We recently did an article on top 10 tips to being a better security guard. This has proven very popular so in response we felt, it was time we did the same for those working as door supervisors.
And lets face it, when you read stories such as this… where you have people carrying machetes to a nightclub because of a dispute with rival gangs, door supervisors need to be on their guard at all times. So, for our top 10 list specific to doormen, read on below.
How to be a better Door Supervisor – Top 10 tips
1. Know Your Surroundings
A good door supervisor is completely aware of their surroundings. If you are new to a job and therefore establishment, take time to learn where all the exits are – including those that are generally off limits to patrons.
While working, you should always know where you are on the floor in relation to these exits. If trouble starts, you cannot be looking around trying to get your bearings when a drunken troublemaker is attempting to shove a glass in your face.
You should also know how busy the place is out front. The nearest exit might not always be the best if it is too full of patrons entering the premises, or is being used as access to a busy outside smoking area. Knowing your surroundings is vital if you want to do your job well.
2. Know the choke-points of the premises
Close to the point above, a good door supervisor must know the choke points in the premises they work.
Through out the establishment there will be areas that have high volumes of patrons, or the building design itself will compress the flow of patrons into a smaller, more compact area.
You need to know just how busy these choke-points are, and how they could potentially affect your ability to remove some one from the bar, or get to another area of the bar to help a fellow bouncer.
3. The Back exit is Your Friend
Where possible and when appropriate, the back exit is often the best to use.
Not only is it less crowded to take the patron out via the back exit, it also stops other customers from seeing the problems taking place and potentially put off those waiting in line from entering.
4. Know the numbers – how busy is the bar?
A good door supervisor will be able to look around the bar and be able to judge approximately how close to full capacity it actually is. Furthermore, in large clubs the establishment should be recording just how many patrons are actually inside.
Knowing how full the bar is, will have an impact on the decisions you make. It can also impede your ability to do your job. For instance a busy bar will make it more difficult to remove any trouble from the premises.
It will also be more difficult to keep your colleagues in direct line of site. Although all door supervisors should be able to communicate via radio.
5. Know the Type of Crowd
You should be well aware of the type of crowd you are dealing with, and the differences in crowd on a nightly basis. More generally, has there been an influx of a certain type of group – say drunken lads watching the football, or a stag party. A hen night can be equally as boisterous at times.
Be careful not to prejudice unfairly, however you need to be aware of how the crowd is behaving. Preventing any issues before they occur is always the best policy.
6. How drunk are the patrons?
And this one is an extension of knowing the crowd. Not only do you need to know the type of crowd, you should be aware of how drunk they are too.
How long have certain parties been drinking? This involves knowing how long they have been in the bar, and at what stage they are at with their drunkenness.
A good door supervisor must police those that are drunk. By walking around and paying attention to those that may have drunk too much you are prepared should a situation occur.
8. Good Communication with your colleagues
This involves staying in touch via radio and where possible, maintaining line of site. You should know where your colleagues are at any given moment and be able to assist them if trouble occurs and likewise vice-versa should you find yourself faced with an incident.
9. Do not eject a patron solo
If you can help it, never attempt to remove a person from the premises alone. The patron may fancy their chances and trouble can escalate. By working as a part of a team the ejection process should be that much easier.
10. Make use of your equipment
Flash lights should also be used. These help locate misdemeanors in darkened areas of the bar or club and can also be used to signal to other door supervisors.
Bright coloured clothing or florescent strips can also be used so the team is more visible to each other.
And there you have it – our top 10 list of ways to be a better door supervisor. If you have any other important tips you would like to share with us, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.