A guidebook on staffing for bars, nightclubs and strip clubs

A guidebook on staffing for bars, nightclubs and strip clubs


A guidebook on staffing for bars, nightclubs and strip clubs


James L. Blackwell

This book is a collection of all the essays I have written over the past decade to help train the staff and managers under me. I have divided the entire book into sections dedicated to the main staff of any bar: Security, DJ, Waits, Bartenders, and Managers. There is a section for each of these that can be used directly with the staff, and a section of each which is for the manager to help evaluate the staff member they have and the type of staff member they want.

All these essays are building guides, things to look for and recognize about each member of the staff and the duties they perform. Depending on your location and local laws, you can vary the essays to suit your business. And as many of the writings I do, they are not set in stone items, but things that will help you form your own handbook on staff and managers.

If you are looking for a book on dancers, you can check out my other book, A Dancer’s Guidebook. I do not include them in this book as they are often independent contractors, and so forth are not considered staff.

I hope you find this book helpful to you and it helps you grow your business. I had years of enjoyment from my experience in the clubs because of these essays, and continue to love every minute of life from the knowing I need only reference this to figure out the staff.


Table of Contents

p<>{color:#000;}. For all staff

p<>{color:#000;}. Employee basics p.6

p<>{color:#000;}. Training p.14

p<>{color:#000;}. Opening/closing walkthrough p.17

p<>{color:#000;}. Staff meetings p.19

p<>{color:#000;}. Schedules p.21

p<>{color:#000;}. Chain of Command p.22

p<>{color:#000;}. Security

p<>{color:#000;}. Overview p.25

p<>{color:#000;}. Things to emphasis p.29

p<>{color:#000;}. Rules for security p.32

p<>{color:#000;}. Types of security p.47

p<>{color:#000;}. DJs

p<>{color:#000;}. Overview p.56

p<>{color:#000;}. Things to emphasis p62

p<>{color:#000;}. Phrases for DJs p.66

p<>{color:#000;}. Types of DJs p.70

p<>{color:#000;}. Tricks to watch for p.78

p<>{color:#000;}. Bartenders

p<>{color:#000;}. Overview p.84

p<>{color:#000;}. Duties of Bartender p.90

p<>{color:#000;}. Types of Bartenders p.97

p<>{color:#000;}. Upselling p.106

p<>{color:#000;}. Waits

p<>{color:#000;}. Overview p.109

p<>{color:#000;}. Duties of a wait p.112

p<>{color:#000;}. Things to emphasis p.116

p<>{color:#000;}. Types of Waits p.121

p<>{color:#000;}. Managers

p<>{color:#000;}. Basics for a new manager p.131

p<>{color:#000;}. Maintenance Personnel p.142

p<>{color:#000;}. Liquor Control p.144

p<>{color:#000;}. How to pick staff p.147

p<>{color:#000;}. Disciplining the staff p.150

p<>{color:#000;}. Ways to test employees p.155

p<>{color:#000;}. Incentives p.157

p<>{color:#000;}. Meetings p.159

p<>{color:#000;}. Job duties p.161

p<>{color:#000;}. Laziness p.171

p<>{color:#000;}. Scheduling staff p.172

p<>{color:#000;}. Training a wait p.175

p<>{color:#000;}. Training a bartender p.182

p<>{color:#000;}. Training security p.191

p<>{color:#000;}. Training a DJ p.199

p<>{color:#000;}. Training a bar back p.205


Essays for all staff

Employee “Basics”

The basics are something that every employee should know and try to improve on. When you start with these on new employees, everything else will be built upon them and become properly done. They are essentials that the employees can utilize in not only this job, but in their future positions or jobs. The basics are:

p<>{color:#000;}. Appearance

p<>{color:#000;}. On Time/ On Schedule

p<>{color:#000;}. Attitude

p<>{color:#000;}. Work Ethics

These basics help to build pride, character and customer appreciation. It also sets the standards of what is acceptable, what is not, and what will lead to lines that cannot be crossed. That also begins the process of building respect for management and the rules by upholding these basics and not allowing them to slide.

