Booking, hosting & promoting
The BHP team is responsible for booking and arranging a fully booked club, and making sure that guests are taken to their appropriated section or table. The BHP team answers directly to the club manager and is headed by a "booking manager".
The booking manager’s role is to ensure that the club is host to the highest quality guests. This may sound easy, but is in fact a very stressful and often complicated job. Booking is completed via the internet through a website or social networking site, phone, or through a hostess or club promoter. A booking manager is the head of the BHP team and is directly responsible for maintaining quality clientele. A good booking manager main concern should be the guest’s spending intentions.
The booking manager is always found at the very entrance of a club, alongside hostesses, and directly past the entrance security crew.
A BOOKING MANAGER JOB DESCRIPTION
A booking manager is armed with a map / floor plan or layout of the club, whether it be in paper or electronic form. The map is constantly being revised with the names of guests who make reservations through the BHP system, online or phone. The map should be in the possession of the booking manager at all times, and updated as soon as a reservation is made. When the map is ready, booking manager is passing the map ( or reservation names list ) to the Doorman / Front-man.
Once a reservation has been made, the booking manager should mark the respective spot on the map.
The map is composed of V.I.P. reservations, regular table reservations, and sometimes bar reservations.
The map labels are (for example) V.I.P. 1, V.I.P. 2, V.I.P. 3, etc. The same method applying to regular tables and bar seating.
When guests arrive, the Doorman asks them for the name listed on the reservation list or guest list ( guest list is a special list just for the “ friends of the club “ ). The guest will then tell them for instance, "David Richards", at which point the Doorman will let them in if that name is on the list. Booking manager then locates their table on the map and Hostess leads them to their table; the hostess must know the layout of the club by heart in order to direct the guests efficiently.
Guest spending is accounted for at the end of each night by the BHP team.
Every club, like any business, attempts to maximize profits. Sponsors, cover charges, and drinks are all avenues for income. The BHP crew is critical for the sale of drinks, they monitor how much a guest has ordered (unless payment is collected immediately), and decide whether or not they will reserve the same table for that guest in the future.
That is, if club policy on a given evening for a certain table dictates that the guest should spend 3,000 $, and the guest racks up a 5,000 $ tab, that guest should most certainly be granted that table in the future. If the guest only spends 2,000 $, however, the next time BHP team should only reserve them the table by taking the credit card details.
Some clubs require credit / debit card details every time when the guest wants to make table reservation.
If on a particular evening the club is less packed then the value of the table is reduced.
Sometimes frequent club guests, more commonly known as "common guests", who usually spend a certain amount of money, spend less than they should. The BHP team should not withhold their usual spot or punish them in the future. Common guests should be respected and taken care of.
Issues can arise when a guest becomes spoiled by the club manager or BHP team member and heavy spenders get the impression that they can call 5 minutes before they arrive, expecting to get their usual tables, only to find out that it has already been reserved. This problem should be avoided from the start by an agreement between the club manager and BHP team to not present this opportunity to guests. This way, even the most desirable guests will respect and abide by the club rules.
Late for reservation
Another issue that the booker is often presented with is when a guest is late for their reservation, and good guests show up requesting the same table. If you haven’t spoiled the guest into thinking that they can show up late, which would be advisable not to do, direct the waiting guest to the reserved spot. Naturally, there should be a tolerated period of tardiness which shouldn’t exceed 15-30 minutes.
In situations in which the club is full and a favorable guest (politicians, celebrities, athletes, as well as heavy spenders) shows up, the Frontman and Booking manager have just 3 positive outcomes to this situation. One is to move a regular guest to a lesser table or section ( with their prior accepting ), the other is to always have on hand a so-called "joker V.I.P. table and the third solution is to put guests to share table with some of the club promoters.
JOKER V.I.P. TABLES SHOULD BE RESERVED FOR ANY UNEXPECTED GUESTS WHO MAY SHOW UP JUST BEFORE THE PARTY STARTS.
It’s important for a single individual to lead the BHP team. If there is more than one person handling guest placement, double reservations may occur, and there may not be enough space for both parties. Good communication between hostesses, promoters, and the booking manager is very important.
It is advisable to have a single person heading booking management at a given time, making the executive decision as to who is placed where, in order to avoid seating problems. This is similar to the need for a frontman or doorman who decides which individuals are allowed into the club, rather than having the entire security crew deciding collectively.
