Bottle service in Perth nightclubs

November 22, 2006 8:27 PM

Bottle service at Zouk in KL, Malaysia

There are no nightclubs in Perth that do bottle service and by extension, table service. This is where you would buy an entire bottle of spirit and get a free flow of ice and mixers. Not even in more uppity clubs like Onyx in West Perth. Are there any in the Eastern States?

The only places that do bottle service here in Perth are karaoke bars and your more Asian-centric clubs (used to anyway) but there aren’t many at all. Bottle service is just not a norm.

Whereas if you go to Asia it makes more economic sense to buy by the bottle rather than individual drinks. And with the bottle service, you also have the choice to get a table reserved in advance. Lounges and couches change the whole clubbing dynamic, and you tend to see groups of people rather than individual stragglers. It’s like having your own private party at home but with a lot more people in nicer surroundings and better music.

Bottle service is also available in the US and in Europe. So why not here?

Standard shot = 60mL
1L of spirit would therefore yield 16 drinks approx.
At $8 per drink, the bar/club would earn $133 per bottle of spirit.
Wholesale price of 1L of spirit is approx. $20-$25.
Gross profit is therefore $110 approx. (not counting labour, ice, mixers, spillage and glass breakages)

Retail price of 1L of spirit is $30-60 approx. An industry standard 3x markup would be $180.

It would seem that there isn’t much of a price incentive to buy by the bottle even though you won’t have to queue for your drinks. But that doesn’t explain it. A quick Google search yielded this price list from a US club, and another which matches what I calculated above.

While it may also seem to make sense for clubs to do it – having customers pour their own drinks would reduce the labour costs and improve the productivity of the bar staff which may mean selling more drinks, they don’t.

I think the main reason the clubs don’t do it may be that doing bottle service with the requisite tables and couches would take up space. They won’t be able to pack in as many punters who may buy more drinks. But Australia isn’t exactly short of space, so this doesn’t explain it either.

A collection of pictures from Flickr of bottle-service in clubs

Photo credits clockwise from top-left: francescam, aleyor, jeremy_owyang, zatoichi

The only thing left to conclude is that it’s a different clubbing culture that we have here. Though this does force people to walk around and mingle more. So I guess it’s not all that bad. 🙂

[tags]clubbing, drinks, alcohol, bottle service, Australia, Australian[/tags]

14 thoughts on “Bottle service in Perth nightclubs

  1. ront

    which part of europe are you talking abt?? these bottle service would probably cost like 350euro for a bottle of whiskey…vodka probably set you back at abt 150euro…

    standard shot is 60ml???? i thought its 40ml.
    and i dont think you come across 1l bottle of had liquor in the stores….its usually in 700-750ml bottles….those 1L ones are duty free stuffs….

  2. sourrain


    It is not as regular as you might think.Most of the ang moh that I know have never heard of it before..when i tell them that on weekends we do 10 bottles of chivas easy,they are usually quite scared of me..for them its quite strange to be seen buying bottles.

    and I know I had not seen it in CA before. Well,probably because I never partied hard enough.

    But bottles are the best way to get drunk¬!

  3. mooiness Post author

    ront: I’ve seen bars serve liquor out of the 1L bottles. In any case, my point is that it won’t be expensive for the customers, and it can be profitable for club owners here in Oz if they do it. But they don’t.

    sourrain: but see, in places like CA it’s there if you want it. Here you can’t get it even if you are willing to pay for it – not after the one remaining “Asian” club changed into a drum-n-bass place a couple of years back. And yes bottles are quickest way to do it – just like home! Hahaha.

  4. Rob

    I remember Margeaux’s at the Hilton used to have this service. They’ll even label your bottle if you couldn’t finish it but you had to be a VIP member. but gawd that was 10 years ago when I was still clubbing.
    I wasn’t cheap though. I think the bottle service was no cheaper than ordering individual drinks. what it did offer was a sense of elitism to sit with your mates in the VIP section and try to impress the girls in the club.

  5. mooiness Post author

    Rob: Margeaux and Exit remember? that’s why I said “used to”. 😉 Although in Oz there’s not much price difference, you get the intangibles as you’ve mentioned above, plus no queuing at the door or at the bar. Now that I can afford it, I can’t even get that service here anymore. Rats.

  6. girlstar7

    I’m not sure if anywhere in melb does bottle service either, certainly not the places I go to anyway. I’m sure there would be some places but definitely the vast majority don’t…and I”m a regular clubber/bar hopper who goes out most weekends and have been to a fair proportion of the clubs in melb. so I’d say it’d be pretty similar Australia-wide…

  7. kimfluttersby

    why….why????why????why do you have to make me miss perth so much… well i’d say if you enjoy perth, then go ahead by all means, settle down in perth. the lady will come later. you’re still young, still have time to decide. my wish is to travel around the world but i just don’t know when.

    i can totally relate to that bottle service thingy. in kl it’s tough to have extra ppl come in with one bottle. as in, one bottle admits 3 person. additional, you either know the door bitch or you’re not allowed in. i think in perth they’re not so stringent on that? am i wrong, or is it the same everywhere?

  8. sourrain

    This post is making me crave whiskey…

    I think on an overall, most places don’t do it in Europe, but if hard pushed, the more asian places would do it. Then again, bottle service is not available at all the posh clubs that I went to in HK…and the locals (well,ang moh locals who’s lived there for more than 10 yrs) are actually shocked at the fact that we drink by bottles in KL. But I know of other people who manage to find bottle service clubs in the more local chinese places.

    Kim: there are some places in KL that allows you to bring in more people than 3…although I would say 3 is a fair digit for a bottle of chivas.

    *off for a shot..

  9. mooiness Post author

    girlstar7: yeah that’s what I thought. I think it’s not in our culture to appear to be elite.

    kim: you are right about Perth – it’s more egalitarian and not so snotty. Everybody queues up and you will get in provided it’s not packed out.

    sourrain: is it a Chinese thing? I never thought so. I see them do it in US clubs (on TV albeit) and the photos that I got above are all of US clubs too. You drink shots of whiskey? You are hard core!

    jktdo: let’s just say the numbers are not important then. it’s a cultural and legal thing.

  10. jktdo

    In Australia, a standard shot is around 30mL. And the main reason why bottle service is practically eradicated in this country is due to stricter alcohol service laws. I guess I learnt something in that “responsible service of alcohol” course I had to do. As for Asia, bottle service brings in the customers! It’s a dog eat dog world for businesses in Asia, especially with all the competition and the proportion of people to land mass.

    Although, I heard that a friend from Sydney came down to Melbourne for a couple of nights and was able to order a whole bottle of Hennessey from the bar. He had never experienced that in Sydney and was able to get friends to get more bottles. Apparently they had a great night (=were totally trashed) =)

  11. sourrain

    in HK it is…the kwai lou owned places do not sell bottles,the more cantopop places around kowloon does.Well,maybe not cantopop la,but patrons are mostly local chinese.Where we play ‘sap,sap ng’ and dice games

    I know the really posh places in States sells by bottles.But again like I said,I didnt party hard enough when I was there.


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