NSC’s New Year’s Eve Hospitality Safety Tips
By Manny Marquez
Hosting New Year’s festivities at your venue is often one of the most profitable nights of the year, but it can also present several security challenges.
NSC’s list of ten new year’s hospitality safety tips is a great way to prepare for the night for you and your team. You may already know some of these practices, and some of you may have never thought about them. Either way, we believe it is a good idea to consider implementing these tips to keep your guests, team, and business safe.
1. Conduct a Pre-event Team Meeting:
The key to a successful night relies on your team’s performance. A pre-event team meeting lets you communicate the evening’s entertainment, specials, expectations, and “need-to-knows.” A pre-event team meeting will also allow your team members to ask questions and get the team on the same page, saving unwanted stress during the night.
2. Maintain Proper Capacity Levels:
Ownership and management will be tempted to “pack the joint” to increase sales. Good operators know that manageable guest counts will allow for better sales, a better guest experience, and a safer environment.
3. Be Prepared for Visits from Law Enforcement & Fire Marshall:
Many cities and townships will increase police presence and Fire Marshall inspections on busy holiday nights. Ensure your business is prepared by keeping security tight, capacity numbers in check, and the staff informed.
4. Monitor Over Intoxication of Guests:
Holidays are always an excuse for guests to overindulge and the amateurs to come out. Expect that most guests will pre-party before they arrive at your venue. The best practice is to control it at the front door and turn away partygoers who exhibit signs of overconsumption. A “fresh” guest will choose to celebrate with your menu offerings, increasing sales opportunities.
5. Walk and Talk the Line:
Related to tip 4, walking the outside entry line (cue) and talking with guests will allow you to identify over-intoxicated and problematic partygoers before they get to the door. Speaking with guests while in line is a great way to communicate with guests on wait times and other expectations for the night.
6. Properly Staffing Numbers:
Holiday nights generally mean more issues will occur. Having proper staffing levels increase your chances for success and should help you mitigate liability.
7. Expect Delayed Emergency Response Times:
First responders will be busy on New Year’s Eve. Have alternate plans in place for a medical emergency or citizen’s detention situation if you are forced to wait longer than usual.
8. Nip Staff Drinking in the Bud:
Holidays always seem to be an excuse for team members to take part in the festivities and often result in unwanted issues during the shift. Before the day of, put team members on notice and communicate house policy, expectations, and consequences. Face-to-face communication is best as well as having team members sign an acknowledgment. It reinforces the seriousness of your expectations.
9. Expect More Broken Glassware:
Champagne flutes, higher sales volumes, and “amateur” crowds generally mean more broken glassware than normal. Broken glass equals liability risk. Consider having a dedicated porter on duty to maintain the floor and address broken glass and spills. Doing so will mitigate possibly injuries and the dreaded lawsuits that follow.
10. Active Shooter Awareness:
Although unlikely, holiday events present an attractive opportunity for active shooters or terrorists. High concentration of people, plenty of distractions, general confusion amongst crowds, and louder than normal sound levels are all attractive to a planned terrorist event. Put team members on notice – if they see unusual or suspicious activity, they should notify management immediately, and management should notify 911 if warranted.
NSC wishes you a successful NYE celebration. Be SAFE!