Life is too short to not have fun. And while the job of Security is a serious one, you are in big trouble if you take yourself too seriously. A sense of humor is key.

So this week, a little bit of fun…


(and what should have been the Bouncer’s response):

  1. “Don’t mess with me bro, I do stand-up fighting.” – So, is that like comedy with in a boxing ring?
  2. “I train martial arts, so I think I’d be a good bouncer.” – Until you got knocked out by a good fighter.
  3. “That’s my ID, I swear. I just grew last year.” – Uhm, like 4 inches?
  4. “Is this the line?” – No, these people just like standing out here and talking to each other.
  5. “I’m a high roller, you have to let me in tonight!” – You do realize it’s $3 college beer night, right?
  6. “Let me and my friends in, we’re hot.” – Not hot enough for this bar.
  7. “You wouldn’t be so tough without your security shirt” – Very true. I’d also be a lot colder and way more pissed off than I am now.
  8. “How much do you bench press/lift” – Whatever it takes to get it you out the door.
  9. “What would you do if I took a swing at you?” – Duck.
  10. “Do you think you can kick my ass!?” – No. But there are 10 other guys working who think they can.
  11. “This bar sucks. I’m never coming back.” – See you in 15 minutes.
  12. “Are all bouncers as rude as you are?” – Only to people as rude as you.
  13. “Did you go to bouncer training school?” – Yes. It’s right next to genius school…which you obviously attended.
  14. “I know the manager!” – So do I. He’s the one that told me to kick you out.
  15. “Don’t you know who I am?” – Brad with the fake Nevada ID?
  16. “Can I get in dressed like this?” – Only on Pink Tank Top Tuesdays.
  17. “I’ll be waiting for you out here when the bar closes.” – Good to know. I’ll use the back door when I leave.
  18. “We just got to town. Do you know where we can score some drugs?” – Rite Aid?
  19. “That cocktail waitress/bartender is a real bitch.” – Let me get her boyfriend, the Head of Security. You can complain to him.
  20. “Your dress code is too harsh.” – The 7-11 down the block will be happy to let you in.

To finish off this post, here is quite possibly one of the most amazing examples of a “tough guy” customer being not only calmed down, but completely humbled.

What’s your policy?

In the next couple of months we will be discussing the Employee Manual and why it is important for your place of business. But before you can put together a Manual, you have to decide on your Policies and Procedures. Most nightlife establishments have policies for their Bar Staff and Management, but surprisingly few have a set of Policies and Procedures for one of their most important groups of Staffers: SECURITY

Some Managers would scoff at the idea. “We know exactly what to do if we have a problem!”, they say. To those individuals I say, good for you and best of luck. You obviously have things well under control….(cough, cough, sarcasm, sarcasm). But seriously, Policies and Procedures cover far more than things like problems. So for you all-knowing Managers, here are a couple of scenarios for you:

  • A fight breaks out, one of your Security Staffers is injured and a Patron is taken away in an ambulance while threatening to sue. What are your policies regarding Incidents, Threats, and Interacting with Law Enforcement?
  • A heavily-intoxicated Patron approaches the bar with a bleeding foot and claims that she cut herself on some broken glass. What do you do?
  • Two of your Security Staffers don’t show up for two nights in a row. They claim that they, “Told the Head of Security a month ago that we wanted time off”. What’s your reaction and what do you tell them?
  • Your Head of Security catches one of his Security Staffers in the act of selling drugs to a Patron. What should his response be and what to you do next?
  • One of your Cocktail Waitresses claims that she is being harassed regularly by some of the Security Staff. How should you proceed?

I’m going to guess that some of your responses sounded something like, “Hunh……?”

Every state in the U.S. has laws dealing with each one of these incidents, whether in regard to disciplinary action or legal action. Do you know what they are? Do your Policies reflect that knowledge? Do you have Procedures to follow those Policies?


Why not?

From a legal standpoint, you will can yourself in very hot, very deep…water, should you not have a set of printed Policies and Procedures. So, sit down, grab a pad of paper and start to think of the things that your Staff need to know and how they need to do these things.

