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Thread: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

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    Default Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    I am in the beginning stages of opening a strip club. My partner and I have enough capital to get started and have enough connections to get approval for the area we'd like to open it. We both have enough business, management and night club experience to run it.

    We plan on having an upscale club, and want to attract the best talent available and cater to upscale customers. We have to submit the layout plans before we can be licensed. We are in the planning stages as to the set-up, but one thing we have planned is a private gated employee parking lot for the dancer's safety. The location is in Massachusetts, so there will be no lap dancing, but we will have an area for private dancing as well as a VIP area.

    My question is: From a dancer's perspective, what makes a club a good club to work at? Both physically and operationally. What do you look for when when picking a place to work?

    Thanks in advance!

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    God/dess Emily's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    dancers only care about one thing....money.

    ultimtely it's important that she is safe and treated with respect, but if she's not happy with what she walks out the door with, she's not coming back!

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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Emily
    dancers only care about one thing....money.

    ultimtely it's important that she is safe and treated with respect, but if she's not happy with what she walks out the door with, she's not coming back!
    I understand that money comes first, and it's my responsibility to make sure that there are enough customers in the club to give the dancer's the opportunity to make money.

    I also understand that safety is important and have plans to have private parking and a separate private entrance for the dancers in addition to a well-trained bouncer staff.

    What I am interested in finding out is what additional things make a club a good place to work. For example club layout, shift rotations, management, etc...

    Look at it this way - If you had an opportunity to help design a club and make policy for the way a club was to be run that you were going to work at, what would you do?

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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    All things being equal financially, this dancer appreciates a club that has:

    Lower fees
    Nicer amenities (spacious dressing room and ladies' room)
    Shorter shifts/looser scheduling
    Friendly employees
    Clearcut and obvious rules that everyone more or less follows equally
    A nice separate area to take customers for private dances
    And a *clean* club--as in physically clean, as in the stage is kept free of debris and the restrooms are nice, etc. It's surprising how hard it is for even upscale clubs to keep everything clean and in working order.

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    Yekhefah
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    Pay your own employees. Don't expect the dancers to pay them for you.

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    Senior Member LittlePixie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    I would say that adequate dancer amenities would be important, meaning:

    - Enough space in dressing room to accomodate many dancers getting ready at once. Good setup of mirrors with power outlets for iron, hair dryers, etc. Comfortable chairs. Doesn't have to be fancy, at least clean and functional.

    - Enough lockers!!! I have yet to find a club that has free lockers for new dancers.. Those that even have some only have a few and they're always taken... Knowing my personal things are safely locked away are a big plus for me!

    - Clean adequate bathrooms.

    - One or more showers, I've only seen one club have them in my area and they do come in very handy sometimes!

    - A small private room or area to be able to take a real break (away from the noisy club floor and dressing room) and collect your thoughts for a minute or two.


    Lastly, charge your dancing (and other) staff reasonably for non-alcoholic drinks. I've only had to buy my own drink once (was a crazy slow day), I sure was pissed to get charged 5$ for a diet coke!

    That's all I can come up with now, if I have more ideas I'll be happy to share them.

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    Veteran Member ChloeTheRed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    Figure out what niche you want to fit into. If there's no really upscale places around, you're already set. I'm in Minneapolis, and the three more "upscale" clubs are Rick's Cabaret, Schiek's Palace Royale, and The Seville. From what I've heard of Rick's and Schiek's, Rick's is a fairly typical nicer topless club, no big gimmick, and Schiek's is the place for conspicuous consumption, with lots of steaks and fancy champagne on the menu. I work at The Seville, and it is carving out a niche for itself by being a sort of Neo-Burlesque club -- warm red-toned decor, really comfortable chairs and couches, artsy b&w pinup shots of dancers and famous burlesque performers on the wall, and a comfort food to fusion menu. The bouncers are always dressed in suits, and the waitresses wear a uniform of a low-cut pinstriped halter top and pinstriped pants or skirt. Very sexy, but still classy.
    They try really hard to project an expensive image but not be flashy (like Schiek's), so they distinguish themselves nicely from the competition.

    As for bringing in the customers, free entry is always a big draw (no cover with ticket stub for concert/football game/basketball game from that night). It pays to be as close to a sports arena as you can manage. The Seville is literally across the street from the basketball stadium, so that pretty well guarantees a big crowd after every home game and after many of the concerts there. Once you have a clear idea of your niche, advertise it and make sure you're distinct from the competition.

