Managing a Nightlife Security Team…or How to be an Effective Leader

One of the unfortunate realities of the Nightlife Industry is that its communities are often transient: people come and go because of better job offers, life changes, and burnout. For many establishments, wages can be the deciding factor in retaining employees. But high – or even decent – wages won’t guarantee quality or loyalty. In an environment that can often be rife with high turnover, how can you build and maintain a solid team? Before you dive into the nitty-gritty of hiring, firing, or starting from scratch, think about the following:

What are your security goals?

How are you going to achieve these goals?

If all you want is a single doorman who checks IDs, you are pretty much set. But I’m guessing that you are looking for something more. You probably want a team of diverse individuals with varied backgrounds and different abilities who can accomplish a number of different tasks. Chances are that the team you build will probably be at different stages of their careers. And these varying skill levels can present challenges that not everyone will be able to easily accomplish the goals or tasks you’ve set out for them.

As a Manager or Head of Security, it is up to you to set the precedent in terms of behavior, customer service, and work ethic, as well as develop all of the policies and procedures that your team needs to do their job well. But none of this will matter if your team doesn’t understand the What’s and Why’s of their job or if they aren’t lead, communicated with, or disciplined when necessary.

1) Be a good communicator – Believe it or not, your team wants information. Nothing is more frustrating than showing up for a night on shift and not knowing what is going on. Or worse yet, receiving potentially stressful information just prior to and event – i.e. “By the way, we have a party of 100 people arriving in 5 minutes”. It is of the utmost importance that you pass along pertinent information, check in with your team, and encourage feedback. Communication goes both ways and your Staff should feel comfortable talking to you about EVERYTHING.

You should be holding regular meetings, debriefs, and brainstorming sessions with your team to both give information and critique and receive feedback and questions. Be an active listener. Don’t just give lip service. It will come back to bite you if you always say “Yes” but never follow up.

2) Stick to your decisions…and be prepared to make some bad ones

Don’t hesitate when making decisions. Flakiness is NOT a desired trait in a manager. And once you make those decisions, don’t back away from them. Feel comfortable asserting your authority. After all, you are the boss, right? But be diplomatic and respectful about it. Acting like a tyrant or know-it-all will lose you respect very quickly. But by the same token, no one is expecting you to be perfect. So if you make a mistake or a wrong decision – and you will – own it and figure out a way to move forward. Striving for perfection is great but not at the expense of not learning from your failures or stepping on people to get to the goal.

3) Don’t be afraid to delegate – Just because you are the boss doesn’t mean that you have to do EVERYTHING. The reason you have a team is for support. Find good supporting roles for your team members and let them own their positions. Have a great ID checker? Use them to train other people. Is one of your Roamers excellent at dealing with people? Make him a Zone Lead. People do their jobs better when they are engaged and doing what they enjoy.

4) Reward the good…but don’t be afraid to discipline – Ever work for a boss who only criticizes? It’s demeaning and frustrating. After all, there must be something that you are doing right. Tell your team when they are doing well. Give your team positive feedback and encouragement. Let them know when they are clicking on all cylinders and how much you appreciate them and their efforts. Some establishments go so far as to provide bonuses and incentives for the team members who perform well.

But now that you  will on occasion have issues. After all, this is the real world. When the team fails, let them know. Don’t berate them but show them where they failed AND offer solutions. People only learn from their mistakes if they are shown their errors and taught how to do things differently in the future. Should it be necessary to discipline an employee, don’t hesitate to do it; there need to be repercussions to bad behavior or failures in your protocol.  Discipline fairly and evenly. And don’t forget to explain why.

5) Quash conflict – Not everyone will get along all the time. But in a team environment, conflict can lead to a seriously negative atmosphere and unnecessary tension. If you see or hear of intra-team issues – there’s that whole communication thing again – deal with them either on an individual or team level. Make sure you gather all of the information from all sides before jumping into the fray. Be mature, be objective, and be decisive on how to deal with the problem

6) Develop positive relationships – This should go without saying, but you need to know your team as people, not just employees. The more you know about someone, the better your professional and personal relationship will be. Learn about your team, their interests, their hobbies, their plans, their other jobs, etc. Take the team out for a dinner or drinks. Buy them coffee. Don’t sit in your office and watch them on CCTV…TALK TO THEM!

