Qualities needed to be a good door supervisor

Traditionally door supervisors were seen as big lumps who grunted yes or no to potential visitors to a venue- there was no finesse in their communication for the vast majority, as a customer was more of a hinderance to their night rather than an essential part of it. Times have now changed, and for the most part, for the better. The key skills for a door supervisor relate to more customer centric qualities, balancing licensing law, the SIA ‘s code of conduct, the needs (Or in some cases the whims) of a licensed premises, and to the customers (Sometimes irrational) expectations. To try and muddle through and keep all party’s happy door supervisors need:

Communication skills. Communication skills are essential. Door supervisors act as an agent to the venue, as well as keep the venue safe, the customers safe, and vulnerable people (Anyone affected by drink or drugs) safe, door supervisors are essentially the ‘face of the club’. The majority of time a door supervisor is the first person that a customer will see, and as such a customer will form an impression of the venue by that first interaction. Door supervisors need to be able to communicate, to be able to answer questions, to be able to resolve a situation using words. Customer service skills are now a given key role in a door supervisors role, and as such communication is key to fulfilling customer expectations. It is important to remember that for every customer that a door supervisor bars or is rude to the point that the customer doesn’t come back- the venue essential loses 10 (This includes friends and family of the ‘wronged’ customer)

Image. With the image, it is the pride the door supervisor takes in their appearance. A door supervisor must be easily identifiable as a door supervisors (As per the SIA code of conduct), but essentially a door supervisor has to reflect on the venue that they are working at, again, a door supervisor is likely to be the first person a customer sees, so it is essential that the image of the door supervisor reflects the image of the club.

The ability to think out of the box. The days of choking a customer for not obeying a verbal command have long since disappeared, so a door supervisor has to be able to ‘think on their feet’ or ‘out of the box’. Door supervisors should always be learning in their ‘trade’, as things change, situational perspective changes, and mistakes can be learnt from. A good door supervisor will be able to adapt to a situation, to be able to keep a clear and level head, and not be afraid of trying something different in resolving a situation.

Conflict management. Door supervisors are employed to stop conflict, to manage conflict or proactively prevent conflict from happening., which a far removed from the past, where a door supervisor was more likely to goad a customer to react. The key element for a door supervisor in conflict management is PATIENCE. As a door supervisor, you will hear the same stupid jokes, the same inane comments, the usual’ Don’t you get cold out here ‘when its minus 5 degrees outside (‘Yes of course I am cold you idiot’ should be replaced with something more friendly like ‘Yes, it is a little chilly out here isn’t it sir/madam?’). Patience is also required for the repeating of an instruction or answer to a customer, a person wishing to be a customer, a person formally a customer (i.e. an ejected customer). Dealing with someone who is intoxicated can be painstakingly tedious or damn right annoying- but staying patient is imperative, as an intoxicated person is seen as a vulnerable person, not as some may think, an easy target.

Knowledge. ‘ipsa Scientia potestas est’- Knowledge itself is power (Sir Francis Bacon quote). Knowledge itself will make a door supervisors life a lot easier. Knowledge in their own job role, knowledge about local amenities, knowledge about the venue you work, knowledge in relation to the law, knowledge in the SIA code of conduct. This knowledge will help you to be the best you can- to be professional, and to ensure that you work within the boundaries of your role. Information and learning is the only way to keep your skills and knowledge up to date.

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