When one begins to look at each of the basics, you need to then conform them to your club and your way of doing things. Each of the basics has a little bit of lee way, and, though you may want to bend them a bit, one should refrain from doing so if possible. One would also want to refrain from allowing them to slack on the basics, for the old adage is “Give them an inch and they will take a mile”.


The appearance of an employee is a huge thing as that is what a customer notices first. An employee who looks as if they just crawled out of bed after a three day binge is a very bad appearance to convey to the customers. It also shows that the employee cares nothing for where he/she is at. They are just there to get a paycheck. The customer will see this as the employee cares nothing for the club, so why would they care if the customer is treated properly? Other employees see it as a matter that if that employee gets away with dressing like that why can’t we? Disharmony will arise and cause a manager much grief over something that is not needed to be in the first place.

The same goes for mismatched employees, which gives off the impression that the club has either no standards of which the employee must follow, or that the management has direction in what it does. When a customer can only tell a waitress because she has a tray in her hand, or a security guard because they notice that they have an ear piece, it makes a customer feel at a loss for whom to turn to when they need service or help. Customers expect to see those who work somewhere dressed the same, in a uniform. They feel more comfortable in familiar surroundings, and walking in to see the employees in the same type of outfit every time will make them feel more at home when they are there.

Dress codes should fit not only the position, but also the club in a professional aspect. When you talk about positions you have to set the standard of not only what type and color of clothes to wear, but also how such items are to be worn to be acceptable. Saying a security person can wear a white polo shirt only to have them wear it untucked and grimy looking is just as bad as if you said to wear a plain white T-shirt. It needs to be uniformed in the way it is to be worn and how it looks. While it may seem overdrawn to say, you must be specific or they will only do what is the least. It is hard to tell someone they are not in dress code because they didn’t tuck in their shirt if you have never told the staff they have to do that in the first place.

In a club setting such as the strip club, the individual position can be tailored to the code. Security, being mostly male in most clubs, should be in a white button up shirt, suit coat, black slacks, and black shoes. This appearance increases the size by creating an optical illusion, and size itself can deter a conflict. (Think secret service personnel). Waitresses need to be and have that “about to become a dancer” look. An under bust corset, bra and booty shorts or short skirt give this appearance. The corset will also force the body to look more hourglass, accent the cleavage, and thereby make it easier to sell drinks because the customer likes what they see.

For bartenders the corset/short combo is also very effective. The big aspect of movement must also be taken into account, so corset like shirts or full-fledged corsets can be substituted for the under bust corsets. One wants the bartenders to also be very sexy in appearance as well as functional. What you will want the bartenders and waitresses to stray way from is looking slutty verses the classy sexy. You want a professional look to them, for it conveys a bit of seriousness to their job, yet an appeal that men like in a strip club.

Color coding in your dress code is also important. The basic motif for the club has been black and white, which seems to work very well. White tops and black bottoms increase the ability to be spotted by a customer, and tells the customers who is an employee and not. While one may allow for small accents of other colors, this would be best if this was avoided to keep the more uniformed look.

One can have a perfect looking staff and have it all ruined if the manager is the worst dressed of all those in the club. Stylish dressed, preferably in a suit, gives the chance for the manager to truly stand out, to show he/she is leading by example. One wants to be consistent in this as well, even if it means wearing the same style suit every day. It allows the customers to see a manager as someone who always stands out and always is on top of their game. When one adds in that a customer will look for a manager dressed the same way as the last time they were in means that they will be able to point them out every time.

On Time/On Schedule

Everyone will have a moment or day when the unexpected will creep in and ruin a carefully planned schedule. The problem is when it is an everyday event. A club cannot properly function if its employees are never on time or don’t come in on a scheduled day.

The circumstances of not showing up on time are often times a simple thing to rectify. If the employee is always 10 minutes late for a shift they need to leave at an earlier time to get to work. If they cannot do so, than they need to be scheduled at a later time if they are a good employee or replaced if they are not. If switching their hours back does not correct the problem than even the best of employee may need to be let go and replaced.

