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….

Intro to Paperwork…

Nothing gets people more excited than the word “Paperwork”. And in spite of its inherent thrill factor and the dangers of getting too excited about it…Paperwork must be done.


At the end of a busy night, the last thing you want to do is sit down and file reports or fill out a schedule. Nobody wants to do Paperwork. Nobody. It is time consuming, mind-numbing, and often times confusing.  So why do it at all? The most basic reason is liability coverage. If something goes wrong, is supposedly overlooked, or is  thought to be ignored, a good paper trail can save your butt in legal proceedings. Alternately, if someone needs information or is contesting your nightclub’s polices, a piece of paper elucidating your position can be extremely helpful. Any time a Patron, Client, Partner, or Owner asks for proof of your particular stance on something, being able to produce said proof in a printed form is of paramount importance.

Let’s look at the areas in which Paperwork comes in handy:

Employee Policies

Patron Policies

Hiring and Interviews

Daily Checklists and Reports



Each of these areas NEEDS Paperwork in order for you to do your job more efficiently, keep track of your employees, and let your customers know how you do business. A well-kept filing system with solid Paperwork can save you the trouble of having to rely on your memory or other people’s second-hand knowledge of events. Creating Paperwork also gives your Management Team the opportunity to actually sit down and discuss what you want your Policies and Procedures to be and how to go about delineating them. As a result, you may even learn a little something about your own business!

I will try to make the learning process easier for you by breaking the Paperwork Posts into small, easy to digest segments, each of which will cover a specific area: Forms, Reports, Checklists, etc. This will allow you to decide what Paperwork you need, how to compose it, and ultimately, how to use it.

So, be forewarned, Paperwork is coming and there is nothing you can do to escape!

Until next time….