7) Be a motivator – If you want your team to follow in your stead, you need to forge a solid path. Set a good example through your behavior, work ethic, and interpersonal skills. The way YOU act is going to be reflected in your team’s actions. By treating your team, your co-workers, and your clientele with respect, you set the precedent. And setting a positive precedent will motivate your team to strive for the same level of excellence.

Being a leader is more than barking orders. Being a leader means acting with maturity and having a clear, objective, well-communicated vision. Don’t separate yourself from your team, become a part of it. Step to the fore and lead your team to excellence.

 

 

Nightclub Industry Interview: Casey Soto

We have interviewed a variety of individuals working in many different capacities here on the Tao. This time around we sat down with Casey Soto (Head of Security, TONIC Nightclub) to discuss moving up in the ranks as a Security Staffer and the differences between Patrons and Staffers over the years.

How did you start in this business?

I started through a friend at a local brewery. He asked me to work for a couple of hours here and there. I was checking ID’s for him. When he transferred to TONIC, he asked me to come with him. That was 6 years ago. I worked inside for about a year and then the Head of Security and GM asked me to be the ID checker. I was really hesitant to do it, because I didn’t think I had the personality to make it work. But they talked me into it and the guy who was working the door at the time gave me a crash course in checking IDs. So I checked IDs and worked the Front Door for years until I was recently made Head of Security. I’ve checked thousands and thousands of IDs.

What has changed about working downtown since you started?

Without a doubt, it would have to be the strictness of Law Enforcement. They come down on everyone – businesses and individuals – for just about everything. It can make it tough because they are really watching you and you have to cover all of your bases. Ultimately it’s for the better because it keeps everyone on their best behavior, both Patrons and Staff.

The college kids have definitely changed a lot. They just don’t understand the word “No”. It seems like when you tell somebody “No” these days, they just can’t handle it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting further away from them in age or if they just don’t have the same understanding of the rules, but it has definitely changed. The ones that are bad just have no respect.

How do you deal with the attitude shift?

There was a time when the rules where known – whether in our establishment or around town – by all of the Patrons. They knew what they could – or could not – say, wear, or do and they followed that pretty closely. But that seems to have shifted. The respect that used to exist just isn’t there. And I think that pretty much any Security Staffer, anywhere, will tell you the same. But we are heading in a more customer service direction as well, so that is part of it.

Do you think your attitude has changed?

I think that my attitude has shifted a little, but I think the biggest gap is the age difference. I’m 10+ years older than these kids, so my point of view is different from theirs.

How has your job shifted since moving from Doorman to Head of Security?

There is a lot of coaching involved. I now really have to make sure that every little aspect of Security is covered. And that is definitely a challenge. Plus, you have to know your guys on a personal level when you lead a team. You need to know what they can take in terms of abuse, so you can step in or contain whatever situation is occurring. You have to understand what’s going on with your guys throughout the night.

Also, the Head of Security has to trust his team. My job really is to make sure that everyone works together, knows their job, knows how to escort people out, make sure that I’m coaching my team in the right way. So the brunt of the “arguing” or issues with the Patrons is really dealt with by the rest of the Staff. I just see it on the far back end, if things go south.

My strengths have always been ID checking and controlling the crowd. If you control the crowd and access to the establishment, you control the vibe and the liability. If things go badly at the Front Door, they will carry into the club. Listen, the Doorman is never perfect. Someone is going to slip through the cracks. That is why we have a large Security Staff: to deal with issues that get through the door.

We’re lucky that we (TONIC) have the solid reputation that we do, but we had to work on it. Obviously, not everyone is going to like what we do. But in our case that is a very small percentage of people.

How important are trust and communication when you are working with a large team?

Very. When you have a Doorman, VIP Host, VIP ID checker, Manager, and Head of Security…that’s a lot of cooks in one kitchen. If you don’t communicate, it can be just chaos.