With the subject of being on time one needs to also watch for those employees who will clock in early or use the time clock to show they were here while they actually go get ready for their shift. All employees are expected to arrive at the club ready for work, not expect us to pay for the time that it takes for them to get dressed. Those who clock in earlier than 10 minutes before their shift (without a manager’s approval) are costing the company in wages that the company should not have to pay.

The schedules are created with several things in mind. Besides the obvious of filling positions, it also takes and puts the strongest waits, bartenders and security together with those who need a little improvement to have all the aspects work together. The schedule also looks at the customer base and fills the club with enough personnel to adequately service the customers and club needs at those times. If someone changes the schedule without the manager’s approval it can cause a person who doesn’t have the experience or knowledge yet to be placed in a position that means less sales for the club, or less security where someone could get hurt. Someone not showing up for a scheduled shift causes others to work harder to cover that person, and can create even more trouble for the club.

The last part of this is that schedules should never be set up with seniority in mind. It should always be done in the way of the most skilled worker gets the most hours. That means that if one has a bartender who has been with the company four months and can outperform the one who has been here five years, the one with the skills will work more days. This also means that if someone is not performing up to par and you have someone who can do the job better, replace them. No one has tenor in a strip club, and for that reason one will always schedule the best people to make the most money.


This seems a simple in the aspect of customer service, but it actually encompasses so much more than just the customers. It is also more than whether a person is happy appearing or not. It is a total package towards the club, the people, and the management.

Let’s talk about what is meant by attitude. Someone can be a happy person and still not be or have the proper attitude within the club itself. The version we are discussing involves the one that conforms to the position, the circumstance and the factors involved. It is how a person conveys not only their own mood, but also their body language, tone and voice level. All must be present at the proper time to convey the proper attitude.

For most situations dealing with customers the proper attitude is one which is nice, courteous and fun while still being professional in the dealing with them. This includes the way a person stands when talking with the customer, looking them in the eye as you talk, or just paying attention to what they are saying. If it is handling a problem that is minor it is showing genuine concern for the problem and how one handles it. If it is dealing with a major problem such as a fight, it is dealing with it without becoming emotionally involved, allowing it to continue or escalate because of an employee.

Attitude towards the club itself is in the way a person speaks about the club, the owner, or the business we do. One wants people who are employees to have pride in the club, to speak well of the dancers and staff, and to encourage people to come to the club. Potential customers will listen to the words an employee says about the club and take it more to heart as being the truth since that employee works there. So if they hear negative things from an employee they will believe the club, dancers or staff are negative, and there forth not come in. And customers are more likely to believe a negative comment by a staff member than a positive by someone outside of the club.

A positive attitude must be in place when it comes to other staff members and dancers. These people are the ones that each staff member will rely on to be able to perform their duties, protect the club or draw in customers. To have one staff member constantly causing problems with other staff members or dancers may cause good staff to quit the club. It doesn’t matter how much a staff member does that is good for the club if their attitude towards others drives away our dancers and other staff. No single person can do everything that is needed in the club, and so all must work together with a good attitude to make the most money for the club and themselves.

Proper attitude towards management is something that involves many things, proper respect towards those who are directing the club, as well as proper support of the rules that they have to enforce, and a positive attitude towards the goals the manager sets forth. There are at times many things that an employee doesn’t agree with or fully understand, but they should respect the management enough to ask in private about it or just do as they have been told and then speak with someone about it at a later time. The employee who cannot show proper respect and attitude for the manager (ones who constantly tell customers that the manager is running the club into the ground, starting drama by lying to the staff, dancers or customers about the manager, or not listen to/ talking back in public to the manager, etc.) should be replaced as soon as possible. The disruption caused by this employee will undermine the manager, the tasks and events that one is trying to do, and cause turmoil in the club that will eventually cause loss of sales.

