Written by Marcos Colon (November 11, 2014)
If there's one aspect of life that you can count on to have an impact on your venue's revenue, it's love. Well...when it comes to nightlife, many say it's really more about lust, but a majority of the time patrons hit the town it's with hopes of finding love.
Outside of owning a gay venue, it's tough to create the right balance inside. Sure, every man would love for there to be some sort of ridiculous destination where they feel outnumbered by gorgeous women, but in reality, those really don't exist. Not only that, but it can also be a bit intimidating for them.
For women, it's a bit of a different story. They don't want to feel bombarded by a slew of men and they typically go out with the intention to have a memorable night with their girls. However, it doesn't hurt for a handsome gentlemen to approach them, start a conversation and buy them a drink.
When it comes to producing the right male to female ratio in a nightlife venue, there's really no formula and it's definitely one of the biggest challenges you'll face.
If there's a sweet spot - numeric-wise - that one should aim for it's in the 60/40 range in favor of women, says Eugene Abreu, co-founder and CEO of New York City-based Privileged Marketing Group. But unless you're actually hiring a crowd for an event, it's quite the challenge.
"The venue's very first aim should be getting a crowd; period," Abreu says. "After they have successfully drawn patrons, then they can filter it while, of course, continuing to engage in target marketing. A well-balanced clientele can partially be responsible for the venues longevity or short-lived lifespan and its profitability."
Rob Diesel of Manhattan-based VIP event production and concierge firm E&R Group, agrees that if the magic ratio is produced, the client return rate will skyrocket. This especially has an impact on the men, who would be willing to spend a bit more.
"At the venues I work for it gives a sense of urgency for guys to spend [more on] table minimums," Diesel says. "I personally believe that everyone has the money to spend, you just have to put them in the proper environment."
Creating the right mix is a challenge that requires continuous effort. In some cases, it's necessary to have a full-time staff member who's sole purpose is to crowd source, a role commonly known as a Promotional Director.
This individual should be tasked with achieving that balance that your venue needs and they need to make it a priority to hire the right promoters, hosts, and influencers says Abreu.
"It's a combination of different groups that essentially make the balance," he says. "This is not a job for mass marketing. If you have somewhat of a base crowd already, keep it and build around it unless you want to revamp the entire crowd."
The overall effort isn't solely placed on the venue, but mostly on the team, says Diesel. He believes that a mix of top-notch hosts and promoters, in addition to a great door presence, have to be in play.
At the end of the day, creating the right ratio will ultimately have an impact on your revenue. Both men and women buy drinks, but there's something to be said for the gentlemen out there that prefer to buy a woman a drink - be it their date, or someone they'd like to approach.
When the ratio is skewed and there are mostly men in a venue, a majority of straight men will opt to leave. However, even a 50/50 split isn't good for sales, which could mean there are many couples, which Abreu says are conservative when it comes to the bar.
There has to be a majority, and in the case of nightlife, he believes women should always be the dominant sex in the venue. But naturally, the number can't be too slanted.
"When you have balance, there's something that just feels right in the air," Abreu says. "There's a sense of belonging."