There are an incredible number of individuals needed to run a successful nightclub, all of which fit in certain divisions – divisions that promote the venue, divisions that run the venue, and divisions that produce the party when all the guests are in the venue. Yet, many nightclubs don’t think of staffing in terms of different divisions, and end up piling all the responsibility on a certain subset of people while eliminating other crucial teams. The reason? The misconception that it’s expensive to have adequate staff. But in reality, it’s actually more costly to improperly staff.


In this three-part series, we will discuss the three critical areas we see being the biggest staffing issues:

•  Part 1: The Sales Team
•  Part 2: Promoters
•  Part 3: The Internal Team


The Sales Team

It’s often the last thought on a club or bar owner’s mind: who is selling their venue? Most rely on the hype of being the newest and hottest venue to drive the most business. Then they layer on print marketing, public relations updates, and a few major events to increase awareness. Few clubs have the key component of an internal sales team.

Too many owners shy away from building an internal sales team because of labor costs or lack of personal knowledge. But in reality building an internal sales team is a strategic move that will increase your venue’s results month after month. Call them promoters, VIP servers, or VIP hosts – it doesn’t make a difference. At the end of the day, it’s all about their job function: producing revenue by continuously bringing more spenders into your venue.

And with today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to track your sales team’s results. There are systems out there that track the referrer of an individual customer, VIP reservation, or guestlist party, making it easier to identify who’s brining in the most traffic. Once these customers are in the club, the technology can continue to track spending habits, such as product type and amount. This makes it easier for you to identify not only who is bringing in the most traffic, but also who’s bringing in the best traffic.

Here’s what you need to do to set up your sales team:

1. Take time to learn what makes up a good team, and put the right people in the right place.</li>
2. Build a sales process that will be in place for staff.</li>
3. Provide tools to succeed and monitor production.</li>
4. Give staff time to hit tangible goals and incentivize them when they do.

Building your team and processes are an ongoing process, so be patient. With a strong internal sales team, you own the relationship s with your guests and directly influence how people receive your message. Plus, with a tracking system, you know exactly how much money your sales team brought in, how much to compensate your team, and how much of an ROI that team is providing for your venue’s long-term success.


Stay tuned for part 2: promoters in next week’s post.


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