Lastly, the attitude of the manager is one of the driving forces of a club. Whether or not they realize it, the attitude the manager has will translate to the other members of the staff and the dancers, and then be relayed to the customers. If the manager is stressed or upset, the staff and dancers will also be. It is the old adage that the members are led by example, and when it comes to attitude, this is very true. A manager should be relaxed, having fun, and not stress about the night, which will have the rest of the staff doing the same. And a manager who not only says they are proud of the staff and club, but also shows it in all they do will have a staff and club that is proud as well.

Work Ethic

Most people have heard of this in the news, in a movie, or from one of the bosses. Problem is that most people have no clue as to what is actually involved when work ethics are spoken of. There is a vague idea, but a true understanding and vivid examples of such escape most people.

Truth, honesty, endurance, and so much more are involved in ethics. Truthful in what a person says and does, even if it can be detrimental to yourself or your career. Honesty to tell the truth in its whole, to stand up for what and how you do something. Endurance to do your job consistently and at 100% or more, no matter what else is going on in your life. The striving to make sure that your club is seen in a good light and not doing things which would be detrimental to the club, staff, dancers or management. Not speaking about the private inner workings of the club to those who should not or do not need to know. And of course it should go without saying that an employee should not steal, sabotage, do underhanded tricks, or cause fights which will make the club look bad.

Many people in today’s work environment do not have any grasp on these ethics, especially as you go further up most corporate ladders. The goal of business is to make money, and some will do so at any means possible to make that money. Everyone has seen or heard of big CEOs who have been busted by the government for falsifying statements, embezzlement, or the like. The news is full of such people, yet more and more you see that people, once again, don’t understand the ethics behind it. Most figure that this is business as usual, and don’t realize that this is not the way that business is to be conducted, nor is it the majority of companies as a whole.

A manager leads by example, and if that manager has true work ethics, then the staff will begin to understand that as well. A manager who is honest and truthful, while not being overly mean or arrogant, will help win the respect of the staff. A person who is respected is often imitated, and there forth without knowing the staff will begin to have the same work ethics. No one wants to have to constantly be watching for the person trying to claw their way over them, so if you don’t have that type of attitude the staff won’t either.

When it comes to an employee that one can tell has no work ethics at all, then it is time to replace that employee. Someone who is caught stealing from the company, spreading lies or deceit in the club, or failing constantly to work to their proper capacity should always be replaced. Someone who is purposely sabotaging the club, telling competitors about our inner workings, or causing problems that could have legal ramifications should be replaced. No employee, no matter how much a club needs a position filled, is worth keeping if they are doing things that will eventually cost the company money or could get the club shut down.

All these things build a basic foundation to create a great employee for one’s club. It also helps to work towards having employees worth advancing to higher positions within the company. The more employees that you have that are versed on these basics the better your club will run, the more customers you will have, and the more money your club will have. And if you as a manager follow these basics, you set the example for your employees. “Do as I say, not as I do” is not the example that creates great employees, but the same of “lead by example”


The training of every member of your staff falls upon the manager to do. You are the person who must be the one to not only explain and show the proper way to do something; you must know each person’s job duties as if you were the one who was to do them each shift. It is not enough to have a trainer. You must know the answer to all the questions, show what you know and want done in each position, and be able to correct it when it is not done properly.

There should always be three nights of training for any position within our clubs. The first night is paperwork and shadow night, which also means that the new employee will not be working a full shift. The second night is to be the night where they are allowed to do the job on their own, with you watching and instructing if needed. The third night is a follow up night.

On the first night, the employee must fill out all company and federal paperwork. This includes the employee handbook, the state and federal W4, and the federal I9. You will need to photocopy the employee’s ID and social security card. These will be stapled together and placed in a manila envelope for filing with the other employee’s files. After this you will need to inform the employee of the dress code, go over all the job requirements, and answer any questions they may have.

After this you will take the new employee on a walkthrough of the club, you will need to inform the employee of where the major items they will be dealing with are located. You will also want to point out trouble spots, areas that they should pay special attention to when the crowds come in. After the walkthrough you will have them shadow you as you go about showing them in detail what they are supposed to do at their job duties. You need to make sure you go through job duties such as the opening work, the side work and the closing work.

