Cover charges are usually much lower for local, semi-professional bands or entertainers than for better-known touring bands from other regions. In North America, the cover charge for a performance by a local teenage band may be as low as a few dollars; a show by a nationally-known band with a recording contract may have a $10 to $15 cover. Some prestigious jazz clubs and comedy clubs have both a cover charge and a minimum drink requirement.
Bars often have a “no cover for women” policy, to attract male drinkers. A variant of the “no cover for women” policy is promotions in which women patrons get a “reverse cover charge”, often in promotional coupons, for coming to the club before a certain time, or for the first 50 women to come to the club. In the United Kingdom, this option is illegal under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. In some bars, there are also different cover charges for legal drinking age customers and for minors (e.g., a $5.00 cover charge for those over 21 and over $8.00 cover for minors). Presumably the higher charge for minors is to make up for their lack of alcohol purchasing. Some bars have lower cover for some categories, such as college or university students with student identification. As well, some bars have lower cover charges for members of the club or of nightclub organizations or associations. Cover is also waived at some clubs for early arrivers (people arriving before 11 p.m. or midnight), for people that order food, or, if the club is in a hotel, for hotel guests.
Bars and clubs have different policies for how the cover charge is shared, if at all, with the performers. Different revenue-sharing agreements are often negotiated by different performers. The range of revenue-sharing arrangements range from the band or performers retaining all of the money collected for the cover charge, to a split between the bar and the band, to arrangements where the bar retains all of the cover charge. A variant of these revenue-sharing arrangements occurs in cases where the bar also gives the band a share of the bar's alcohol sales receipts. Some bars may also agree to a guarantee, in which the bar promises to pay the band a certain amount even if this is less than the amount collected at the door.
Some high-end and luxury bars and nightclubs have yearly membership fees which can be interpreted as annual cover charges. For example, Frederick's has a $1,200 a year membership, the Keating Lounge has a $2,500 annual membership fee, and The Core Club has a $60,000 membership fee. A variant of these annual fees are "table charges" at some elite nightclubs, in which a customer agrees to spend a minimum amount in order to reserve a table in the club (e.g., $1000 in the evening).
A variant term for a cover charge in a restaurant is a "table charge" or "minimum charge" of several dollars.
The etymology of the term “cover charge” is disputed. The term may refer to the tablecloth and table settings, the things that cover the table, which have to be renewed for each group of people in a bar or restaurant that uses a table. The term may also be derived from the French word "couvert", which means "all you use to cover the table (...) tablecloth, china, glasses...". This charge appears at the top of your bill, even in cheap restaurants, as an additional charge over what you eat and drink. Alternatively, some clubs have signs stating "No Minimum or Covert Charges," which suggests that “cover” may be a corruption of “covert.”
STILLWATER; Lumberjack Days' experiment with cover charge tames crowd; Officials from the summer festival and the city said having to pay $10 to see the headline concerts cut down on rowdiness and helped the event's cash flow.(NEWS)
Aug 21, 2008; Byline: ALLIE SHAH; STAFF WRITER Looks like the cover charge experiment was a success. An early look at ticket sales for this...
It's the Ladies Night Out party at the Vacca Matta, in Montecasino, Fourways. Tonight's party features DJs Fresh and Euphonik. Cover charge is R100 and R150 for VIP. Party starts at 8.30pm. For more info visit www.cafevaccamatta.co.za.
Aug 06, 2011; It's the Ladies Night Out party at the Vacca Matta, in Montecasino, Fourways. Tonight's party features DJs Fresh and Euphonik....