Anyone who has purchased or considered purchasing bottle service at a nightclub knows that it’s expensive. But why do nightclubs put such a big price tag on their bottle service tables?
Bottle service at nightclubs is expensive because you are paying for a VIP experience, in addition to the drinks. Bottle service is a status symbol, that often comes with a cocktail waitress, a busser, security, VIP entry and real estate within the club.
Bottle service can cost anywhere from $100-$10,000+ depending on the city and the specific club. Of course you can overpay, but typically the more you pay for bottle service the more you get. In this post I’ll explain what makes bottle service so expensive and help you determine whether the price is worth it for you.
Why Bottle Service Is Expensive
On the surface bottle service looks ridiculously expensive, but in reality it’s fairly priced most of the time. Let me explain…
Say you’re at a nightclub in Boston and bottle service costs $400 for 8 people. In reality you’re only paying $50 a person, which is about the same cost as 5 or 6 drinks at the bar (assuming $8-$10 drinks). If you plan on having 7 or 8 drinks while at the club, bottle service is actually cheaper. Bottle service is like buying your alcohol in bulk.
I’ll give one more example. Bottle service for 6 people in Las Vegas is going to cost an average of $1,000. At some clubs you can get a table for as low as $500, but I’ll use $1,000 for the example.
If you split the $1,000 bill between your group of 6, you each end up paying a total of $170 plus tips. When you compare that to general admission, where you would be paying a $50 cover charge plus $15-$20 per drink, bottle service isn’t too much more expensive. But in addition to the drinks, bottle service also gets you:
- Expedited entry
- VIP table and your own area in the club
- Cocktail waitress
- No cover charge
- No waiting in line at the bar
- Attention and status in the club
On the surface, yes, bottle service is expensive. It’s hard to justify spending a couple hundred dollars on a bottle of alcohol that only costs $30 at the liquor store. But when you compare it to what you end up spending on drinks at the bar, bottle service is actually fairly priced.
There are certainly some nightclubs that inflate prices for bottle service to the point of absurdity. But at most clubs, I would recommend bottle service to big groups that plan on drinking a lot. You aren’t only buying your alcohol in bulk, you’re also getting VIP treatment at the same time.
Why Nightclubs Sell VIP Bottle Service
Bottle service is sold as a luxury experience. This means that the club is offering premium service for a higher price. For many people, avoiding the lines at the bar and the crowds on the dance floor is worth the extra money.
Of course bottle service also represents exclusivity. There is a certain customer base that wants to be treated like a VIP (whether you consider this is pretentious or not). And for the price of bottle service, nightclubs will cater to this customer.
Bottle service tables are designed to make guests feel superior to everyone in general admission. They are in the “VIP” section, they have the best views of the DJ, they don’t have to bump elbow at the bar and they skip the line when entering the club.
For many, this is what makes bottle service so attractive. And clubs make a lot of money off of it. The venue will happily sell you an entire bottle of vodka before you even walk in the door. It just makes good business sense.
In addition to ensuring alcohol sales, the nightclub is also able to create a high end atmosphere when they sell bottle service. They are no longer a bar, they can now call themselves a club or lounge. An exclusive club is able to impose higher cover charges when you walk in the door.
Is Bottle Service Worth The Price Tag
Whether or not you get bottle service depends on what you’re looking for in a night out. If you want a fun high-end experience with a group of friends, then bottle service may be worth it for you. You might actually save money by buying your alcohol in bulk, and not getting individual drinks at the bar.
Bottle service is also worth it if you have money to spend. If price isn’t an issue for you then definitely get a table. You’ll enjoy the extra comfort and benefits offered by bottle service, plus you still have the option of going to the bar or dance floor if you choose to later on.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend bottle service to smaller groups that don’t plan on drinking a lot. If you aren’t drinking a lot, you probably don’t plan on being at the club for more than an hour or so. You’ll be better off spending less money at the bar where you won’t feel the obligation of being tied down to a table.
Why Are Drinks So Expensive At Nightclubs
When you buy a drink at a bar (whether it’s a dive bar or nightclub bar) you’re not just paying for the drink, you’re also paying for the experience. And to fund the fun times you have at the venue, the club has to pay for expenses like rent, employee salaries and supplies.
It’s very similar to how food costs more at restaurants than it does at the grocery store. You’re paying for the experience. Nightclubs and bars make a majority of their money off of alcohol sales, so they need to charge more for it.
How much does bottle service cost in Las Vegas? Bottle service in Las Vegas cost between $2,000-$3,000 on average for a medium sized table. However, there are tables that cost as low as $500 at some club. You can check out the cheapest bottle service tables in Las Vegas here.
Is there a way to get into nightclubs for free? Many nightclubs have a guest list. In most cities the guest list is exclusively for women, but in Las Vegas both men and women can sign up for the guest list. The guest list rules for each nightclub are different, and many clubs require men to have an even ratio of women in their group.