After doing some research your group has decided on getting bottle service. Awesome!!
I’ll give you all the steps so you can get the best table for the least amount of money and aggravation.
1. To start, you need a place to go! So check out a Vegas event calendar and find out who’s playing when you’re in town. Also check out my article on the best tables all over town: Bottle Service: Best Tables at Every Price Point
2. Next you need to contact a host at whatever club you want to go to. There are a lot of independent hosts in Vegas, but you should always deal with someone who works for the club. You’ll get a better price and location doing it that way. Cut out the middle man. Contact me if you don’t know anyone.
3. Talk to your host and tell him how big your group is, the mix of guys/girls, what your all in budget is and where your preferred table is located. He will discuss options with you and whether he can get you exactly what you want. Part of the all in cost will include his ‘handshake’, which is a tip he receives for booking your table.
Note: more and more nightclubs are putting seat maps on their websites that let you book a table online. They’re a good reference point so you know about how much table minimums are for a particular night, but I’ll warn you against using them to reserve your table.
Working with a good host can usually get you a lower minimum than what’s advertised online. If you book through the website you will be given the least attention when you arrive at the club. They will make you wait the longest and give you the worst possible table they can based on your agreed upon minimum spend. A host can also make special bottle deals available to your group that you wouldn’t get otherwise. A $100-500 ‘handshake’ is totally worth it to have that relationship with a host.
4. After finalizing a plan with your host you should be all set! He’ll usually tell you to arrive by 11pm especially if he’s holding a particularly good table for you. Stay in touch with him in case your group size or plans change at all.
5. When your group arrives at the club give him a call or text. He’ll either come meet you or tell you to go in the reserved table entrance and meet him inside. He’ll make sure you’re all clear on the table minimum then you give him your card to get processed. After security he’ll take your group to the table.
If you haven’t already, this is the time to give him the agreed upon handshake. You don’t need to be all sneaky about it just hand it to him. Sometimes your host will come by later and hang out, but often this will be the last you see him. If you have any issues or problems at the club definitely reach out to him for help. He’ll probably text you later or the next day to find out how your night was.
6. At the table you will then meet your waitress who will give you a menu and take your bottle order. Usually you won’t see her too much except to ask you if you want to order any more bottles, and at the end of the night to close out your bill.
What you can also do is close out your bill at the beginning of the night. This can be a good option if your doing a table split with people who aren’t your personal friends, or if you tend to get carried away when your drunk. That way they’ll stop you from ordering above your agreed upon minimum. You can always give them your card again if you want more later on. Be sure to let the waitress know who is in charge of ordering, and if anyone else has permission to order bottles besides the person whose card she has.
7. After picking out your bottle(s) she’ll go get them and usually deliver them in some kind of dramatic way. Sparklers, lights, sometimes even a drummer are typical and depends on the club, what you ordered and how much you’re spending. You get free mixers for your alcohol outside of water and red bulls, which are both usually quite pricey ($7-12 each).
8. Since your waitress will hardly be around you will notice that most of the service you will be getting will be from a very hardworking guy referred to as a busser. He will constantly be bringing in fresh ice, new glassware and refilling your mixers. You need to tip him and it’s best to do it right at the beginning of the night. If you’re at a small table away from the action with 1/2 bottles then $30-40 is good. If you have a dance floor table I would give him $60-100. He’ll have to work a lot harder for a big table and fight more crowds.
9. The last person you will have to take care of is security. The amount again will depend on your table. Outside with one bottle in a totally chill environment? $20 is fine, or even zero if there doesn’t seem to be anyone around. If you’re inside near the dance floor and it’s packed? $50-100 at the start of the night can go a long ways. He’ll escort your girls to the bathroom, kick out bottle rats, introduce you to groups of girls if you ask, and generally be on your side if you happen to get in any disputes that evening. Introduce yourself before the club starts filling up and let him know who is in your group.
10. If you didn’t do it when you first arrived make sure to close out your tab at the end of the night. Here’s how the bill will break down:
- Sub total: $3000 (just an example)
- Tax: $243 (8.1%)
- Some places have auto gratuity for waitress, other don’t. Tip: $600 (20%)
- Total: $3843
- If there was a performer there can also be an additional live entertainment tax of 10%
- Adding in a $100 combined to security/busser, and a $200 handshake that brings total spend to $4143. I always advise that you should plan for 40% above your minimum as a guess for your all in cost.
11. Lastly but most important…. go wild!!