The second night you will allow the employee to actually go through and do the job duties themselves. You will observe and advice on things that need to be done better or a different way than they are doing. You will also want to watch for several factors other than just doing their job. You will need to watch for how they interact with the customers, if they smile and seem to enjoy the work they are doing, or if they are slacking when they believe no one is watching. Those who will make good employees tend to be those who look for extra cleaning during slow periods, seek to make the customers happy and try to learn all they can about the job.

The third night is the follow-up night, used to assess the new employee on how they did the night before. This follow up night needs to include a sit down talk with the new employee. You will go over what areas you see that they need to work on, things to encourage them to strive more at their job, and what the employee can expect to happen in the next few weeks. This sit down discussion should be done at the end of the shift. This will also be the time when you will decide if the employee is worth keeping or if you would need to seek out another to do the job.

Over the next month after you have trained the employee you will want to have another sit-down with the employee to evaluate their performance over the past month. This is the time to go over improvements which need to be made, what the employee excels at, and what you know needs changed. This would also be the time when we let an employee go who has failed to learn their job duties.

The last thing that you will need to understand about this is something that you will have to constantly reaffirm with all employees. That is the fact that training in your field never truly ends. As you know, there are always new things that are out there to learn about the club, the customers, and the job that we do. As such, you will need to reevaluate all the employees every six months to make sure they are doing the best possible job. If they are slacking you will want to retrain them or replace them. If you have an employee who is excelling at their job, you may want to give them more responsibility or cross train them in another job.



When you open your club, you will need to follow the same routine every day. This serves two purposes. One, it means as you get used to seeing certain things every day you will be more likely to notice when something is out of place. Second, it will assure you turn on or open everything that needs to be.

On an opening walkthrough you will want to go from front door to the office first. This gives you access to the camera system. From here you can see if anyone is in the club who is not supposed to be. This also allows you to put any money in the safe, get your paperwork ready, and set up the days banks.

You will need to have your walkthrough include all dressing rooms, bathrooms, bar, and VIP areas. You want to turn on the lights in each. Make sure they are clean and ready to go, and that there is no damage or mess. You will want to check the DJ booth, the stage and any side stages for any repairs or messes.

The biggest part is, once again routine. You will also need to have a thorough walkthrough written down so that you RM or Owner could do a walkthrough exactly like you do simply by following your written directions. This also assures that any manager after you will be able to do the same.

When you do your closing walkthrough you will be doing your opening one in reverse. This time though you are shutting off lights, closing and latching doors, and making sure all closing work has been completed. You will make sure all trash is taken out, dishes are done, dressing rooms are clean, and bathrooms are done. If not you will need to do so.

The closing walkthrough, just like the opening, will also need to be written down for others to follow. It needs to be detailed with remarks to check on things which are often forgotten about.

Staff Meetings

Staff meeting should be scheduled on a monthly basis, usually on a Sunday if you are a seven day a week club, or after close on a day when most of your staff will be there if you are a 5 or 6 day club. The meeting should be structured in such a way as to allow not only time to cover all materials dealing with upcoming events, club items, rule changes, and problems that need addressing, but also need to include time for the staff to express concerns or problems you have not addressed.

Often called the shit sandwich meeting style, most meetings should follow a specific pattern. Praise, criticize, future, praise. When you are doing the praising, focus on the individuals and the good they have done. When you criticize, do the opposite and make it a general club item. You will want to keep control of the meeting, tell everyone to hold their opinions or concerns till the end. Don’t let the staff criticize each other, but to address general concerns. If the meeting seems to be going into a pick on one person direction, end the meeting or redirect it to another area.

You will want to go into detail about the future events coming up, the course of the club and its future plans, You will want the staff to be informed about what all will happen, where and when. You will also be advised to let them know well in advance of any clothing or special items they will need to get.

