I was recently asked that very question by Amanda Baltazatr of Nightclub & Bar Magazine. This is what I shared with her.
After decades of experience I have a long list of what’s bad and what’s good for the bar business. Areas of concern range from poor customer service, employee theft, customer behavior and tax issues all the way to extremes such as guns, knives and injured customers. I have experienced all of these situations and more either within my own nightclub or the ones I consult for.
My Name is Anneliese Place. I am a Bar & Hospitality Consultant specializing in de-escalation. I train bar staff to properly identify, assess and appropriately respond to potentially negative situations before they become problems. I advise clients not to sweat a poor Yelp review and instead ensure customer safety and the enjoyment of their overall experience so they will continue to come back and bring their friends. Nothing damages a reputation like a DUI on the way home, a bar fight with injuries, or a loud mouth customer that clears the bar of paying customers.
Things change fast in this business. I’ll never forget being on travel overseas and getting the phone call that a shooting had occurred in my nightclub. Even with a properly trained staff, I still couldn’t get home fast enough. On the best of nights unruly customers can turn a good night bad. Fire, a tear gas canister or smoke bomb can create potentially catastrophic scenarios with disastrous results if the staff is not trained to handle a crowd.
Knowing your customers, the demographic you serve, is key. Hiring employees that work well with them, developing the right drink list, and providing the right ambiance are all important elements of that service. However, employee training will define whether your bar remains in business or not. It is imperative that all these elements be maintained consistently, neglect to pay attention to any one of them and your bar will have problems.
If you have any ideas to add let me know… You may be in my next ebook!