in

What Is Bottle Service?

Whether you’re celebrating the advent of summer, a special occasion, or just undertaking a resolution to live every day to its fullest, there are little things that can elevate a fun night out and make it all the more special.

If you’re planning to hit the town and spend some time at a local nightclub, or if you’re interested in taking a trip to one of the party capitals of the world, bottle service can be the cherry on top of a memorable night.

vip bottle service at a bar

For those who have never tried bottle service before, it can be intimidating if you don’t know what to expect or what you’re getting. So today, we’ll break down everything you need to know about bottle service: what it is, how it came to be, and what you can expect.

What It Is

Bottle service is a requested service provided by many high-end bars, nightclubs, and lounges. Essentially, it involves the patron’s purchase of a full bottle of alcohol, usually of the top-shelf variety, which includes mixers and other accompanying items and ingredients to enjoy it with.

In super-exclusive establishments, bottle service isn’t limited to drinks. Special benefits usually come along with it, including special VIP areas. Essentially, you’re buying not only the alcohol and the extras but also a special table in a special area and elevated service.

It makes sense, then, that with bottle service, it’s all about the ambiance and the experience. Even though you are physically purchasing a bottle of liquor or champagne, the quality of your night out and the memories you’ll make will last far longer than the bottle itself.

What Does It Cost

Bottle service is available in many kinds of up-scale establishments, such as bars, nightclubs, and even some exclusive restaurants. Since so many establishments offer it, the details of cost and what you get in return will vary from place to place.

However, don’t expect to get a deal when you ask for bottle service. It’s notoriously expensive because it involves already pricey alcohol paired with exclusive treatment and perks. And, as we’ve mentioned, because the service is more about the experience than cost-value, many people find that the expense associated with bottle service is worth it.

Champagne wine bottles on ice on catering table on luxury city eventt

In all, prices will vary wildly based on the location of the venue. Bottle service is extremely common in tourist-laden cities both in the U.S. and abroad. Enjoying bottle service in a club in Las Vegas could cost you upwards of $10,000, while some European clubs will only provide prices for bottle service on request.

Practically, these hefty price tags function more as minimum spending amounts than hard and fast rules. For many clubs that have to plan their operations based on the amount of space and time of day, it makes more sense to have minimum spending amounts for tables that will vary based on different factors.

During their busiest hours, many clubs often have a higher minimum spend amount for tables in prime locations. This is helpful for large parties or groups that are pitching in to cover the night’s expenses. So bottle service at these tables at these times might cost more than the same service at a different table during a less busy time.

Because of this, bottle service often requires booking in advance, especially for nightclubs that reserve special VIP tables for guests paying for this accommodation. Be warned, though, that the cost of bottle service excludes tips and taxes, which you’ll have to factor in later.

What Does It Involve

We know that bottle service includes, obviously, the bottle, but what are some of the extra perks that come along with purchasing bottle service? Besides special seating at VIP tables, depending on the location, bottle service could buy you even more.

The benefit of a table for patrons who purchase bottle service is an often overlooked but important part of the equation. At a nightclub or bar, where guests are often up and moving around, it’s often likely that one’s seat at the bar or anywhere else might get taken by someone else.

the bottle service champagne and sparklers are going wild while everyone is celebrating

With a reserved, VIP table, patrons get a more permanent place to serve as a headquarters, if you will. Guests don’t have to worry about saving their spot or having their belongings swiped. The tables that come with bottle service are often roped off in special areas out of the normal range of foot traffic.

Depending on what type of alcohol you order, mixers for appropriate drinks will be thrown in as well. You’ll often get a cart laden with anything you’d need: ginger ale, club soda, cranberry juice, limes and lemons, and more. 

Is It Worth It?

When you order bottle service, you’ll find that it comes with an exorbitant mark-up of the goods and services. You could get the same drinks at the bar yourself and pay much less.

However, the real appeal of bottle service lies in the experience. If you have a large party, sometimes it does make financial sense to order bottle service instead of individual drinks. But overall, the heightened sense of luxury, the included perks, and the memories of your special night will probably be worth the large price tag.

This page may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we'll earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

Written by Brian N

Brian has been an influencer in the food and beverage industry for over 20 years. He not only loves to eat and drink at restaurants on a regular basis, he also knows the business inside and out.