Even though we often we think of clubs as being the epicenter of security problems, bar security is equally important. So you might think of this article as the other half of the Night Club Securityarticle from last year.
Just as with nightclub security, much of bar security involves hiring bouncers and making sure they look and act professionally. But bar security also has to do with a number of actions that you can take to make sure your clientele is not only safe once they arrive at your establishment, but also when they leave. Bar safety measures are not only a good idea for their own sake but also because bars and pubs that have a lot of police related issues will inevitably attract the attention of local civic leaders. Many bars have been closed down not because they couldn’t make the rent, but because local leaders became so tired of dealing with issues involved with these watering holes that they had them shut down.
So what can you do improve your bar safety?
Hire BouncersHiring bouncers is a good start as far as bar security goes. If your bar gets a lot of young rowdy males—which a lot of bars do of course—you will definitely need bouncers. Strip bars, biker bars, bars near military bases—basically any bar where you have a high percentage of testosterone driven action will be a bar that needs to have an active and effective crew of bouncers.
As mentioned in the previous article, hiring bouncers for your bar safety needs is not easy. You want to make sure when hiring bouncers to get not only large imposing men, but guys who can think on their feet and guys who can defuse fights rather than create them. In fact, some of the best bouncers are only about average sized, but know how to sense when a fight is about break out, position themselves properly and separate the opposite parties. As the old pub security saying goes: You know when hiring bouncers has been successful, because you rarely see them in action. The best bouncers are invisible to clients.
In addition to hiring bouncers, you also need to hire door staff to check IDs and make sure you do not get over capacity. Unlike in clubs where door staff is often concerned with making sure a good mix of people is in the club (enough cute girls for guys to want to come in, that sort of thing), in bars and pubs, the door staff is often mainly concerned with checking IDs, collecting door fees, and making sure pub security is kept at an optimal level. It is usually a good idea to have at least one bouncer as part of your door staff.
Exterior Bar Security
Bar security, however, is not just about hiring bouncers and having good door security. Bar and pub security also involves what happens around your bar. For example, if you own a parking lot next to your establishment it is important to take some safety precautions there as well. It is not only a moral obligation for you to take this kind of bar safety measure, but a smart business practice since clients are more likely to frequent your establishment if they feel safe doing so.
In terms of parking lot security, you should take common sense precautions. Make sure you have lamps lighting the parking lot and that entire sections are not shrouded in darkness. If you are in a particularly questionable neighborhood or if you clientele drive luxury cars, having a security camera (or maybe even a valet) may help insure your customer safety.
If you operate a strip bar, make sure that you always have an escort for your performers back to the cars to avoid problems with unhinged customers who may linger outside.
Interior Bar Safety
Bar and pub security does not only apply to the outside or even just to your clientele. You want to make sure to have well lit hallways and clearly indicate where exits are. In case there is a fire or some other disturbance, you want to make sure that clients can easily find the exits.
You also want to observe bar safety precautions when closing up at night. Bars and other night time establishments are prime targets for armed robbers not only because they are open late but because thieves know that you are likely to have large amounts of cash on hand. Make sure to lock up right at the end of the night and to have alarms properly installed so you do not become an easy target.
In addition, make sure that you install locks on liquor cabinets and maybe even consider having lockers where your employees can lock up their personal things while on shift. These precautions help reduce the chances for theft.
When you do make trips to the bank with your earnings, try not to do so at the exact same time or taking the exact same route every day, and avoid announcing these trips to too many people since you never know who might be in on a possible theft.
All of these concerns should help you maintain a relatively safe establishment and reduce the opportunities for violence and other sorts of thievery.
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