Violence can absolutely destroy a bar or nightclub operation. When a bar is mentioned in the news due to a violent or deadly altercation, its demise is usually not far behind. Any time an atmosphere of fear is associated with a bar’s name, it becomes very difficult to attract quality guests and build a sustainable business. While it is impossible to eliminate all violence, it is entirely possible to minimize it by taking as many preventative steps as possible.
Consider these tips to keep your bar safe for you, your employees and your guests:
Security Starts at the Front Door
Strong lead doormen are vital for maintaining a safe environment for guests. Strong in this context refers to more than physical strength. Doormen must also be mentally strong enough to refuse entry to potential troublemakers. This sounds much easier than it is in reality. Strong security staff members know how to refuse entry to troublemakers and diffuse potential altercations with people who believe they are entitled to enter your venue. When intoxicated people feel any kind of emotion that resembles rejection, they can sometimes become hostile. This is where having a head doorman with quick wits and street smarts comes into play; vigilant head doormen can refuse entry to anyone. This includes every category of person who believes they have a right to enter, be it a famous celebrity, professional athlete, gang member, or a person known for drinking too much.
Despite the challenges presented by preventing their entry at the front door, security-minded staff know that doing so can save a tremendous amount of headache later on. Strong head doormen are much more than hosts or verifiers of the legal drinking age. They should know who is who, recognize faces from prior instances, and ultimately use this knowledge to control the quality of the crowd inside the bar. Strong head doormen result in safe environments.
Actively Engage & Neutralize Threats
Strong security personnel do not wait for trouble to begin before they intervene. If all the security staff does is break up fights, it is a clear indication that they are not engaging threats before they escalate. For example, if security staff can clearly see an intoxicated individual persistently hitting on someone’s girlfriend who is not being responsive, they should have the foresight to get involved before the boyfriend comes along and starts an altercation. Security staff are constantly scanning the environment, communicating with guests and other members of the security team, and identifying potential threats as the night is underway. There are some situations, such men slipping sedatives into women’s drinks, that can appear as innocent as a conversation between regular bar patrons. A great security-minded team can spot these kinds of incidents and neutralize the threats before bad things happen.
Work with Local Law Enforcement
Even with a strong security team, there are some bad people who require an assist from law enforcement. Strong security staff know the local police and gang suppression teams, and work to build good relations with them. Sometimes, all it takes is a text message sent to a local police officer to get a known gang-affiliated person who the security staff cannot and should not attempt to confront removed from the premises. With great relationships with local law enforcement, security staff will assuredly have the backup they need to handle these kinds of difficult situations.