Strip Club Franchises

I have been wondering about this for a while. It may be a GQ or Cs, depending.

I like strip clubs. I enjoy the Spearmint Rhinoceros in London and the one in Las Vegas. They also have Rhinoceroses (or Rhinoceroi) in Paris, Moscow and LA. They seem to be a franchise operation.

How does that work?

If I pay McDonald’s a million bucks, they give me a worldwide advertising campaign, a book of recipes, training, lots of stuff. If I pay a million bucks to open the Spearmint Rhinoceros in Jeddah, what do I get?

I get my own building, I hire staff, I hire girls, I provide security. What does the Great Rhinoceros in the Sky do? Nothing but take a cut.

How can such a local sort of business be conducive to a franchise business model?

Perhaps they all have the same corporate ownership.

Name recognition, I expect. And possibly some common design theme, decorating elements, the signature pole and mirrors or something like that.

People, especially travelers, like what’s familiar. The depressing state of highway food choices reflects this. People feel “safer” choosing the same mediocre Applebees in Des Moines because they know it’s going to be like the mediocre Applebees in Springfield and the mediocre Applebees in Podunk. Go to Glinda’s Grill instead, and you might get the most amazing pork chop sandwich ever made, or you might get inedible slop (and statistically, I’m sad to say, your chances are better for inedible. Anyone watch Feasting on Asphalt? It started out as an idealistic “let’s find all the great hidden treasures of Americana cooking!” and it’s turned into “watch Alton choke down the local ‘delicacy’ and pretend he likes it!” with the occasional nummy donut spree.)

I know if I was traveling and in the market for a strip club, I’d be rather nervous that I’d end up at a scary dive with skanks and terrifying “bouncers” who were there to squeeze money outta me. Give me a “brand name” that I recognize, and I’m more likely to go there, knowing kinda sorta what to expect, or at least just feel literally physically safe going there.

They are also most likely providing you with a known functional business plan to model after and sets of policies and procedures which have resulted in a previous successful business.

But I do not see any real difference between a Rhino club and the local “Girls! Girls! Girls!” The business model is well-known pretty girl pays a fee to the house. Charge much too much for bad champagne.

You get a name, and one that worked, by the way, on you, for instance.

Clubs are all about getting guys through the front door. So, the guy with the rep for having a nice, or not so nice club does two things. He lets you use his name, and rides herd on what you do to the value of that name.

You get customers who like his clubs. He gets more free referrals.

The girls get as close to nothing as you can talk them into.


I am aware I fell for it.

I suppose if the franchising fee is low enough, it makes sense.

I haven’t seen anyone mention this yet, but a big bonus that could be included with the franchise package:


Lots of communities don’t particularly want a strip club nearby. And several have attempted to employ what I would consider shady tactics once the business is up (and taxes have been paid, i’m assuming), such as changing zoning laws, enacting laws against topless dancing, you name it. A lawyer familiar with these tactics, who has fought and won successfully in other locations, would be invaluable – both for pre-startup advice (“Yo, Paulie said not ta put the giant bazongas onna billboard, cuz tha town’ll get upset.”) and for fighting against the town if it decides it doesn’t want the club there any more.

Plus, as has been mentioned, established policies for dancers, security, etc. is a real godsend. I’ve watched a local strip club struggle for several years because they apparently didn’t have good advice (or common sense, but I digress); girls used to be allowed to do just about anything, but that’s really asking for trouble. A consistent policy (“You can bump and grind, but no unzipping.”, for example) avoids all that. Or at least helps, heh.

Well, your entire question seems to be based on unfounded speculation, namely, that:

  • The Rhinoceros chain of strip clubs is a franchise, and

  • That the franchisee gets no advertising or other support from the head office

When there is no actual evidence that either of these assumptions are true.

Probably won’t have to worry about a liquor license, but how would a strip club go over in Jeddah?

Franchise arrangements vary a great deal, from case to case. It all comes down to what’s agreed to in the franchise agreement. Some places offer tons of support, others less.

What posters have said above is true, but to find your answer, you should request the information from the franchisor. They, of course, won’t spill their trade secrets until you pay up, but they would probably give you a general idea of how it works if you act seriously interested; and it would probably be a fun read.

Their website offers to send information about “investment or partnership” opportunities and also has a link that offers another deal where they will buy “all or a majority interest” in your club, especially if you need their expertise in solving problems with regulators or creditors.

I think the clubs are mostly owned by SR.

Sounds like SR is a whole lot like McDonalds, franchise-wise. The Clown may own all or part of a given franchise, but retains a lot of quality control and does a fair amount of management in exchange for their cut. They can also buy you out if you don’t keep to company standards, so they have a better chance of keeping the company reputation high. They also will not let you sell out your investment to anyone but themselves if you want out.

Of course, the SR licensed characters are quite different, and you don’t get fries with your “Happy Meal”.