    Decide whether or not you're willing (or able) to tolerate extras in the private rooms and keep it like that. If you won't, you'll lose out on some girls, but ones who won't do extras will be more inclined to work at your club and may be a little more tolerant of slow nights. Post the rules and policies on dances in multiple places in the dressing room and enforce them consistently. Almost nothing will get a horde of angry girls on your ass faster than playing favorites.


    As far as keeping your dancers happy, as stated above, bring in customers and treat them fairly.
    Lower fees/flat fees are a good way to promote a more relaxed atmosphere. Mid-range to high fees + mid to high percentages = really high-hustle wanna-dance club.

    Allow girls a certain amount of freedom in negotiating prices. Set suggested prices for dances (and try to keep girls from totally undercutting each other), but let them negotiate higher with customers who are grabby. Let them negotiate an hourly fee with customers who want the dancer to sit and talk with them (and get the occasional tableside dance) but doesn't want to go VIP. Hourly rates can work incredibly well for bachelor parties.

    Good dressing rooms = absolute must. Hire competent, responsible housemoms. People who have grown out of stripping (or currently can't due to pregnancy) may have a better idea of what is needed, but in any case, they must be responsible. Pay your housemoms and make it their responsibility to keep the dressing rooms clean (and possibly some other small tasks like washing bar towels), and give them a little power (not to hire or fire, but to veto inappropriate wear or demand somebody help clean up a mess they made). Good makeup mirrors (and lots) with counterspace under them are very important. But no comfy chairs; some nights is takes a little coercing to get me to keep hustling.

    Selling features (like T-shirts and bobbleheads) is a pain in the ass. It's bad enough when we have to sell it for you, worse when we have to buy it in hopes of being able to unload it for a profit.

    Let dancers choose (or at least request) their music. I dance much better to music I like.

    Treat all the dancers with respect and make sure the security and waitstaff do the same at all times. Make sure the dancers return the favor.

    Put a heatlamp backstage in winter.

    Allow girls to sign up for a set shift schedule, but let them alter it on reasonable notice (need to give a few days to a week if they're going to be skipping a night where you'll be hurting for dancers).


    And that's a long post. Keep in mind, these are good tips for hiring ME (no-extras, decent dancer who's willing to sacrifice some money to avoid people who expect really high mileage.)

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    Veteran Member girlnew156's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    You know, it would have been real nice
    if all the place I have went to, to try to make a go of it
    had all ample parking place, dressing room space,
    and all that, but I leaned to take it, one day at a time.

    One thing you need to do is to be supportive of your dancers.
    We are the thing which makes or breaks a club.

    Ok, now that being said, one more item.

    You have picked a nice, I mean, nice segment of the market
    to start in, the upscale club. The ultra high end, cut throat part
    of the business. Oh, no doubt, you will make plenty for a time.

    Then as the novelty dies off, so well your profits, as they go receding
    like the sunset at the end of the day.
    Unfortunately, your costs of operation will not similarly recede, but
    will keep increasng, advertising costs, utility costs, insurance, etc.

    In the end, in an attempt to bolster sales, scam artists of all kinds will
    appear promisisng miracles. But such miracles will never materialize.

    Oh, well, have fun for the next two years. Good luck.

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    Veteran Member ChloeTheRed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    LittlePixie:
    I've only danced the one place (with tons of free lockers), so I hadn't realized that would even be an issue!

    Also, employee discounts on food and drink keep everyone happy.

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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    I really hate when I have to walk up stairs in 7 inch heels to get to the dressing room. I've worked at a few that had an elevator to the dressing room so our precious feet didn't hurt

    I second the lockers, there are usually never enough.

    Clean bathrooms!! Dancers should have their own bathroom that is not for use by customers. And some of the nicest clubs can still have funky bathrooms for some reason.

    I've worked for a club that had a standup tanning unit in the dressing room. (I think they paid a few bucks to the housemom to cover electricity costs.) Another would bring in a massage therapist to do chair massages. Good ways to keep your dancers happy!

    I also hate selling merchandise for the club. If you want to sell merchandise, have it behind the door girl.


    I'm sure I'll think of more later.

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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    Work with a consultant like DancerWealth to figure out how to set your pricing to help the girls make the msot $$ they can.

