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4 Ways to Improve Security Without Compromising Atmosphere

By: Grant King – HospitalityHub Writer
03 February, 2015

The primary purpose of bars and nightclubs is to provide a convivial atmosphere for socialising and drinking.

Take away the latter and this article wouldn't be necessary. But as long as alcohol is served in licensed premises, human behaviour at its most abominable will be on daily (and even more so nightly) display.

Patron and staff safety is therefore of paramount importance, yet beefy blokes with tree trunk arms won't solve every problem. In fact, they can exacerbate it.

Here are four ways you can make your bar or nightclub a friendly, safer place.

Send your bouncers to Charm School

Far too much security in licensed premises is provided by untrained people employed based on their Abs, not their CVs. Generally little training is provided before they are sent off to deal with the same problems police train for years to deal with. No wonder things go horribly wrong and an ugly scene badly handled doesn't go away when the paddy wagon leaves: a sour taste lingers over your patrons for the rest of the night.

The answer lies not just in the selection process, but in training. Teach your security people how to deal with nasty situations calmly and within the law. Show them how to behave. Role play worst case scenarios. Just as importantly, make sure your door security personnel have the charm of George Clooney, not Hulk Hogan – even if they have no choice to switch roles when something goes horribly wrong. Remember, first impressions count and set the tone for the entire night.

Make security stand out like lighthouses

Do it in a good way. Fitting all your bouncers out in black suits and sunglasses might render them highly visible, but they will also give your premises an aggressive, unfriendly undertone. So dress them in a professional, but welcoming manner. For that you can't beat brightly coloured polo shirts in friendly shades of red, yellow or green. Make sure the word 'Security' is bold on the front and even bolder across the back – badges can get lost in shirt folds.  Complement the shirt with simple dark trousers. With this look security will stand out in an unthreatening way and patrons will have a very clear and present reminder to behave themselves. At the same time, the 99.9 per cent of

Set the tone in every corner of the establishment

The decor, artwork, colour scheme, lighting and even glassware of your premises reflect its personality. That personality will determine the kinds of people you attract and who become your friends for a few hours or, in some cases, a lifetime. Dress your bar according to who you want to be friends with and you will minimise the potential for 'unwelcome guests' at your nightly party.

There's nothing special about specials

Think it through: the common denominator for most problems in licensed establishments is excessive alcohol. If patrons drink what they are accustomed to drinking at their own pace, the chances of drunken behaviour are reduced. Most people know how many beers or wines they can consume before they become a problem to themselves and those around them, and they will limit their intake accordingly.

No wonder then that those very same people become horrified witnesses to their own abominable behaviour on 'specials' nights. None of your patrons are used to drinking potent cocktails, so don't offer them a half price incentive to do so and expect them to behave themselves.