On busy nights, I will just be the extra guy, roaming and making sure that things are running smoothly. I can’t post in any one position because I don’t want to take over that guy’s spot. The Doorman is going to run things differently than I would if I was the Doorman, so I have to let him go with that. I have to trust that he’ll do the right job.

You know, it’s my job to crack the whip and make sure things are going well. So that can be tough because at the end of the night, my first instinct is to tell the guys all the things they need to improve on. So for me, I want to make sure that I’m giving the guys compliments when they do a good job.

How do you handle training new Staffers?

I always put guys in the “worst” position possible to begin. If you can tough it out and prove yourself, then I’ll start to move you into more responsible positions. I’m a firm believer in starting at the bottom and working your way up through the ranks, because you never know when you’ll be called on to do any number of jobs. I’m not too proud to work the bathroom line or deal with the back exit.

What are the Pros and Cons of working in a small city?

The good? You know everybody. The bad? You know everybody.

People very quickly expect things from you. What they don’t realize is that it is all about their approach. If I’m crazy busy, I may not be jumping to help you just because I know you. It’s not that I don’t like you, I just happen to be busy and I’ll get to you as soon as I can. And sometimes people don’t get that.

How have Security Staffers changed since you started working?

Honestly, I think what changed everything in nightclubs was bottle service. The expectation of VIP service that comes along with spending $500-1000 for bottle service changes the way that you approach Patrons and the way they approach you. It makes it hard sometimes to say “No” to people. So we are forced to change with the times to be more accommodating.

There was also a time when the guys working in clubs were just big, burly dudes. And they knew how to handle themselves in fights, because they got into a lot of fights. Now, you have smaller guys, with MMA backgrounds that can handle themselves just as well. The difference is that the new guys have better customer service skills. I don’t hire big, burly guys anymore and mostly it’s because I don’t need or want them. I’m the burly guy. I’ll take one for the team if it comes down to that.

Has the customer service part of the job overridden the need to be good security?

I think in general, yes. It’s great to have customer service skills, but you need to be able to spot trouble and stop bad things from happening. It’s hard to train both. People usually have one or the other.

What’s the hardest thing about working in the field?

The general public doesn’t understand the constant pressure and grief that security guys receive on a nightly basis. You’re going from breaking up fights, to checking IDs, to cleaning up vomit, to explaining why a girl’s drunk boyfriend can’t get in…sometimes all in the space of 5-10 minutes. There is a constant stream of things going on all night long. People really need to experience it in order to understand.

I’m lucky because the management and owners where I work look after us. They understand how hard the job can be.

Thanks for your time

Absolutely.

Executive Protection in a Nightclub Environment

While the main area of discussion here on the Tao of the Velvet Rope is Nightclub Security, Coast Executive Services finds it important to examine aspects of Security that relate to a variety of subject matters within the Nightclub Environment. To that end, we welcome Guest Writers to submit articles in order to share their experiences and expand our knowledge base. This month’s guest writer is Executive Protection Specialist Kevin Ghee.

EXIT STRATEGY by Kevin Ghee

One of the more dangerous things I’ve found when escorting a Client is the moment when you egress a nightclub environment. For one, you are blind. Meaning that unless you have a multi-member team and you send one of those members to survey outside the club before you leave, you have no clue as to what’s going on outside. In those moments you should be very careful in your movements.

One of the ways I like to work when I’m operating as a solo protector is to use Club Security. If you know at which club your Client wants to party for the evening and the time and resources permit, you must do an Advance of said club. Get to know the establishment’s Head of Security during the Advance. Let him know that you’ll be coming back that evening, and arrange for privileged/VIP parking. I say this because if it’s a very popular establishment, then a lot of locals may attend that club weekly and have developed more of a rapport with the Security Staff than you. They may take up all of the VIP parking, so you should definitely try to secure parking.

Check for a Safe Room in the event a ruckus breaks out. “But that never happens in a club so you’ll be fine!”, some might say. Believe that if you want to. Also, find the VIP section in which your Client will be sitting and walk the route from where you’ll park to where you’re ending up. More than likely it’ll be very crowed once you return. I was just in Las Vegas with a Client and my Advance had to be done while he was still in the SUV, protected by the limo tint and the fact that no one knew he was in the car.