    Set up you fee schedule so that as the girls make more $$, so do you. Don't stick it to the dancers wehn the whole club has a shitty night.

    Make sales training available to your dancers, so they will know how to make more $$ for themeslves and the club.

    Remember that 18 year old girls may look pretty, but the are not the best sales people in the world. your 22-35 year old entertainers will attract the intelligent, educated professionals who really have the $$ to spend, will sell more dances and champaign rooms, and will keep them coming back more.


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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    I've seen this over and over. Potential new SC owners come here asking for advice, what we would like to see in a club. Every time the guy is talking too much about things like parking lots, vending machines, etc.

    The most important thing you need to focus on is the marketing efforts you'll make to get the customers in the door. The gated parking lot is nice, but if you don't have the income potential for the girls, you won't have the girls.

    Take some of that money you're planning to spend on amenities and put it in your advertising budget.

    As far as facilities, you really only need plenty of space in the dressing room, enough lockers, mirrors and lights, a separate bathroom inside the dressing room for dancers (another ladies room for female custies), good layout which contributes to making money (for everyone), and keep the place clean and well-maintained. A good sound system is important, and a stage that promotes showmanship and tipping is also good. Nice private dance areas also promote dance-buying.

    I would suggest you consult with someone who specializes in strip club design and layout. The best laid-out clubs are comfortable for everyone and allow for efficient money-making. The extras are nice, but don't really contribute to everyone's ultimate goal of making money.

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    Veteran Member TarynJolie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    Quote Originally Posted by StrpClbOwnr

    We are in the planning stages as to the set-up, but one thing we have planned is a private gated employee parking lot for the dancer's safety. The location is in Massachusetts, so there will be no lap dancing, but we will have an area for private dancing as well as a VIP area.

    My question is: From a dancer's perspective, what makes a club a good club to work at? Both physically and operationally. What do you look for when when picking a place to work?

    Thanks in advance!
    I really like the gated parking lot idea !

    As for what I look for in a club :

    enough daily use lockers for all the dancers
    a nice size stage with a pole
    limit on dancers per shift
    Good support staff
    Clean working enviroment
    reasonable tip out

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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    Where in Mass? New England area? I know some girls that could help get you started out that way! Let me know if it's in that area.
    Last edited by Phedre; 01-05-2006 at 12:03 PM.
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  16. #15
    AudreyLeigh
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    Please make sure the LAY OUT of the club makes sense. I hate having to stumble around tables and chairs to get to the VIP area...

    I, from experience, prefer clubs where the DJ is by the stage/dressing room so I dont have to run across the room to choose my music when Im getting ready to go on stage.

    Please dont make girls have to drag a customer across the room to get a VIP pass then BACK across the room to use it.

    And all of the above including lg dressing room and lockers...

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    God/dess DancerWealth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    When I do consulting for clubs, one of the most difficult things I have to convince them of is that when you remove as many possible monetary restrictions on the dancers (i.e., outrageous house fees, drink hustles, giveaways where you make the dancers pay for the giveaways, etc.) YOU will make more money.

    Most clubs think the same way morons in the government thing..."tax them more and we make more money" which is actually poor financial thinking. The reality is, it will all come back to you anyway in one way or another so hurting the dancers only makes for unhappy, unreliable, and transient dancers. Time and time again, the best clubs I've ever seen that have the least amount of drama, the most hard working and reliable staff, etc. are the ones where they let the dancers pretty much have free run of the place (within legal boundaries of course).

    Second, have someone who is an expert in SALES create your prices, not a marketing guy or a manager. I've seen it over and over again when I work with clubs and look at their price structure and just cringe because it's so unsalesworthy. For example, my favorite was Sapphire here in Vegas. For a dancer to get a guy in the VIP room, it was $100 for 3 songs PLUS a 2 drink minimum. Then, they doubled the price of the drinks from $6.50 to $13.00 making the total price a whopping $126.00. Not only is this an insane price denomination, most guys don't want the drinks anyway, and certainly not two of them in 10 minutes time. Nothing in this formula works except the greed of the club wanting to coat-tail off the dancer's sale. In addition, from the customer's perspective, NO VIP room is worth over double the price of the dances you can get on the floor of the club. So, while they had this policy, it was virtually impossible for dancers to sell VIP room trips. Meanwhile, all the executives are sitting around scratching their heads trying to figure out why. For anyone in sales, it's a no-brainer. So rule #2 you should have is hire experienced sales-people who know the industry.