Try to end the meeting on a good note, with the staff feeling good about their jobs, the future of the club, and the direction they are headed. Try also to make them feel proud of the way things are and will be in the future.


Schedules are made to benefit the club, not to the whims of the employees. Hours and days are given to the best employees, not the senior employees. But there will come times when an employee will need a day off and you will have to scramble to cover the shift. It’s these types of conflicts when other employees may have to step up.

Days off are requested weeks in advance, but it is up to the manager if they can and will approve such requests. If too many employees ask off on the same day then certain employees will be told they must work. In some of our smaller clubs it is near impossible to have more than 2 employees off, especially on the weekend. The best way to do this is to have the first ones to request be allowed off.

If you have a day when you are short staffed, it may require you to cover a position. This is never a joyous task, but as a manager it is part of your duties. This is also one of the reasons to do schedules weeks in advance, so you will be able to adjust or cover the shift with someone.

You are not responsible to make sure your employees look at the schedule. They will need to know what days and times they come in. If they are late or a no show in is not your responsibility. They are to check it each week and to notice what time changes may have been made. If they cannot come in after the schedule is passed it is their responsibility to cover said shift.

Chain of Command

The chain of command is something which must be followed by everyone in our clubs. By using the system, information can be relayed properly and order can be kept in the club. The employees and dancers must know that we expect them to respect the chain of command and follow it properly.

The chain of command is as such:

The employee

Assistant manager

General Manager

District Manager

Regional Manager


In following the chain of command a person goes to the one above them with a complaint and does not bypass anyone on their way up. This allows the club manager to address a problem before the district or regional manager gets involved. This also allows problems which do not require the owner to intervene to be handled without bothering him.

If the person above the one complaining cannot fix a problem, the issue will follow up the chain until the owner must deal with it. Instructions will then follow back down the chain to the appropriate person. This allows everyone in the chain that is needing to know how to handle the problem the next time to be informed.

The one thing which may change with the chain is that dancers are often not ones who will follow the chain appropriately. They are often ones who believe they can bypass the chain and go straight to the top with their concerns or complaints. It must be stated that while the chain is to be followed, the boss is always available to talk to the dancers. He will often call down the chain of command to see what is going on without telling the dancers, but he is also the one who can bypass the chain all together.

Essays for security


Perhaps the job of security is seen by many as a no brainer, but this is a club’s main line of defense from many of the things that will, can and would close the club for good. It’s for this reason that one must have properly trained security in their club. (The training tasks of security are covered in another section.) This section deals with how to select you security, what to avoid in security, motivating your security, and the extras your security should do.

Most managers begin to select their security personnel based solely on the size of the applicant. Now while size is great for the intimidation factor security personnel may use on the floor, it should never be the only factor in your security. You need to interview the person to make sure they are friendly, intelligent, and observant. These three factors are actually more useful than size. They are used in diffusing a situation more often than brawn is and with better results. You want your security to be friendly in their interactions with customers, intelligent enough to recognize problems before they escalate, and observant enough to notice things that are out of place or improper.

Let’s discuss the reasons for these three over the muscles. The first person your customers are going to see is your door person. If they are friendly, even when they are busy, they will put the customer at ease before they ever enter the club. They will make the first impression of who we are a better experience for everyone. A friendly security person can make a person think of them as a friend, and most people who are approached by a friendly person and asked to stop doing something are more likely to do so without conflict. They are also often more apt to listen to what a person is saying and leave without problems.

Intelligence is something that security personnel must have to deal with the problems that will arise inside the club. A security person needs to be able to react quickly in a situation, to be able to think on their feet. They need to be able to deduce the best course of action from a person’s words, what would be the proper thing to do, and to be able to act on their own in a tense situation.

The security’s skills at observing what is going on around them will help to not only catch problems as they arise, it will help them catch the problems before they occur. A security person needs to notice the wrist on which an armband is to catch underage drinkers and escort them out. They need to notice the person who is acting nervous and might be doing something illegal. They need to notice the people who are agitated and might start a fight. They also need to be able to notice is someone may be trying to sell something illegal in our clubs, or getting someone to go out of our club to do so.

