This proposal is designed to provide an overview and details pertaining
to the Chinawhite brand and nightclub, with a view to partnering with an
appropriate organisation to create a Chinawhite branded nightclub in one
or more properties. This proposal refers specifically to the opportunity
of creating Chinawhite in one country but also considers the roll out of
the concept to any other suitable locations outside of Europe.
Chinawhite: A Brief History
Chinawhite London is located beneath The Café Royal in Piccadilly,
central London. The location has long been a centre of entertainment
for London and the Café Royal in particular has had an interesting
history, having served as a favourite backdrop for many famous people
and events over the past 130 years.
Chinawhite launched in November 1998 after a ten-week fit out.
The entire interior of the club, including floors and walls, was sourced
or created and then imported from Bali and Java. The look of the club
was in complete contrast to existing venues in London and the underlying
ethos of service and added value, unique. For the first time in a long
time a nightclub presented a completely different and exotic
environment - a theatrical backdrop for its clients that was designed to
incorporate an emotional journey through the various spaces it offered.
Chinawhite was very confident of its position within the London
market, deliberately targeting various social groups and individuals
for inclusion or exclusion. The overriding mantra was of privacy for
those included, and a policy of discouraging the paparazzi or press was
rigorously enforced. As a result the club built a very strong celebrity
reputation and presence and very positive word of mouth within their
circles. The mix of people encouraged to join was deliberately wider
than was traditional in West End nightclubs and as a result the club
became, and continues to be, a subject of great interest to the public
and press in the uk and indeed around the world.
Chinawhite has a policy of associating itself with other upmarket or
exciting brands. For example, its involvement with Cartier at the annual
Cartier International Polo has become an iconic day in the English social
calendar, where Royalty meet celebrities and the party set publicly.
These types of activities have helped to maintain the club’s profile
with clients, public and press.
Requirements and Location
In order to reproduce the elements of the London club elsewhere,
including private rooms, VIP areas and a restaurant, approximately
7,500 sq ft / 750 sq metres is required. This is subject to various
factors including the provision of a kitchen and adequate storage
space. Traditionally nightclubs in the UK occupy basement space and
have to provide a substantial food element. We are not limited by these
requirements in rolling out the nightclub. Nevertheless the provision
of light food would be extremely beneficial to the operation.
Typically, we favour locations in the heart of an entertainment area,
where high footfall late night operations are already in existence and
operating well. Locations within (city) hotels should be able to provide
a separate entrance from the street. Exceptions to this would include
landmark sites and beachside operations where the concept could
be expanded and enhanced to include daytime operations, which will
significantly increase revenue potential.
We will consider any location that we feel would seriously enhance
the clients’ experience by adding drama to the mix - particularly beach
front locations and beach bars.
Due to the exclusivity of the Chinawhite brand, the optimum capacity
for the club is 400 – 500.
Operating days and hours
Chinawhite London operates six nights a week. It is only limited to
a six-night operation due to the building’s licence stipulations. It is
anticipated that a seven-night-a-week operation is absolutely achievable,
given sufficient market and dependent upon the chosen location.
Chinawhite London’s operating hours are 20.00 hours to 03.30
hours and optimum trading hours are midnight to 02.00 hours.
Chinawhite is predominantly a vodka and champagne club, with
50% - 60% of sales generated through bottle rather than single sales.
It is one of the highest end bottle sales clubs, though this will be
dependent upon the clientele profile in other locations. Chinawhite
also serves a wide range of cocktails, including a unique Chinawhite
cocktail, the ingredients of which are a closely guarded secret. Any new
Chinawhite establishment will include the unique signature cocktail,
prepared only by the head barman.
The addition of a restaurant facility within the nightclub is beneficial
in terms of the revenue potential of the club. Whilst the food revenues
themselves will not necessarily significantly increase profitability, the
inclusion of food will extend the revenue generating hours of the club
and is extremely important for one off events.
Chinawhite London’s social mix is key to the success of the club.
Predominantly, the club is frequented by women in their twenties
and men in their thirties to fifties. We try to retain a 60 / 40 ratio
mix in favour of women.
The guest profile is a fine balance of ‘the beautiful’ and ‘the cool’
and those who want to mix with them and pay for the party. The secret
to creating the best balance is by building a ‘hip’ clientele on a
regular basis that their followers just cannot ignore.
Chinawhite has a long history of attracting celebrities because of
its discreet environment where they feel safe and able to enjoy
themselves without the intrusions of the press or inappropriate guests.
The fitout of the club is Balinese in style and all fixtures and
fittings are personally and individually selected by the licensor.