Social skills are invaluable, as are logic, quick thinking, and decisiveness in short periods of time
Male / female balance
A good booking manager must know the male/female ratio within the club at any given time. He can’t allow too many guys into the club, if there aren’t enough girls. A gender imbalance can be a recipe for a bad party and could result in people leaving the club way ahead of time, and if repeated, could create irreparable damage to the club’s image.
Booking manager Salary
A booker’s salary ranges between 500-1000 $ /week.
Booking manager in touristic clubs may work up to 7 nights a week, months at a time. Clubs should have at tourist places, team of 2-3 people for this position.
The job of a hostess is the one with the fewest responsibilities, shortest work hours, and is the least problematic in the nightlife industry.
The main job of a hostess is to take people to their table.
The head hostess works and communicates with the booking manager on one hand, and with the other hostesses on the other. Every hostess accepts reservations from guests and notifies the head hostess or booking manager directly, depending on the clubs organization.
The head hostess, with or without the HR manager, is responsible for hiring and training of the hostesses. Hostesses are advised to establish communication with valued guests, and to reserve sections or tables in the club for them through the booking manager. It’s very important for a hostess to be good looking, sociable and to always wear a nice smile.
HOSTESS COMMON PROBLEMS
Misunderstanding the job of a Hostess
If a club crew member or manager asks you to join someone’s table, you have every right to refuse… this is not part of your job description.
In most clubs, giving out your number, flirting, or hooking up with guests is prohibited. The same applies to your conduct with the other staff and employees.
A hostess must be familiar with the layout of the club, she must know in what section each table is located, and how it is labeled.
If guests become confused or lost, or they want to switch to a different table, hear them out, and consult the booking manager to see if their request is possible. If possible, show them the way to their new table, if not, tell them that it can’t be done and that they have to stay at their current table. If they become unpleasant or aggressive, notify club manager.
Hostess’s salary and work hours
This job requires an attractive and stylish young woman, with a nice smile, and knowledge of at least one foreign language. Hostesses can make around 250 $/week, but not more than 1,000 $/week.
In some clubs around the world, hostesses earn a portion of what the guests they bring in spend (commission), as well as their daily wage or salary. In others, they have a set wage or salary.
These commission earnings range from 5-15 percent of the gross tab that the guest creates. This job is intended for females, and 95% of clubs around the world hire young women, with only 5% employing men.
The difference between hostesses and platonic companions (wagaami)
The job of a platonic companion is much different from that of a hostess. A companion, or non-sexual escort, is a girl whose job is to sit at a guest’s table, and to enjoy drinks and conversation. In return, she will receive a percentage of the entire tab, or perhaps a part of the total bill. For example, often in strip clubs you will immediately be surrounded by girls who will playfully caress your neck or legs and will ask you to buy them a drink. Ordinarily, these drinks are overpriced in strip clubs. You’ll find yourself in an uneasy situation and will buy the girls drinks. Their job is to keep you interested and maintain conversation with you, similar to the role of psychiatrist, the major difference being that the girls add the element of superficial physical contact. Companions are not prostitutes. Their job is not to have sex for money, but rather to keep their guests company, to listen to them, to be interested and entertained by what they have to say. This service is intended to boost the guest’s ego and provide moral satisfaction, with minimal physical contact.
Hostesses are not companions, and a club cannot expect you to fulfill the role of one. We would strongly suggest that you discuss this topic before accepting a job offer, and clearly stating what you are or are not prepared to do.
SUCCESSFUL NIGHTCLUB PROMOTERS IN CLUBS WITH VIP TABLES
Promoter is an individual who attracts and brings guests to the club. They either receive commission based on how much their guests spend, or a paid a set wage by the club.
The success of a promoter depends mostly on who their guests are. Some promoters reel in a young crowd, while others attract celebrities, athletes, and heavy spenders.
Image and style
A club promoter’s image is of utmost importance, it’s all about status and prestige. A nice car, designer wardrobe, linguistic abilities, a flourishing social and private life, people you surround yourself with, the bars and restaurants you’re seen at, the club you work for, as well as the clubs you go to in your spare time. It’s important that the club doesn’t label you as a promoter, but rather a ‘V.I.P. guest manager’… the simple upgrade in title will demand a much greater recognition in social circles. It’s also important for a club not to grant everyone an exclusive title, but rather only to those who have proven to be highly valuable to the club.
