6.7.2022

What is Bottle Service? Your Questions Answered

Written by Conal Yarwood-Frost

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Bottle service is one of those things that would seem completely ridiculous when removed from its context. Paying a highly inflated fee for a simple bottle of liquor you may seem excessive. But when thinking about bottle service, always remember that the excess is exactly the point. 

Above all else, nightclubs sell the illusion of glamour. Many people believe that excess is an expression of glamour.  People are still going to buy the bottles no matter how much they cost. 

A large part of hospitality is selling things most people could pick up during their regular shop and bottle service is no different. In this blog, we’ll be looking at the ins and outs of bottle service.

Bottle service basics 

In the most basic terms, bottle service (sometimes called table service) is a customer experience where the customer orders an entire liquor or champagne bottle for their table. While you’re most likely to see bottle service at a club, some particularly fancy restaurants will offer a bottle service menu. 

While restaurants have always employed bottle presenters for wine, table service as we know it is a relatively modern concept. While the idea of dedicated bottle service waitresses can be traced back to Japan in the 1940s, modern table service was pioneered by the Parisian nightclub Les Bains Douches. [1]

Bottle service is considered to be an expression of wealth and generally, you wouldn’t order it if you were just out for drinks at the bar. Some establishments will encourage their bartenders to upsell table service to customers but usually, it’s a service that’s booked in advance. 

Table service generally works the same way wherever you go. You’ll book and make a reservation directly with the establishment. On the night, you’ll be given a table, usually in a “VIP” section, and your chosen drink will be brought to you on a special bottle service tray.

Gain all the advantages of an EPOS system with detailed, flexible, downloadable reports, and so much more:

  • Manage and update products quickly with easy to use software
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  • Keep queues short with streamlined, modifiable sales processes
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Bottle service costs 

Paradoxically, one of the most appealing aspects of bottle service is how expensive it is to the regular. As we mentioned above, bottle service is a  status symbol. This makes it a very attractive service to many. 

The cost behind bottle service varies depending on the club or restaurant and on the brand and amount of alcohol bought. It should be noted that “real life” prices do not play a factor in table service. You can expect to pay hundreds, if not thousands, more than you usually would for an otherwise ordinary bottle of alcohol. 

This can easily be seen when we examine the prices at Omnia, a premium nightclub in the American city of Las Vegas. Booking the cheapest table for one of their regular nights has a minimum spend of $1,000. This is before you take into account bottle prices which very quickly bump the price above $5,000. [2

If you want to experience bottle service for yourself but can’t quite afford Omnia prices, you’ll have to do a little research. Find pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs in your area that offer bottle service, you can then compare prices and book a table. Be aware that if there’s a special event such as a visiting DJ, prices will be higher. 

Offering bottle service

If you’re looking for a way to inject some life into your business and you have a small budget, offering bottle service at your business could be a great way to drum up interest. Hospitality is all about customer service and table service allows you to offer something special to your customers. 

The first thing to do is to ensure your VIP tables are worth it. Ensure that they’re set in the nicest part of the premise and that they’re kept clean and well presented. If you can create tasteful yet stylish surroundings, your customers are more likely to share your business to their socials, giving you some free social media marketing

It’s also worth investing in some tools that could help you serve your customers better, such the Epos Now Pro Range. These mobile card machines are designed to make transactions as simple as possible and allow you to conduct sales from the palm of your hand. Thanks to their mobile nature, you can take orders for more bottles straight from the table side. 

The best service in POS systems 

At Epos Now, we believe in offering the best in electronic point of sales (EPOS or POS) systems. Hospitality businesses can take advantage of useful features such as menu building, staff management, and automatic stock buys. 

If you’re interested in seeing what Epos Now can do for your business, get in touch with our expert team below.

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