No matter the neighborhood or crowd, any nightclub and bar safety are important elements of a fun night. Alcohol mixed with large groups of strangers can lead to a range of experiences—some great, and others more concerning.
Many people don’t want to think about the the bad things that can happen because it’s uncomfortable or scary, but, as the owner or manager of a nightclub, you have to think through these scenarios and prepare for them. Solink is also thinking about them, with a dedicated bar security solution.
Having and enforcing an action plan that your staff is familiar with ensures that your customers are safe, happy, and able to enjoy themselves. Your clients will be grateful that you go that extra mile to keep them safe, and will remember that for future nights out. Here are 7 things to consider to improve your bar safety.
1. Locate and recover stolen items quickly
It’s incredibly important that your customers feel safe in your bar. While people should be responsible for keeping an eye on their belongings, it’s extremely beneficial to be able to offer support to your customers when needed. If they discover that their purse was stolen, their coat was taken out of coat-check, or even if their drink was taken, they are going to come to you and ask for your help. It’s a win-win to be able to offer them the assistance they need.
While you are at it, consider our tips on safe security so your money doesn’t go missing.
Use the tools on hand: security cameras
If you have a security camera system in place, you can help them track down the item and maybe figure out who stole it. Even if you can’t get the item back for them, at the very least they know that you’re willing to help them try.
2. Dealing with spiked drinks
You may run the safest bar in town, but something can happen in the blink of an eye. Make sure you have enough bartenders on staff so that they are able to watch out for suspicious behavior. Nightclub security tasks such as these need to be part of every employee’s job description. If the bartender is too busy, they may place the drink in front of a customer and move on without making sure the person who ordered it notices it.
These brief moments of a drink being left unattended can be crucial. Having adequate staff allows your bartender to take that extra moment to hand the drink over and give the customer the attention they need to make sure their drink, and your bar, is safe.
Implement policies to keep customers safe
If a customer buys a drink for someone else—especially someone they don’t know—deliver the drink directly to the person it’s intended for. Both the server and the person receiving the drink know that it’s directly from the server and hasn’t been tampered with, and the person buying the drink has successfully completed their transaction.
3. Monitoring the outside of your bar or club
Outside of a bar or club can get really busy and overwhelming. You’ve got people lining up, meeting their friends, and stepping out for a smoke, all in the same area. You can hire an extra bouncer, but that isn’t the only way to improve outdoor bar safety.
Be proactive about your nightclub’s security by installing proper lighting, while an effective security camera setup will inform customers that you’ve got an eye out for them, no matter where they are.
Security cameras can actually prevent issues
Business security cameras aren’t just great because they provide a bird’s eye view of the situation; they also act as a deterrent for people who are acting up. If a group of rowdy people outside notice the cameras, they will often step back and decide to move on without causing a commotion. Don’t be shy about putting up signs so it’s clear to everyone that you’re always watching.
Worry less with proper lighting
Lighting is also important. Keeping the front entrance, back doors, and any alleyways well lit deters any kind of bad behavior. Having proper lighting also makes it easier for your security cameras system to pick up clear images of anything going on, so you’ll be prepared to forward it to the cops if need be.
4. Help your customers find their friends
It’s not unusual for a group of people to get separated while at a bar, especially when it is crowded. Teach your staff to identify people who are looking for their friends and help them find their groups. It may seem like it takes your staff away from their assigned jobs, but it’s important to help your customers feel safe. Reconnecting these groups will be easier with your staff helping because they will know the best places to look.
It also gives the separated friend someone trustworthy to talk to while they are alone. This added customer service improves your bar security as well as leaves a lasting impression in the minds of those patrons your staff has helped out.
5. Identify overserved customers
Your bartenders have a huge responsibility in serving alcohol to people. They have to check IDs, monitor drinks, and make sure people aren’t drinking too much.
If someone has too much to drink, it poses a risk to the customers and staff in your establishment. Give your bartenders training and backup whenever they need it so they are comfortable refusing to serve customers. Helping them know the signs to watch for when identifying someone who has had too much will make your nightclub a safer and happier place to enjoy long evenings.
6. Train your bouncers to handle difficult situations
If you’re able to employ a bouncer at your establishment, that’s great, but you need to make sure they are trained properly. Your bouncer needs to be able to identify and deescalate situations quickly and efficiently.
Bouncers can help prevent drunk driving
While that’s a huge responsibility on its own, they are also your last line of defense for people leaving your bar. Encourage them to try and watch for inebriated customers leaving, so they can make sure that no inebriated customers are planning to drive home.
They can help to call Ubers for customers who shouldn’t be driving and potentially prevent some real tragedies by simply speaking up. Empower them with the tools needed to help them understand suspicious and troublesome behavior as much as possible.
7. Help your customers get home safely
At the end of the night, make sure that bouncers, bartenders, servers, and managers are keeping an eye on the customers. They may be getting antsy to leave for the night and get a head start on the cleaning procedures. However, making sure that the staff stays alert and watches for customers getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is an important part of their job.
Don’t give customers the opportunity to get behind the wheel while intoxicated
If your staff sees an intoxicated person about to get behind the wheel, get them to call an Uber. If the intoxicated customer refuses the ride, call the police and report them.
If at all possible, offer free overnight parking for customers who need to leave their cars. You can also try to get promotional discount codes from Uber to give your customers an incentive to do the safe and responsible thing when leaving your bar.
Bonus: Prevent employee theft
Employee theft in a bar or nightclub comes in many different forms. Some of the most common are bartenders and servers giving freebies out to friends and families. Get a handle on your employee theft problem with these helpful tips.
To help you keep your bar safe, we’ve created a daily safety checklist that your staff can use at the start and end of their shifts to keep every customer safe.