Paul, the next time I’m in Riyadh, I will definitely drop in on your Spearmint Rhino. The Spearmint Rhino is our local strip joint, and I find it very charming. The funny thing is, there is no way the Santa Barbara City Council would ever allow a strip joint in our “fair” city. The original (pre-SR) owners applied for a juice bar license. Imagine the City Council’s surprise when the girls serving the juice happened to be totally naked.

I really don’t know much about the economics or management of strip clubs but a possibility that seems obvious to me is that a chain or franchise arrangement can serve to provide a club with a steam of fresh talent. The girls can hire on at one club and be guaranteed longer term employment by moving them from club to club. There is a lot of reason to suspect that the Canadian clubs utilize this technique.

FWIW, I was told that when the “Hooters” opened up on 56th Street in NY City that the corporation maintained an apartment in the building where the restaurant was located. They brought in girls from Illinois to live there and work as waitresses because they could not find enough “fresh” looking girls locally. (The Jersey girls were all working at the “Bing” and making a lot more money.) It only makes sense that franchised stip clubs would use the same principle.

I’m really confused here. I have certainly been to the SR in Moscow, yet that is not listed on the site. I am not aware of a SR in Paris, though they do have a Hustler Club. Perhaps they lost the license in Moscow, and the OP is confused about Paris.

As for the other responses, I don’t think most hold. Strippers are not going to be able to be moved across borders, at least into the US, on club sponsorship alone. My company has a hard enough time getting visas for expert global energy consultants, so I can’t imagine it is easy for strippers.

Laws will be different enough from country to country to moot legal benefits.

I would guess in some cases (like Moscow where SR used to be) it is “cool” to put a Western name on a product and the locals will buy. I swear I could mark a cold turd “Made in America” and sell it in Russia.

France is different too. There aren’t any “American style” strip clubs in Paris, save Hustler. The rest are shady, run down, scam joint, pseudo whore houses with ugly girls. Ask anybody who has been out in Pigalle. Those places are not looking for repeat business, unlike your usual American strip club. So “American style” is a selling point there. But the Hustler Club in Paris has nothing besides the name and the basic premise in common with the Hustler club in New Orleans.

The idea of a strip club as a safe place where the boys go to watch the game and smoke cigars is uniquely American, at least in my experience, though I have never been to the UK or Australia. American style strip clubs are a good premise, in my book, so clubs elsewhere may use the known names accordingly for differentiation.

Paul, I have heard UAE and Bahrain are pretty wild. Do they have regular old fashioned strip clubs?

Good lord. Way to pain the millions of women in the greater NY/NJ/CT area with a tiny little brush.

First of all, it may come as a tremendous shock for the rest of America to discover that not all strip club owners are from Bay Ridge. I know, I know. Tough stuff to even contemplate. Furthermore, they are not all named Paulie, Ant’ny or Vinnie. Or Petey. Or Joey.

Second of all, the club to which our esteemed Spartydog refers does not exist except in the well-paid and highly interesting brain of David Chase, creator of the fictional television program “The Sopranos”.

The real strip club used as a location for the “Badda Bing Club” is on the southbound side of Route 17 in Lodi, New Jersey. It’s called Satin Dolls.

Spartydog, a cite please on your statement that no women who live in the tri-state area were available for work at a Hooters in mid-town Manhattan because they were all already gainfully employed at a small strip club that is virtually impossible to access by public transportation as a means of getting to work.

This, opposed to the Hooters location you gave which is, if you know anything at all about the NYC Subway System, is accessable by close to a half-dozen subway lines. That particular restaurant is located at 211 W. 56th St. between Broadway and 7th avenue on the north side of the street, around a corner from Carnegie Hall.

The women who would likely apply for work at that Hooters location would not be working at Satin Dolls.

This is G.Q. A little facts along with the sweeping assertions is always helpful. :slight_smile:


Dancers are not really employees, they pay to work at the club. Therefore they come and go depending on their preferences and earning potential. Some dancers even arrange vacations around which clubs they want to work. (A busman’s holiday.) So I cannot see how Rhino Central can help the local owner/operator.

I may be mistaken about Paris. It has been years.

That’s pretty much how all franchises work. You can open your own fast food restuarant and do what you like or you can buy a McDonalds franchise, take advantage of the name but you have to run it how they say.

I’m sure every Hustler Club has to run their operations according to the strict guidelines of Larry Flynt.

Plus a lot of it probably isn’t driven at the local level. I’m sure whoever runs Lace in Times Square decided it was successful enough to open a second one a few blocks away.

Lighten up!

I know the “Bing” is a fictitious club based on stereotypes. Now tell me that there aren’t a bunch of clubs like it. Geez!

As for the Hooters, I know full well that when the place opened, a bunch of the waitresses were living in an apartment maintained by management in the building where the restaurant was located. The waitresses were from the Midwest and working in New York temporarilly. Now you can draw your own conclusion as to why magagement went to the trouble and expense of bringing in girls to waitress in New York.

Of course, the point you missed is that a girl that works at Hooters has to be a bit of and exhibitionist but is unwilling to strip. If she is willing to strip there is a lot more money to be made a lot faster by actually stripping rather than waiting tables. Public transportation hardly figures into the matter.