The last part of this is the size factor. Size helps to keep a fight from happening, to stop a fight, or to get someone to leave. You will always want one bigger guy on your security just for that reason. It is the other three factors in this person that will make them much more effective at doing the job. As many years as I have been in this business I have seen men who were smaller handle more problems with the use of their brains than with their fists. The retention of customers after a problem was also greater when it didn’t have to be a brawl.

The main things to avoid with any security person is those who refer to it as bouncing, ones who list their main strengths as “can fight well”, or ones who seem more interested in what they are allowed to do with the dancers. Often these are the ones who inquire about a job while they are drunk and there to party. These types are the ones who will often cause more problems than they will fix. Security is there to stop the problems, not start them.

You want to avoid the pretty boy player types as well. If you have a person who seems like a good candidate, you will be well off to test them in a bit of a real situation. Have them hang out a few nights, to get a feel of the place, and watch them for what they will do. If they seem more interested in talking to the girls and partying than actually paying attention to the club, then you will want to reconsider hiring them.

Motivating security is something that is not always easy to do. Many have no idea of the amount of work which a security person must deal with in a strip club, not how much drama that is there with the dancers. There is not a huge amount of motivation for the security other than money, and for that reason you have to watch them for hitting on the girls and playing around too much on their shifts.

A way to motivate the security to do better is to emphasis the chances of advancement, the rewards of more money from recruiting more dancers, and the fact that if they help to bring in more customers the dancers make more money, and tip better because of it. The problem with emphasizing too much about the money is that they will become greedy and may try to make money off the dancers or customers. Doing so could drive both away from the club.

Another way to motivate the security is to do something to actually honor or reward them for what they do, not just to reward them with cash. By having the DJ do a shout out to the security staff during the night, to actually acknowledge the achievements of the security staff or individual during staff meetings, or to just send them a text every once in a while to tell them they have done a good job. All these help to give them a sense of pride in what they do, and make them want to do better in the future.

Most of the extra items that your security will have to do that may not be emphasized in their tasks is that they should help recruit dancers, help pull in and retain customers, and help out with the large variety of events the club has, both in decorating and clean up. They are part of the club, and there forth are the one who are paid to do such. The emphasis on this should always be that what is good for the club is good for them.

These extras that are needed are ones where you can look for those who deserve the most hours, as well as those who should eventually advance. You will also be able to see those who are all talk and no action. The one who prove to be lazy at these extra tasks are also going to be lazy at the security job they do for the club. Remember that a lazy security guard only takes up space and money you could use on someone better and more deserving.

Things to emphasis to Security

Know the Types of IDs: The security must know not only the different types of IDs that we accept to allow someone in, but also the best ways to catch a fake. They need to know how to identify the age of the person, the proper way to mark a person, and the way to charge that person when they enter the club. They need to know this even if they do not work the door.

Proper way to get a person out of the club: There are very few times when one must resort to violence to get a person to leave the club. This means that a security person needs to be able to talk to a person and have that person leave with the feeling that they messed up and the club is not to blame. This also means that a drunken person who talks bad or cusses the security is not a valid reason to resort to violence. Violence is the last resort.

No Fraternizing with the female staff or dancers: The security is in the club to make sure that everyone is safe and secure, not to hook up with a female. The quickest way to be fired from the club is to spend one’s time fraternizing with the females and to actually hook up with one. They can be nice and helpful, but they are not to hang out with the female dancers or staff.

Do all the required work: Everyone has a set of extra things that must be done at both the start and end of the shift. These need to be done so that the club can run properly and safely. The security needs to make sure that all the work is done properly each and every time.

Know all the rules: These are the rules of the club, of the state, and of the federal laws which govern over the club and the handling of customers. Do not assume that because one law was in effect at another club they worked at that the same law applies the same way at a strip club. There are many different things that security at our clubs must know, the way they affect the club and the customers themselves.