    The ORIGINAL Stripper Sales School
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    Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. ~Abraham Lincoln

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    Veteran Member girlnew156's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    Hahahaha.

    ..............Thank you, DancerWealth.

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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    Quote Originally Posted by StrpClbOwnr
    I am in the beginning stages of opening a strip club. My partner and I have enough capital to get started and have enough connections to get approval for the area we'd like to open it. We both have enough business, management and night club experience to run it.

    We plan on having an upscale club, and want to attract the best talent available and cater to upscale customers. We have to submit the layout plans before we can be licensed. We are in the planning stages as to the set-up, but one thing we have planned is a private gated employee parking lot for the dancer's safety. The location is in Massachusetts, so there will be no lap dancing, but we will have an area for private dancing as well as a VIP area.

    My question is: From a dancer's perspective, what makes a club a good club to work at? Both physically and operationally. What do you look for when when picking a place to work?

    Thanks in advance!
    Just my 2 cents as a long time customer of Mass clubs. I recommend you check out the Foxy Lady in Brockton. They took a fairly old run down rock night club and turned it into a well run upscale strip club that seems to be making money for both owners and dancers. I have 2 favs who relocated to the Foxy from other clubs recently and, among other things, they have both had very positive comments about the way management treats the ladies. With the exception of their totally annoying t-shirt promotion every hour of the night shift it's a well run club.


    By the way, I don't know where you are going to be located but if you are south of Boston, west on the Mass Pike or near Connecticut you are going to have to come to terms with at least limited one-way contact private dances. Your PD area and VIP areas and how they are set up will be key to getting and keeping talented dancers. I'm assuming you've already checked out other clubs in your area to see what's going on. If not I'd recommend it. "No Contact" is fast becoming a myth in many areas of Mass.

    Good Luck with your endeavor. I look forward to checking your club out when it opens.
    Last edited by yoda57us; 01-05-2006 at 01:44 PM.
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    Senior Member kat 3322's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    to bad im moving, mass needs a club.

    ive worked in a smaller club for a while and even though it is a hell hole there are some very well off guys who come in time and time again and drop alot of money. they could go some where nicer but they love the welcoming feel of the place. the wait staff and bouncers are all very friendly (unless the bouncers are handeling a nasty situation of course) there is a more upscale club up the road but fewr people go because its too stuffy and the people that work there are snobs. if you hire good friendly people to work there it will encourage alot more repeat cutomers.

    also dancers will bring in repeat customers if they are smart and articulate. i have found that many less attractive girls can make more money then super hot girls. a good balance of both is needed.

    if you havent gotten the hint dont have drink sales requirements for the girls or try to make your money directly off the dancers with house fees, or dumb stuff like that.

    be very clear about contact rules. my club was much better once upon a time before a bunch of girls started doing contact and the bouncers stopped paying attention. now it is clean girl vs. dirty. this will always happen a little anyhow, but everyone one is happier when they feel like they are working with the same rules

    lastly girls deal with alot of crap to make there money, they dont want crap from the managers, we all want to be treated like people. be flexable about hours, be respectful, let the girls be themselves. i love that at my club girls can be goofy and let loose.

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    God/dess Bridgette's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    I agree wholeheartedly with what Dancerwealth says. And I don't usually. HAHA!

    I've worked in alot of clubs, and far too many make it difficult for girls to make money, mainly because of clubowner / manager greed. I can offer my current club as an example to back up his claims. Been in business 43 years, always been one of the busiest clubs in town, prices are relatively low, and dancers are pretty much allowed to do whatever they want within legal constraints. The place is ALWAYS busy, there are LOTS of girls and everyone makes money. There are girls who've worked there 10 years and aren't going anywhere anytime soon (they look great btw).

    The only thing I'd add that hasn't already been stressed enough in this thread, is that the way you and your staff treat your dancers will make a huge difference in your bottom line. If the dancers are treated like crap instead of the business asset that they are, they will be unhappy and less productive, and that will be reflected in your profits.

    Quote Originally Posted by pheno View Post
    When you lead a nontraditional life don't try to measure it with traditional milestones.

