Why Is VIP Bottle Service So Expensive?

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Written by: Chris Haddad

Weekend outings in Boston are expensive as is, so it may be hard to justify spending $200+ for a VIP bottle service. But of course, if it wasn’t for the money, who would pass up on a private area with your closest friends, personal bottles of grey goose adorned with lights, and comfortable place to sit? It’s the ideal night out – but when did “personal bottles” become necessary and where did this VIP service trend begin?

According to New York Magazine, Bottle service trends began back in 1941:  “In Japan, ewers of sake were served to seated soldiers. Soon after, it became normal for Tokyo businessmen to buy bottles and store the unfinished portion in lounge lockers”.

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From there, the trend spiraled making personal bottles a staple in nightlife. Today, VIP Bottle service is bigger than ever, with people spending over $1,000 for a night out in some cases. Here at Massnightly, we wanted to investigate if bottle service is really what its hyped up to be, or are people wasting their money for lit-up bottles and a comfy couch?

Dimitri Petrosian promoter for 6 one 7 productions  in Boston talked with us about the value of VIP service.

“The whole reason behind purchasing and reserving a table/VIP section, I believe, is overall comfort and a better nightlife experience. You are not waiting in line, you are not paying the cover charge and you have a place to hangout with your friends. More importantly, the party already has a bottle of vodka with tip/tax included waiting for you.”

The amenities are great, but we still weren’t sold that it was worth $250+. However,  Dimitri laid out some numbers for us, and we were quite surprised.

“We sell tables by a ‘minimum spend. You don’t always have to purchase a bottle or spend crazy amounts of money. Many times I have guests that might grab a small bottle of champagne and then order drinks, shots, beers, whatever they want until they hit their minimum spend. Lets say a table has a $300 minimum spend (or $400 all in including the tip and tax), 8 people [are at a table] which equals out to $50 each.”

As Kenniel Velez, manager at Ascend phrased it

“You’re essentially paying for ‘real-estate’, you want the best seat in the club and people will pay more money to get closer to a DJ and the action. Not to mention all the additional perks included in getting a VIP service.”

Kenniel also told us about the bells and whistles of taking the VIP route:

“You get a private server – so you don’t have to wait at the bar and pay every time you get a drink. It’s convenience. You get the VIP entrance, and overall better presentation.For example if someone buys a bottle of Dom Perignon we don’t just drop that bottle off. We present that bottle as a celebration – we put LED batons on the bottles and we also use dry ice to make the bottle appear smoky. It’s a big show and we do it because we know that person is spending a lot of money and we appreciate that.”

From private servers, a comfortable place to sit, skipping the line, and being treated like a celebrity you are really getting a lot for what you pay for.

So no matter if you’re in the middle class or a high-profiled celebrity, grabbing a table in Boston at a nightclub could suit anyone’s budget if the cost is divided up. What are your thoughts? Does VIP makes sense or do you think it’s still too much money?

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