Nightclub Security Positions (Part 3) – Door Outs

Today we continue out discussion of positional responsibilities with DOOR OUTS. Some you are probably confused, wondering, “Why is there someone watching who is exiting a Nightclub?’ Allow me to tell you…

Door Outs/Line Walker is one of the more misunderstood, underrated, and usually overlooked member of the Security Staff. In fact, many clubs and bars do not have a Door Outs position.

Skill Set and Responsibilities:

  • Have general knowledge of a Bar/Nightclub’s Policies and Procedures. That means reading your establishment’s Security Manual.
  • Provide access control to both VIP and Regular lines – If your club has separate lines for different clientele, it is up to the Door Outs position to make sure that Patrons are being directed to the proper line. A party of 10 with bottle service does not want to be put in the 100 person long Entry line. Door Outs should be engaging with any Patrons approaching the Front Door and asking how they may be of assistance. And, though it may seem obvious, Door Outs has to keep people from entering through the Exit Door!
  • Maintain line control for VIP/Regular lines – This, along with access control, is of great importance. Door Outs has to make sure that people aren’t crowding the entrance, jostling in line, cutting in line, are properly dressed, etc. Nothing is more frustrating to Patrons than arriving at the head of the line, only to find out they are in the wrong place or can’t get in! Door Outs should constantly be informing people (especially in the VIP line) whether or not they are in the correct line or are dressed appropriately for entrance.
  • Maintain traffic flow on sidewalk in front of Main Entrance – Nightclub and Bar entrances are notorious for having crappy traffic control, especially at the Front Door. Door Outs needs to constantly move people along, by shining a flashlight if necessary to avoid blockages. If you start to get a crowd in this area IMMEDIATELY clear it. Once people see a group crowding the Door, they will try to jump in and next thing you know you have a mob out front.
  • Answer any Patron Questions re: entrance requirements, dress code, and cover charge – Make sure you are constantly communicating with your Door Outs in regards to any changes to dress code and cover charge, especially if these change in the course of an evening. The better informed Door Outs is, the better informed your Patrons, the happier your Club.
  • Monitor “Door Out” count – That means clicking off every individual that walks out the Exit. Make sure your count is good so the Fire Marshall can’t ticket you for being over-capacity. That also means the Door Outs should be in communications with Door Ins to confirm that there is still room in the Club, henceforth allowing them to pass that information on to whoever is waiting  in line.
  • Monitor sobriety of Patrons exiting establishment – Door Outs needs to keep an eye on anyone departing in an intoxicated state. Whether single women and men or drunk couples, it is imperative that Door Outs guide them to a Taxi or a bench to sit on. If necessary, Roamers may be contacted to find lost friends or call for transportation if needed. Door Outs should also be making sure Patrons are not wandering into the street or loitering.
  • Work closely with Law Enforcement to maintain order at Front Door and Sidewalk – Law Enforcement will not be happy with you if your sidewalk is so crowded that it impedes traffic flow. Door Outs should work with Law Enforcement to clear the sidewalk or develop a strategy to keep it clear.

Door Outs should also be walking the lines in front of the establishment monitoring the demeanor of individuals and making sure that your stanchions are staying in place. Patrons have a tendency to “bubble” in line, bunching up in a large group instead of filing  in by twos and threes. Door Outs must be on a radio, prepared to clear the Exit (which should be a clear as possible) in case of any Ejections! A Staffer with good Door Outs skills can make the difference between the lines at your club’s Entrance being a mob scene or as orderly as a Convent food line.

Keep your Door Outs informed and well-paid. They will save you from the aggravations, a crowded sidewalk, and angry, misinformed Patrons who don’t know where to stand.

Until next time…

Nightclub Security Positions (Part 2) – Floormen

Anytime an establishment has a security force, there are bound to be at least one or two Staffers who get to stay in one place all night long. Whether a guard at Buckingham Palace or the security guard at the Mall Information Booth, these individuals generally don’t leave their post and are tasked not only with security, but with the answering of questions and giving of directions. And while many find these posts to be boring, they are an integral part of any Security Staff.

STATIC POSTS (aka Floormen, Boxmen, Halls and Walls)

These Security Staff members are also tasked with basic club security. They generally remain in one place, with the specific goal of watching a designated area of a bar or nightclub. They may be casually dressed, with a shirt reading “SECURITY” on the back, or they may be upgraded to a suit and tie.  Static Posts are key because they are able to get a good “feel” for the crowd in their particular area and are able to maintain a circle of protection around places like stairwells, entrances and exits, or dance floors.

Skill Set and Responsibilities:

  • Have general knowledge of a Bar/Nightclub’s Policies and Procedures. That means reading your establishment’s Security Manual! (You will notice that this is a recurring sentence, and for good reason)
  • Monitor Patrons for signs of intoxication or aggressive behavior.
  • Lookout for hazards to Patrons and Staff, including: broken glass, bottles, chairs, tables, and any other possibly dangerous obstructions. While Roamers generally perform this function, a Static Post should be well aware of any hazards that may get in the way of Patrons, especially when posted in front of Entrances or Exits.
  • Monitor male-to-male behavior like rough-housing and possible early stages of altercations. This should included talking to any individuals who appear to be causing trouble. Static Posts are tasked with “calling in” to Roamers with any problems that they might see in their area.
  • Interdict and de-escalate verbal and physical altercations between Patrons. Generally, this is as back up to Roamers.
  • Securing all remote Exits. Make sure your Static Posts are supervising of all doors, entryways, and exits in their area.

Static Posts are like Air Traffic Controllers: they direct traffic and watch for trouble. These posts should be placed on raised platforms as often as possible. This is important for several reasons:

1) It gives them a good view of your entire establishment. Being above the masses allows them to spot trouble deep in the crowd, where Roamers might be able to see.

2) It lets Patrons know that someone is watching. No one wants to misbehave when they are being watched.

3) It is helpful when they are communicating with Roamers. Static Posts can use flashlights to pinpoint problem spots or guide Roamers to trouble.

It is a good idea to move Static Posts around every 30 minutes or so. This allows them to stretch their legs and keeps them from getting too comfortable and complacent. If necessary, Static Posts may also be tasked with the final “Push” at the end of the night in order to get Patrons out of the establishment.

Next time: Door Outs