it’s all about optimizing your revenue is by getting a head start with planning, selling early bird pre-sale tickets to create demand, and making sure all of your offerings are succinct to set the stage for the experience you’re providing.