In 2019, a woman in Chicago was assaulted in the back alley of a nightclub. Her story sparked a movement. Tons of women began to come out with similar experiences about the sexual harassment and assault they experienced at nightclubs.
Recent events have suggested that nightlife venues have become overpopulated with predatory men. Following these stories, nightclubs became heavily scrutinized for their lack of security and safety measures. Public opinion of nightclubs was heavily impacted.
A nightclub is a great business idea. They are heavily profitable if the location and club are popular. Alcohol is served as a premium, and minimal employees besides security guards are needed to keep the club operational. It is a gathering place for fun, music, and dancing but being a nightclub owner has become more difficult.
Nightclubs are closing daily as the business type has fallen out of public favour. Most people view it as a predatory hunting ground for sexual assaulters instead of a fun environment with good music and great people. There are certain measures both new and old owners can implement that can increase their club’s popularity and safety. These measures all rely on prioritizing guest safety.
1. Have an Official Safety Policy
Many clubs have a safety policy, but they are rarely publicized. Having a safety policy is a great way to increase guest safety.
Creating a short “Guest Code of Conduct” printed in large and bold letters at the front of the club should be the first step to securing the business. It should not be a subjective policy, and it should be highlighted how important it is that guests follow the policy.
Proper behaviour is dictated and clearly shown for all incoming guests, and it is a great deterrence measure. Many crimes are crimes of opportunity. If prospective predator sees the sign, they may think twice before attempting to violate the code of conduct.
2. Add Functional Security Measures
Many businesses have non-functional security cameras because they believe that it is enough that the camera can be seen. There is often a sign outside stating that the business is monitored, but nightclubs need to take additional precautions. While the signs may ward off some offenders, many people may realize it is a false claim.
Many crimes can occur within a nightclub, so having real footage can help alleviate any criminal charges that may be pressed against the club instead. Be sure to keep the nightclub adequately lit enough for the cameras to pick up on faces and bodies.
If a person is assaulted and your cameras are not operating, the club can suffer dire consequences. The victim can hire a negligent security attorney who will persecute the club for not taking enough care to secure the premises for their guests.
Be sure to hire a staff member to monitor the surveillance camera so that security can be called before an issue gets too large. Footage should be recorded and secured for thirty days if any issues happen during that time frame. There should be no hidden or dimly lit spots within the club. Another great security measure is to hire bathroom attendants to cover the bathrooms where security cameras cannot be placed.
If you have noticed a prevalence of violence and weapons within the local or nearby clubs, it may be a good idea to add a metal detector.
3. Ensure that the Security Policy is Enforced
A safety policy and physical security tool will stop or ward off most crimes, but that is not enough. Nightclubs are often locations for fights or rapes, so enforcing the security policy remains important. There is no screening of incoming guests, so there should be enough security to address the rotten apple.
Having trained and licensed security guarding services is the best way to enforce the security policy. Guards should be dressed in uniforms that are easy to identify. They should also be stationed throughout the club so guests can easily find them for assistance.
Most clubs have at least one guard for every 75 guests that come in, but this is up to the personal discretion of club owners. The goal for security guards should be to address an issue before it gets out of hand and with subtlety. A security guard’s goal should be to avoid additional attention to the situation.
4. Educate Staff Members
Bouncers, security guards, bartenders, and many other staff members make up nightclub employees. Conduct regular team meetings to address the issues that can happen during business operations and remind staff members why guest safety is a priority.
Sometimes, situations will occur where a staff member has to step in. Be sure to establish a plan for each staff member’s role and minimize the number of victims today, starting with your nightclub. More guests will return if they feel that your club is safer than nearby clubs.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.