How to start a nightclub in South Africa

How to start a nightclub in South Africa

This is a guide on how to start a nightclub in South Africa.

People love nightclubs, they go there for the dance culture and the overall vibe, it’s very rare to see a nightclub with no people. Nightclubs provide some of the best outdoor entertainment for some people. However, starting a nightclub as a business is not easy, there are some things that you should look out for that can hurt your chances of success or profit margins.

Running a successful nightclub mainly depends on your ability to attract crowds to your nightclub. Failure to attract crowds will result in your business failing. You can either buy an already existing nightclub or start in from scratch.

Here is what you will need to start a nightclub in South Africa

  • Refrigerator(s) – R6,000 stand-alone style to R100,000 walk-in style
  • Freezer(s) – R20,000 stand-alone style to R200,000 walk-in style
  • Bottle Cooler(s)
  • Bar Cooler(s)
  • Under-bar sink(s)
  • Draft beer equipment
  • Soda making equipment
  • Ice Machine(s)
  • Glass racks and speed rails
  • Glass washing machine(s)
  • Bar Blender(s)
  • Glassware in various sizes
  • Bar
  • Bar stools
  • Bar lighting
  • Bar supplies – Utensils, Condiments etc.
  • Soda, beer, and liquor stock inventory

The above may cost way over R380 000.

Here are some ongoing costs of running a nightclub

  • Rent/Mortgage: Amount will vary depending on location and size; a spot in a big city or desirable location will cost more.
  • Insurance: insurance fees can be from R10 000 to R60000 per year.
  • Utilities: these are your electricity, water and gas bills, expect to pay around R1 000
  • Alcohol inventory: This is the alcohol you sell in the club; the amount will vary for different clubs.
  • Taxes and fees: Nightclubs usually pay fees and taxes to the local authorities each month. This amount can be anywhere between R500 and R10 000
  • Wages and salaries: Your workers need to get paid monthly.
  • Maintenance and repairs: For fixing broken things and making sure that bathrooms and all equipment is in working order.
  • Marketing and promotion: This will be the money used to attract new customers and stay relevant.
  • Office supplies: Supplies like pens, printer ink, papers and other stationery.

How do nightclubs make money?

There are several methods of generating income from nightclubs. A nightclub primarily makes money from selling alcohol. However, there are cover charges and entrance tickets as well on some nightclubs. Some nightclubs make a huge amount of money from entrance tickets; these are usually the popular nightclubs.

Alcohol sold inside a nightclub is usually more expensive compared to one sold at retail stores. They can sell drinks that cost only R2 – R30 for R150 – R300 and people do not mind paying at all. There more people there are inside; the more money it makes. Night clubs also make money by renting the space out for live events on certain days. A night club can make anything between R15 000 and R100 000 per night.

Choosing a theme for your nightclub

Choosing a theme for your nightclub will play a vital role in its position as brand. You first have to decide on whether you want your nightclub to be a high-profile nightclub in top suburban areas or you want it to cater for everyone.

There are nightclubs that are at the city centre; these nightclubs are positioned to capture everyone around the city. Then there are nightclubs in quieter suburban areas, these are usually targeted to high net worth individuals and prize quality over quantity.

Both of these options tend to work well, how you choose to theme your nightclub will influence your branding. If prefer to serve high net worth individuals then your club will be branded around luxury and prestige. When you choose to serve the general public; your club will be branded on how much of a fun place it is to be. You should make it epic in such a way that everyone will want to come.

A nightclub is not branded with a logo, online presence and other things that are needed to make strong brands. A nightclub is mainly branded on experience; your brand should be built around offering the best experience in your nightclub.

How to attract crowds to your nightclub

The best way to attract crowds to your nightclub is to occasionally have some big names come over to your club. High profile people will attract a lot of people and increase the popularity of a nightclub, you will have to pay them to come to your club. Doing special events and parties makes it easier to throw awareness about your club and get people to talk about it. First comers will get to see the beauty of your club and might decide to be regulars. Throwing parties and events will make people talk about your club as the go-to place. Don’t be afraid to sustain losses to make this happen.


This was a detailed guide on how to start a nightclub in South Africa. Do you have any thoughts or questions?

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hi,

    does the bank give Loans for starting a Club?

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