V.I.We is a twist on VIP bottle service inspired by sharing services like Uber Pool and Airbnb that are popular with millennials.
- Similar to cost-sharing of Uber Pool, V.I.We allows clubgoers to purchase access to an area of shared tables and spare the cost of buying bottle service on their own.
- Admission to the V.I.We section at Tao costs $50 for women and $100 for men.
- Brands participating include Absolut vodka, Avion tequila and Camp Viejo sparkling wine. Bottles are replenished throughout the night “as needed.”
- V.I.We is a communal social experience. It’s a party within a party.
- And big shout-out to Mike Snedegar, director of entertainment marketing at Tao in Las Vegas, for recognizing this trend and being the first to build a shared bottle service experience around the premise.
Another take on VIP on a budget, albeit more refined and stylish, is the new fast casual spot, Made Nice in NYC which I’ve written about before.
- Made Nice essentially offers mass elevated luxury and is the brainchild of Chef Daniel Humm and the team behind Eleven Madison Park (the fine dining establishment just named best restaurant in the world).
- It’s a brilliant concept because it recognizes that millennials are major foodies and knowledgeable about chefs and top restaurants – even though they can’t afford to eat there.
- Concepts like Made Nice have the potential to create a new niche that is more upscale and sophisticated than the typical salad/grain bowl places like Sweetgreen that have been so hot for the last couple of years.
- The challenge for Made Nice will be to maintain the quality and consistency so that consumers won’t mind spending the extra couple of dollars it costs.
- At the moment, I have seen complaints online about Made Nice’s $11-$15 price points as being too expensive.
My predictions on the future of mass elevated luxury:
- We will see many more mass elevated luxury concepts being brought to us by innovative thinkers in various categories.
- Several fine-dining chefs besides Daniel Humm are developing something similar e.g. Enrique Olvera with his new ATLA. I’m sure there are many others exploring scalable concepts that have the potential to IPO.
- We’ll see similar endeavors in the hotel industry e.g. emulating Ian Schrager’s new Public Hotel
- Perhaps Elon Musk will do it for transportation.
- What sets this new group apart from previous cheap chic/designer collaborations (e.g. Lilly Pulitzer for Target) is that they are carving out a new niche intended for a vastly more knowledgeable and discerning consumer.
- It’s not just trading on the name but delivering an undeniably superior product.