During my Advance I met the Head of Security, who was already aware that my Client would be arriving. I asked him to show me where we would be sitting. He escorted me along this long hallway…and around the back of the DJ booth…and to the VIP section, which of course, was full of people. I asked him to clear the VIP prior to me bringing in my Client. We then walked out of the VIP section and to the front door via a different, shorter route. That was the route I ensured would be cleared and that we would take upon my return.

The point is this: use the Security on staff and try to be in control of as much as you can. You’ll find that the Security, most times, will be more than happy to assist you. In clubs where the VIP section cannot be blocked off or there is more than one entrance, try to have a club Security Staffer present to stop unwanted guests from entering as you take a position close to your Principal.

Fast forward…now your Client is ready to leave. Please – very important – confirm that you have the Driver’s cell number and that he has yours. This is critical, in that if you need to make a hasty exit and the Driver – for whatever reason – had to move the vehicle and is not in VIP parking, you’ll find yourself exposed. You never know what’s going on outside. The disgruntled guy who was put out or who was denied access may be outside ready to exact his revenge just as you want to exit with your Client. I usually have the Client tell me ten minutes prior to wanting to leave so I can call the Driver and have him bring the car up. I then tell the Driver to call or text me that he’s “…in front of the Door” which we will be exiting.

Escorting to a club can be very stress free if you’ve planned properly in advance. Leaving the club can be a gamble. Again, get to know the Security and learn the layout as soon as you arrive. One thing I forgot to mention: find out where the bathrooms are. There’s nothing like trying to find the bathroom in a crowded, unfamiliar nightclub.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

545251_4541725853671_676455005_nKevin Ghee is an Executive Protection Specialist with over 15 years experience in the field. He has worked with numerous athletes, celebrities, and entertainers, as well as Fortune 100 clients. He served as a Team Leader for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, as well as for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. He can be reached at: kjghee@aol.com.

*If you would like to submit an article, please contact us: coastexec@gmail.com

Conducting Nightclub Security Interviews, Part 1

Inevitably, a time will come when you need to conduct interviews for Security Staffers. Maybe you are a new establishment, maybe you just fired some workers, or maybe you just need more bodies. Regardless of the reason you need new Staff, you should always take the same measured, careful approach to hiring. Unless, of course, you enjoy lawsuits, irresponsible workers, and an overall useless Staff. Hey, you might like those types of aggravation….but I hope not. Today will discuss some interview basics.

SETTING UP INTERVIEWS 

Many people like to schedule interviews with open-ended hours, i.e. “Interviewing between 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.” I have found that this approach may work with a large group of Interviewees, but more often than not it leads to “bunching” with many people showing up at the front and back end of the time slots or a large group of people sitting around waiting to be interviewed. I prefer an approach whereby a set time is given to prospective employees, “We have a few slots available between 9 and 12. What works for you?” This not only places the initiative in the Interviewees’ hands, but allows you to set a fixed time for interview length, say 15 minutes.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Where will you be conducting your interviews? Office? Dance Floor? Park Bench? Will the Interviewees be seated in close proximity to those being interviewed and be able to hear the questions? Or will they be in a separate room? No matter where you conduct the interviews, make sure you have comfortable seating, good ventilation, and a little water – for both you and the Interviewee.

THE AGENDA

You’ve got your interviews set-up, now what? First and foremost, YOU need to be organized. Do you:

  • Have an individual folder for each Interviewee?
  • Have a printed schedule of interview times?
  • Have a notepad and pens or pencils?
  • Have a business card ready to hand out?
  • Have a copy of each Interviewees’ resume/application (with notes?)

Your agenda should also include the order in which you want to run the interview: introduction, position details, company information, interview questions, closing, etc. The Agenda is one of the most important parts of your interview because it shows the Interviewee that you are organized, prepared, and ready to go.

So, now your interviews are scheduled, your location is finalized, and your agenda is looking sharp. Let’s go out there and do some interviewing!

JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM. OR SIR.

