I’ve still been thinking about the couple previous posts, more specifically the business model the stripping industry uses. Its fundamental approach is that the dancers are client businesses of the club. The club provides a set of services that dancer can lease for a fee. The dancer can in turn use these services to generate revenue. This system works as long as the dancer can make enough money to both cover the club services and take home enough to make it work their while to show up. With the decline in the economy people aren’t spending as much. Dancers have always complained about stage fees and tip outs, but now it seems to have become much more of an issue. Dancer’s earnings have decline, but the club charges haven’t changed.
What other business models would you use for the stripping industry? I suppose one possibility would be to have the girls draw a flat salary and all tips go to club. I don’t think this wouldn’t work. If the guys know that the girl doesn’t get any money than what’s the point of tipping? Warranted or not, most guys think the drink prices are too high. If the club also gets the tip money as well, most customers are going to minimize the amount the put on stage. But it does bring up an interesting question. How much salary does a dancer have to make to make the job worth while?
I think you can come up with a number for this, but it would be an hourly rate. I really don’t think many dancers could work 40 hours a week. The physical stresses and more importantly the mental stress of having to deal with obnoxious drunk customers would wear them down.
Just guessing, I’d say most girls would need to make $50 per hour in the Portland. If a dancer did work 40 hours a week for a full year she’d make over 100K. This is $300 dollars for a six hour shift. I know a lot of girls will look at $300 and scoff; they had shifts where they made that that in less than an hour. Which is true, but they probably have had a lot more shifts where they don’t make that much money.
Another impact would be how dancers treat customers. Dancers deal with idiot customers because they have to if they want to make money. There are customers I deal with at work I would happily beat to death with a hammer if I thought I could get away with it I’m pretty dancers feel the same. There definitely would be an increased number of heel versus skull injuries at the local emergency room. I imagine most dancers wouldn’t even come out of the dressing room until they were on stage. I really can’t blame them, as much as I like to think I’m different than other customers dancers are at the club to make money.
I wonder how dancer would react to handing in all the tips to club, instead of collecting themselves. A two song, two dollar set wouldn’t be an issue but a really big set would be harder to take. Virtually every dancer I know has a picture of stack of money they made at work. That has to be an allure to dancers, walking out the door with purse full of money instead of a voided check from a direct deposit. The preferred shifts for girls would change. Friday and Saturday nights would probably be a lot less desirable if it didn’t matter how much they got tipped.
The next business model would be a commission plan. The dancer would keep a percentage of tips she makes, instead of drawing salary only. This is a lot closer to the current business model. The more the dancer gets tipped the more she makes. Most dancers will probably cringe at the thought of the club siphoning off a massive chunk of her earnings. Trying to find a balance would be hard. You could setup a declining commission rate. After a fixed point tips the percentage the club takes declines as the dancer makes more. The club makes its money at a fair rate until it recovers its cost and makes a decent profit. After that the money goes mostly to the dancers. The dancer doesn’t get gouged if she has a huge night, but the club still gets a percentage. In the current model the club only get stage fees whether the girl make 10 cents or 10 grand. If the dancer has a horrible night she doesn’t give all her money away in tip outs.
I think this model also has another benefit for the dancer. Because the clubs take is directly tied to what the dancer makes, they now have a vested interest in keeping the dancers that make money. Clubs will be much more willing to take care of dancers. A lot of clubs treat dancers like cattle. Herd them up and down the stage, just get a lot of them. The club gets paid by quantity, the more girls the more stage fees. They really don’t have much interest their welfare. If one jumps a fence and runs away, just get another one.
I often think this is a really short sighted aspect of clubs. The girls are the draw. With the dancers it’s just a really loud bar with really expensive drinks. Not all dancers are created equal. If the club has any sense they’ll take care of the dancers that bring the customers in and more importantly the customers that spend money.