We’re going to fill you in on a little secret as to how to be a successful promoter. If you’re a young individual who happens to be easy on the eyes, with high popularity among the ladies and men, then this could be a very interesting and profitable job for you.
You have to start from the beginning. Seal a deal with a good club, stating that you will bring in guests in return for a percentage of the club’s earnings.
It’s important that you have lots of people in your surroundings and phonebook, and that you’re attractive, fun-loving, and that you really know how to party. Without sufficient contacts and friends, don’t expect to progress as a promoter, or in any realm of hospitality for that matter.
“VIP Table People “ are People who flock to nightclubs in order to meet new and interesting faces.
- First step is to know plenty of attractive people who would join you for a night on the town.
- The second step is to seal a deal with a club, securing a V.I.P table on one of their less busy nights, when you can bring all of your party-loving contacts.
In order to attract costumers, you need more than V.I.P. sections and a good time. You need celebrities in your crowd, pictured with you on social networking platforms, boosting your credibility and lifting you to new social heights. You should also party with journalists and tabloid figures… naturally you should cover their drinks when they come to your club… be friendly and the sky is the limit.
It’s never been easier to get in touch with someone, with gems such as IG and Facebook making networking painless.
With journalists come celebrities, starlets, models, singers, actors, and others who want to be famous and in the headlines.
This is something that you don’t necessarily have to do. Have your picture taken with a celebrity in a certain crowd, and create a caption stating that you’re the V.I.P. manager of a particular club and published it in the tabloids. This will definitely gain you added credibility and success with your costumers.
Good to know: When you go out, always order a bottle or two on your behalf as a contribution to the tab. The two bottles will be at the expense of the club and whatever else is ordered will be paid for by the guests you’re with.
Given time you’ll advance to different social circuits, meeting people from various structures of society, creating more and more acquaintances and thereby furthering your career.
It’s important that tabloid journalists frequently, if not always, invite you to events or parties where you can create even more ties with your target crowd, as well as contacts to add to your social networking addresses. Whatever you do, don’t be too aggressive with your proposals or invites to the club, everything should happen naturally and spontaneously.
Gather as many guests as possible, girls, journalists, public figures, etc. and enjoy your work partying the nights away, in the meantime creating a good deal with the club, earning commission and making money.
Fun fact: In some cities, such as Miami, at the most popular clubs random club girls / guys will pay promoters thousands of dollars to be admitted to V.I.P. sections and seen among the rich and famous.
How else would an ordinary guy / girl be able to meet for instance 50 Cent or Paris Hilton? This way, she / he has the opportunity to mingle with the stars…
Finally, after getting so much experience on work and amazed so many contacts, guests, supermodels, journalists, public figures, and so on, that you can either get promoted into club Manager or even become partner in business.
Your social network should constantly be updated with pictures, from your holidays to those with social figures, models, and so on and so forth. Only include those where you are the center of attention or at least equal among the group, never those where you seem to be second in command or a follower.
YOUR GUESTS SHOULD ALWAYS FEEL SPECIAL AND VALUED WHEN THEY ARE IN YOUR COMPANY.
Keep in mind that good promoters sometimes earn much more than managers at the hottest clubs.
If you have guests who are high spenders, and shell out 5,000-10,000$/night, and expect you to always arrange their nights out and book tables for them, you’re in a good spot. If you have multiple clients of this caliber, and you work a couple nights in a row every week, you can expect make upwards of 15,000 $/month.
Your commission is your wage paid by the club. You should ask for a share of 10%-20% of the gross total of drinks sold at your table or section. Depends from the night of the week and from the country where is your club that you work for.
Club policy concerning commission rates for promoters and agencies varies from club to club, and country to country. There is no rule of thumb.
Complementary tables are tables that are given away from the booking manager for the “ friends of the club “. In the most cases complementary table has to be approved by the Club Manager.
Very often complementary tables are given for Influencers, Bloggers or Journalists with Celebrities.
Complementary tables in most cases are given when the club is not full with guests or on the “weak” club nights.
PR agencies deal with the promotion of a club and the club’s image, bringing in public figures and celebrities, and putting together articles and headlines for the tabloids.
PR agencies in the 21st century have become an indispensable part of every successful nightclub.
Often these PR agents are journalists who work for the tabloids and socialize with the stars. They’re hired by clubs and are paid a monthly salary to bring in big names on a certain day or throughout the week, to photograph them and issue stories in the papers, and to casually mention that everything took place in their club.