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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    good club =

    don't have to tip d.j.
    don't have to tip bartender
    don't have to tip management
    don't have to tip bouncers or suck-your-ity
    free drinks

  23. #22
    AlexxaHex
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    The things that make me happy are:

    ~A manager that doesn't make me feel like shit for not doing any dances when it's slow. If the manager has an issue with one of the girls, have him tell her in private, not in front of customers (I have seen managers fly off the handle when a girl was giving a DANCE).

    ~A DJ who has a decent selection of his own music, with a good voice, and actually plays #5 instead of #6 because he is NOT stoned.

    ~Low tip out (i.e. our LDs are $25 and we pay out $5 per dance). You might want to think of incentives for dancers too. For instance, if they sell more than 5 or 6 dances, they can stop paying the dance fee on anything over 6.

    ~A larger dressing room with mirrors everywhere, shelves at waist height, and plenty of outlets for hair irons and such (lockers for everyone are good too). The dressing room at my SC is TINY and we are always bumping into each other. Sucks for when we are trying to get ready in a hurry and there are 8 girls falling on each other.

    ~A place for dancers to have a cigarette that is not in the same place where customers smoke

    ~Keep the TP in the ladies room well stocked

    ~Offer to buy the dancers a drink now and then. My manager does this when he sees we are bitchy and sometimes it helps us get out toward the bar and talking to custys.

    ~A big scary bouncer who responds to dancers' honest concerns and complaints.

    ~I like to see that my club is advertising also. It makes me happy when I can pick up a copy of LA Weekly and see my club in there. You might want to consider hiring someone to build you a web site or have a myspace account with photos of the club and girls.

    ~Always treat the girls with the same respect you would give to your sister. Never scream, yell or play the power trip game. They are helping you by being there and you are helping them also. I would walk out of a club faster than you could say "ASSHOLE" if a manager thought he could push me around like a bully.

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    Senior Member MeganR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Bridgette
    The extras are nice, but don't really contribute to everyone's ultimate goal of making money.
    I'm not sure I agree with this. If you can't make money doing extras, you're just not going to make money period.

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    Featured Member MadisonM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    I have a question for Strip Club Owner: how big of a club are you planning on opening? How many girls do you plan on having each night? Are you going to have different shifts? Ok that was more than one question. My reason for asking is because I worked at a club for a week that I was not happy with at all. It was a club that was trying to be upscale, and there were 15 girls working one night, including myself, and about that many customers as well. No one is happy with the money they make when there are the same number of customers as dancers. It's good to have enough dancers so that every customer can find a girl that is his type, but you should have too many dancers for the business that your club brings in.

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    Default Re: Opening new club, would like Dancer's advice

    Quote Originally Posted by MadisonM
    I have a question for Strip Club Owner: how big of a club are you planning on opening? How many girls do you plan on having each night? Are you going to have different shifts? Ok that was more than one question. My reason for asking is because I worked at a club for a week that I was not happy with at all. It was a club that was trying to be upscale, and there were 15 girls working one night, including myself, and about that many customers as well. No one is happy with the money they make when there are the same number of customers as dancers. It's good to have enough dancers so that every customer can find a girl that is his type, but you should have too many dancers for the business that your club brings in.
    It is going to depend on what our seating capacity ends up being. We are looking at a couple of different sites and everything is contingent on zoning. Most likely it's going to be about 250 customer capacity.

    I used to schedule the waitresses at our restaurant and night club, so I am familiar with maintaining a balance so that the staff makes money and the customers stay happy. Bad service equals no customers, and staff that daoesn't make money equals unhappy staff that leaves.

    We are going to have multiple shifts. A day shift and a night shift, and the night shift will be staggered with some of the girls coming in a little earlier and some girls staying a little later. I don't want too many dancers on at the beginning of the night shift, and I want maximum coverage for peak hours. I don't want dancers sitting around, but I also don't want a shortage so customers can't get dances in a reasonable amount of time. It's a balance. I'll also have to account for peak seasonal times. Obviouslty we are going to have to make some adjustments as we get going.

    We used to schedule our staff for basic coverage with an on-call waitress in case someone called in sick or we expected to get extra busy. That was one of the ways we gave daqy staff a chance to work nights - give them an on-call shift to see how they did at night and if they performed, they could go into rotation.

    I'm thinking of having the dancers do a 3 song set roughly every 90 minutes during peak times. That way they can have an hour to do private dances and VIP dances in between sets and still have time to get ready before and after their sets. So it would be about 8 - 10 dancers for a peak shift.

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