Running a nightclub is about creating an environment where patrons can leave behind their daily worries and enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, conflict can develop and lead to individuals attacking staff or other customers. When that happens, owners and managers have to be ready with carefully considered security measures.
As a business owner, the safety of your customers and employees is your No. 1 priority, so plan ahead for the possibility of danger. Take these essential steps to keep your nightclub secure.
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1. Set clear policies
“Protecting your business starts with setting rules.”
Protecting your business starts with setting rules to minimize the chances of an altercation. Presenting explicit policies against provocative or dangerous behavior ensures customers are aware of the boundaries. Post notices of the dress code and any prohibited activities so entering patrons can easily see them.
You can back up those requirements with a range of security measures. Security cameras keep tabs on what’s going on in and around the club, rooting out individuals who are causing problems. Installing ID scanners can serve as a deterrent and make it easier to track down people who commit crimes in your establishment.
2. Provide specialized training
Your employees are the most vital line of defense against violence, so getting them up to speed makes a big difference in heading off incidents. Nightclub workers should be highly alert for signs of violence or harassment and prepared to step in to remove individuals as necessary. The host stationed at the door, security personnel and bartenders all need to be skilled in communication and observation, catching signs that a patron is becoming aggressive or dangerously intoxicated.
The staff should not be involved in escalating conflicts or overly quick to resort to restraining unruly customers. When workers are themselves violent, it contributes to a dangerous atmosphere that may lead to injuries. Instead, maintain a safer environment for everyone by training workers in peacefully solving problems and managing disputes whenever possible.
To watch over the crowds at larger clubs, management should consider hiring contracted personnel from a security firm. These professionals receive consistent training, so you can be confident they’ll be capable of resolving confrontations.
3. Maintain strict enforcement
A nightclub’s policies are only as effective as the efforts that go into making sure they are followed. The host in particular is key to stopping problems before they happen by barring people who are underage, caused trouble in the past, are already overly intoxicated or otherwise fail to meet the requirements for entry. Conducting routine checks for weapons or other prohibited items can prevent heated exchanges from becoming more dangerous.
Staff must always be visible to patrons and ready to help if asked or step in to end a disruption. Workers should be equipped with radios or other means for communicating instantly with one another in case of an emergency. Anyone who violates the club rules against violence or harassment should be removed from the building immediately and not allowed to come back inside.
Security cameras can be the most important tool at your disposal to enforce rules for both employees and guests. With eyes on strategic locations like the entrance and the bar, management doesn’t have to rely on anyone’s word to know how a conflict broke out.
4. Insure your business
Taking wise security precautions is an important part of keeping the establishment running properly, but owners and managers also need to prepare for when something goes wrong. Ensure the business offers protection from liability in case someone is hurt due to violence on the premises.
Bar and nightclub insurance from McGowan Program Administrators is designed to suit the specific needs of these establishments. Thanks to the “Power of the Pen,” you can purchase a policy that covers the unique risks for bodily injury that can arise from a night out gone wrong. MPA offers general and liquor liability limits of up to $2MM, property limits up to $5MM and coverage for assault and battery as well. Guard your patrons and employees against violence by establishing strict policies and enforcing them, and protect the business with the right insurance policy.