Some things to keep in mind in terms of Policies and Procedures:

Clocking In and Out

Time Off requests

Incident Reports

ID Checking and Dress Code

Handling Altercations

…and so on and so on and so on.

Take your time to decide the Who, What, How, When, Where, and Why of your nightclub’s Policies and Procedures. Not only the legal approach, but how you want YOUR Staff to deal with things. And, if possible, consult with your establishment’s attorney. You have one of those…right?

Until next time….

Law Enforcement and You

When you work in varied fields of Security as many of us do, you start to notice the differences in attitude and pre-conceptions that individuals in each field have regarding one another. If I were to ask five different people how they felt about Police Officers, Bouncers, and Mall Security, I would get five different answers, ranging from “They suck!” to “Couldn’t live without them.” But this post isn’t about what Security Staffers think about Law Enforcement (we’ll leave Mall Security out of this…for now), but how Security Staffers and Bar Management should think about their relationship with Law Enforcement.

Here in California, nightclubs/lounges/bars have to deal with multiple State agencies. And at a future point in time we will discuss these agencies and what part they play in how you do business. Your local Police department fulfills several enforcement roles in regards to your establishment. Some of these are also covered by other departments, but as a general rule, your local P.D. is tasked with:

  • Occupancy levels
  • Intoxication levels of Patrons
  • Age related offenses
  • Crowd control (generally in front of your establishment)
  • Incident management

Many club owners, bar managers, and security staffers have a love/hate relationship with Law Enforcement. They love it when the Police are on hand if a fight breaks out or there is a troublemaker on the premises they can’t deal with. They hate them it if the club is over-crowded or if the Police are standing in the doorway overlooking ID Checks.

There are two realities:

1) Law Enforcement is there to help you. They want you, your Staff and co-workers, and your Patrons to be safe. If you are demonstrating that you are an incident-free venue, Law Enforcement will know that you are serious about how you run your business. And as a result they will take a more objective view of your business should you have to call on them to deal with a problem. Trust me on this, if your establishment has a history of fights, over-intoxicated patrons, and over-crowding, your local P.D. is going to be paying you A LOT of visits.

2) By being pro-active, you are helping Law Enforcement. By not allowing troublemakers into your establishment, having few violent incidents, and turning away over-intoxicated patrons, you are making their jobs easier.

So the question of how to develop a working relationship with Law Enforcement arises. First off, management should always attempt to contact the lead officer on patrol. Many jurisdictions have “Night Life” patrols dedicated to working bars and nightclubs. In some cities this is covered by Vice. A phone call to the Police Department can get you the names and contact numbers of those with whom you need to talk.

Introduce yourself and ask to meet with them. A meeting with the Owner, Bar Manager, and  Head of Security can go a long way in terms of opening lines of communication. This need not be a formal, sit down lunch. It can be a phone call or (more than likely) a sidewalk conversation. I would suggest that you very directly ask them what YOU can do to make their lives easier as well ask what THEY would like to see from you. You might be surprised by what they have to say.

Should the Police arrive at your venue during a night shift, their arrival should ALWAYS be announced. Let’s be realistic: your various zones may be overcrowded, there might be a regular who’s a little too buzzed wandering around, or your Restroom Staffer might be chatting up a young lady (it happens). An announcement of LEO arrival will allow you to take care of any minor issues BEFORE they do a walk-through. Should the Police decide to do a walk-through, they should ALWAYS be accompanied by the Head of Security. That means he or she needs to drop whatever they are doing and come to the Front Door.

During the walkthrough, I make it a point to ask the officers how their night is going and what the general vibe is out on the town. More often than not, you can glean little tidbits of information that will help you as the night progresses. Your Doorman should also hand over any fake IDs that were left behind or confiscated.

Finally, remember to call Law Enforcement if you have a problem that you cannot deal with or are facing a serious issue. The worst possible thing any Security Staffer can do is not ask for help when it is needed. That is why the Police exist in the first place: to help. So why not utilize them? Conversely, you should not be calling every single time you have a problem. This will only make the officers question your ability to run your establishment safely and securely.

Open the lines of communication with the Police department. It will show them that you are being proactive and it will help to make you, your Staff, and your Patrons safer.

Until next time…