The provision of differently paced areas and atmospheres is fundamental
to the experience of Chinawhite, with discreet VIP rooms and separate
sound systems playing contrasting styles of music essential.
Chinawhite is not about big named DJs. A successful nightclub is not
about music or musical trends. It is essential to retain smart DJs playing
music around six months behind the leading edge who understand how to
create the right atmosphere and react to the rhythm of the night. Only
by sensitivity to a crowd’s mood can a nightclub maintain longevity. Any
new licensee will receive advice and training of DJs and will have the
option of using existing Chinawhite London DJs on a regular basis.
In summary, the secret of success is to create an exclusive and
comfortable location, build a ‘hip family’ who believe it’s the centre of
the world, and be very careful who else is let in. When that is achieved
then stars like Prince and Status Quo will play a set for fun, Madonna
will hold her birthday party there and the Hollywood in-crowd will be
constantly on the phone trying to get tables.
Chinawhite London has a membership of under 4,500. This is by design
and the membership list has been ‘closed’ since the day we launched
it. This approach has maintained the exclusivity of the club with every
member feeling they were slipped in because of their connections. The
membership list could have reached unmanageable proportions, but has
been held back ever since opening to try and ensure longevity.
Guest List and Door Policy
The Chinawhite guest list is carefully managed personally by the
founders and this has been instrumental in the club’s success, again
ensuring exclusivity and providing a level of assurance that means
that celebrities and regulars keep returning. Guests can be added to
the list based on personal request and recommendation, but only men
accompanied by women are allowed, thus ensuring the ‘stag’ type
groups are omitted.
The Chinawhite guest list is separated into thee sections:
members and their guests, table reservations and non-members.
At any venue, the establishment of a very clear door policy is
essential to maintain the popularity and therefore profitability
of the nightclub. Whilst it is often tempting to open the club to
a wider clientele to increase short-term revenue, it has been proven
time and again that this leads to the very speedy degeneration of
the profile of the club, leading to medium-term damage to profitability
and ultimately an early death for the concept.
Chinawhite London cost approximately £500,000 to fit out in 1998.
Any other location’s fit out costs will be dependent on a number of
- existing/proposed facility and extent of planning already
undertaken at time of licence agreement
- content and layout of the proposed facility
- labour costs in the region (this is a major element of the
fitout costs – up to 60%)
- Size of the facility
By taking a licence for Chinawhite at an early stage of the
venue planning process, significant costs can be minimised by our
consulting and providing guidance on infrastructure planning
and specification, venue space modelling and planning and ongoing
basic fitout planning. For example, the planning of effective air
conditioning in a new venue will be significantly less expensive
than modifying or adding facilities.
In signature of a licence for the nightclub, the Chinawhite team
will provide the following:
- Venue planning input and consultancy on an ongoing basis
- Assistance with the creation of concept drawings and GA’s
- Health and Safety planning
- Ongoing Creative Direction
- Equipment specification – from bar accoutrements to PA system, EPOS
systems and kitchen requirements, in conjunction with local suppliers if
and where required
- Internal fitout planning and physical procurement
- Risk Assessment input
- Overseeing of local staff recruitment
- Staff training – from management, office staff, door and security
personnel to bar and restaurant staff on an ongoing basis
- Establishment of written membership, guest list and door policies
- Advice on mechanics of managing the club membership
- Food menu planning input
- Drinks menu design and planning, including specific drinks brand stocks
- Design of operations documentation
- Managing the appointment of contracted DJs
- Planning and contracting of guest DJs on an occasional basis
- Input into guest profile in specific location
- Significant input in to the club’s opening event, including
- Input into drinks promotions policy
- Pricing policy recommendations
- Ongoing quality control
The costs to a partner for each licence comprise the following:
- Licence fee
- An agreed percentage of annual gross revenues, net of all
taxes for the duration of the licence
This is for a ten year licence. Should a five year licence be
preferred, the initial fee will be slightly higher and repayable
again on re-signature.
The licensor will retain an ongoing input throughout the period
of the licence, taking an active interest to ensure the operation
is a success and retaining the Chinawhite values.
Chinawhite London’s revenues are approximately £7million a year,
which is seen as an achievable revenue level in other chosen
locations. However, with the addition of a dedicated food offering,
the highest grossing operational period can be extended and it is
anticipated that a correctly operated beach club / nightclub operation
in the right location could increase revenues by more than 50% by
extending trading hours.
The following elements are assumed as being the responsibility
of the licensee:
- Venue licence
- All venue costs, including fit out costs
- Adherence to agreed membership and door/guest list policies
- All staffing costs
- All taxes (local and otherwise)
- All operating costs
- Guest DJ appointments