Always strive to grow: This means that security should always strive to better themselves, the way that they handle the customers, and the ways to spot or prevent problems inside the club. They should also strive to help the club grow in both customers and profits. They should help recruit dancers, help with decorations, and help with promo events.

Help Pick up around the club: As security walks around the club they should help pick up the empty bottles and glasses around the club, push in chairs that are out, and help the waits make their way through the club. If need be the security may be called upon to help bar back, take out trash, or work on equipment.

All for one and one for all: Security is a team and that means that they must help back up a member of the staff if a problem arises, whether they like that person or not. We all work together, we all strive to improve the club and we stand by each other when a conflict arises.

Pay attention at all times: Even if a member of security is talking to a customer they need to be aware of the events that are happening around them. This may seem hard to do or rude to do, but if you are polite and tell the people what is going on, most customers will understand and respect that. A problem that arises and is missed because security was too busy with someone talking to them endangers the customers, dancers and staff.

Party atmosphere: The whole concept of our clubs is built around the party and the fun of being in a strip club. The way that security interacts with them determines if that customer has a good night or they are put in a bad mood. Even if a customer is causing a problem there is a way to handle them to make them leave or calm down and still feel good about the club. That is the goal.

Rules for Security

1) Be nice

This is the first and foremost rule of the club. The people in our club are here to have fun. We are the first people that they will encounter upon entering the club, the first experience that they will have with our company. We as security will also be the last people they see as they leave the club. So be nice in what you do. Learn to smile and joke even when it’s been a rough night. Be nice when they are annoyingly drunk. If they have to leave, try to be as nice as possible. The better we are at this the more the customers will want to return.


2) Appearance

This goes hand in hand with the nice first impressions. To be friendly but look like a bum is just as bad as if u were rude in the first place. Clean white button up dress shirt with no wrinkles, clean black pants/pure black jeans (not faded) and black boots/shoes are the only acceptable attire for security. The doorman may wear a tie and sports coat, especially if they are the one taking the money. In all cases think professional attire.


3) Authority

When the need arises, and only then, do not be timid. Don’t be rude in what you say and don’t be cruel, but don’t back down and don’t show fear. Speak clearly, briefly and with a tone of strength. If the time has come for them to leave because of something that is inappropriate, than tell them to “have a nice day and head to the door.” If need be state it several times as you motion to the door.


4) Force

First off, you are not bouncers. You are not brawlers in some hole-in-the-wall bar. You are the security at the (the club). That makes you escorts, ambassadors of the club. You are the eyes and ears of the club. You are only the arms of the club if a fight is already in progress, or it is a situation that would put the customers at risk. Until that time, you are babysitters to adult sized kids. Even so, if you have to use force you are to get them out of the club and then make sure that they do not reenter. This does not give you the authority to continue to fight or beat on someone. Restrain them, get them out, and then let it go.


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A guidebook on staffing for bars, nightclubs and strip clubs

This book is a collection of all the essays I have written over the past decade to help train the staff and managers under me. I have divided the entire book into sections dedicated to the main staff of any bar: Security, DJ, Waits, Bartenders, and Managers. There is a section for each of these that can be used directly with the staff, and a section of each which is for the manager to help evaluate the staff member they have and the type of staff member they want. All these essays are building guides, things to look for and recognize about each member of the staff and the duties they perform. Depending on your location and local laws, you can vary the essays to suit your business. And as many of the writings I do, they are not set in stone items, but things that will help you form your own handbook on staff and managers. If you are looking for a book on dancers, you can check out my other book, A Dancer’s Guidebook. I do not include them in this book as they are often independent contractors, and so forth are not considered staff. I hope you find this book helpful to you and it helps you grow your business. I had years of enjoyment from my experience in the clubs because of these essays, and continue to love every minute of life from the knowing I need only reference this to figure out the staff.

  • Author: James Blackwell
  • Published: 2017-02-04 22:35:12
  • Words: 55981
A guidebook on staffing for bars, nightclubs and strip clubs A guidebook on staffing for bars, nightclubs and strip clubs