Here’s the deal with the shake. If you are just getting a typical minimum (like the venue posts on their website) then you can tip a host whatever you like. $50-100 is more than reasonable in this case.
Where it can get a little tricky is when you start asking for value. What do I mean by “value”? Value typically has two forms; table location and “comps”. (need to explain table location and comps prior to this section).
Everyone in the club shares tips, including management, so keep that in mind. As you can imagine, if they have prime tables available, and you tip more than most other people, you’re going to get that prime table over someone else. This way, they maximize their tip pool for that night. So, you come in with a big shake, they comp a couple bottles, with the expectation you’ll tip for the comps as well. So they maximize the tip pool that way and you get extra value.
Here’s an example of how the shake can save you money, and add value to your experience:
Insert table comparing typical min, bottle count vs employing the shake.
Tipping the server, busser, and security
Like it or not, tipping is expected in a club. It’s how the people working there make a living. So, you can either be a “good” customer and reap the rewards or be ignorant and walk away wondering why you didn’t experience the “VIP Service” that you’ve heard so much about. Most commonly, you tip after a service is rendered. You can certainly do that here. But there are a few good reasons to tip up front.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. What would you do if someone tipped you right away? You’d be impressed right? You would probably want to go the extra mile for this person right? So rather than wait and see how things go, and then probably end up tipping the same amount anyway, try tipping at the beginning of the night. Trust me it works. Another good reason to tip early, then you can just party and not worry about it later.
So who do you tip? Let’s start with the busser. These people work their butts off to keep your table tidy, and everything stocked so your party doesn’t miss a beat. A $20 and a handshake at the beginning of the night is appropriate and as you’ll find out, well deserved. Security also has an impact on your night. They keep people out of your space and will even escort you to the bathroom through the thongs of people. This may not sound like a big deal. But when the club is slammed and nature calls it’s nice to have someone clear the way and walk you past the line for the bathroom.
Last but not least, your server. She will be introduced to you when you arrive at your table. Most places will automatically add gratuity to your bill, but some don’t so it never hurts to ask ahead of time how the gratuity is handled. Again, it shows you understand that gratuity is expected and they will appreciate it.
It may all seem a little daunting but once you do it once or twice you realize it’s pretty simple. One thing I will recommend is organizing your cash tips ahead of time with paperclips. It just makes it easier when it’s time to hand them out so you don’t have to find and count the cash each time.