Just like Detective Joe Friday, you want good, solid information with which to work. Your first set of interview questions should relate directly to the information the Interviewee has given you on their application/resume. This will not only confirm that the information is true (What!? You mean people lie on applications and resumes!?), but can help fill in any gaps on the written page. Some possible questions:

  • How long did you work for Billy’s Bar
  • Tell me about your job duties at Billy’s Bar
  • What were working the conditions at Billy’s Bar
  • Why do you want to work for us

Questions like these will give you a foundation from which to build the rest of your interview and help you to guide the interview in the direction you wish it to go.

So, what direction is that? Well, you’ll have to tune in next week for Part 2. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the cliff-hanger!

Until next time…


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?

No?

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…

Who Works The Front Door?

As the year comes to and end, I thought it would be a good idea to dive into the world of Nightclub Politics. Well, ok, to be honest, this post is actually the result of several conversations with disgruntled Doormen, but it does have to do with the dynamics of the Nightclub/Bar/Lounge setting.

First off, a note to all Bar Managers and Owners: You can manage your Nightclub/Bar/Lounge any way you see fit. After all, it is your Nightclub/Bar/Lounge.

Second, a note to all Bar Managers and Owners: You should occasionally listen to your Security Staff when it comes to how to run your Nightclub/Bar/Lounge.

In this instance I am referring “management” of the Front Door. Anyone with any experience in an adult entertainment venue (Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter! I mean Nightclubs/Bars/Lounges) knows that the Front Door is where all of the “action” is to be found. All the employees want to work there, you might have to “know someone” to get in, and being “The Man” (or Woman) on the Velvet Rope is seen as incredibly cool. The reality is far different, but we’ve discussed that in detail in a previous post.

What I am most interested in here is the problems that arise when too many people try to run the Front Door. In a perfect world, the Doorman, Door Ins, VIP Host, and Door Outs should be the only people in front of your establishment. Believe it or not, you hired them for a reason: to run your Front Door! They each have responsibilities and if they are doing their jobs to the best of their abilities, will guarantee you a night free from hassles, Law Enforcement visits, complaints, and incidents.

However, this is in the perfect world. We actually live in the imperfect world. This is the world where:

The Promoter stands out front and waves his “VIP guests” in, without checking their IDs or levels of intoxication. “But they’re fine, I promise.”

The Cocktail Waitress drags in two of her roommates, who don’t have their ID but “…are both over 21, I promise.”

The Barback begs you to let in his little brother, who doesn’t pass dress code, but is a good kid “…and won’t cause any trouble, I promise.”

The Owners show up with a guy who was 86’ed last night, “…but will behave tonight, I promise.”

Do we see the potential liabilities in these promises?

Oftentimes, the Bar Manager/Owner stands out front and oversees his/her Staff and overrides their decisions in the interest of “doing more business”. Is this wrong? Not necessarily. But it is in the best interest of anyone who owns or manages a nightclub/bar/lounge to listen to their Security Staff’s concerns. Do you always have to listen to what they say? No. But if your Head of Security is voicing concerns about you, the Owners, the Cocktail Waitress, the Barback, and the Promoter…you should probably pay some attention. If your Front Door Staff are being constantly overridden, by individuals who believe they have a say, possibly with the “go ahead” from Management, it is a problem. And a problem that could come back to bite you in the behind.

Does this mean that you as the Manager/Owner shouldn’t question your Staff on their decisions? Absolutely not. But allow them the leeway to make decisions as they see fit, as these decisions are generally in the best interest of your establishment. That being said, if your Front Door Staff are blowing it for everyone by allowing in minors, patrons who dont pass dress code, or their rowdy friends – by all means take charge. But standing in the doorway, double checking every ID, waving in every group of sorority girls, and questioning every ejection will not endear you to your staff. Promise.

It is of vital importance that the opinions of the Front Door Staff are heard, as objectively as possible. After all, it is in all of your best interests that the Front Door is regulated and controlled, with as few cooks in the mix as possible. Your front line  Staffers are the ones reducing your liabilities by not allowing in individuals who may cause you any number of problems. Observe them. Offer suggestions. And let them do their jobs. That’s why you hired them. Right? Besides which, 15 people working the Front Door is just plain crowded.

Until next time…