Robert Smith The Panel

During a training session at club, Nightclub Security Consultants’ Robert Smith saw the difference a title can make in the overall perception of not only the staff members, but of the club itself.

Not long ago I was in Miami, Florida, training a group of guys from gentlemen’s club there. As is customary for me, I received a tour of the front and back of the house by someone in the management chain. The club’s operations manager conducted my tour.

This manager explained the great history of the building, an old but lavishly renovated theater, The Boulevard. The entrance had a different look than so many other gentlemen’s clubs I’d visited. The dark wood, the historic theme of the 60-year-old theater was great. It was warm and oozed upscale and class.

As the manager outlined the their operation, he spoke without hesitation of “entertainers” and not “strippers.” He talked of “hosts” and not “bouncers,” and of “servers” and not “bartenders.” It didn’t catch me off guard when he used these names, but I later asked him and the owner about their reasoning for the selected names they used.

“It’s simple, the owner said. “We want to present the very best image we can for our guests.” He went on that this higher-class image included everything from the paint of the building, the parking lot, the entrance to the venue and the titles they used for each other. Indeed, as I trained the security staff, I heard the titles “entertainers” and “security hosts” as we discussed the do’s and don’ts of the club and of the duties and responsibilities of the employees.

Titles can mean quite a lot depending on your personal attitude, your training and your understanding of what your individual club is trying to do. In the case of this club in Miami, the owner told me that he wanted guests to see and live the fantasy with a well-dressed and classy entertainer instead of just going to see a stripper. It made so much sense and it was obvious to me that his managers and security hosts really seemed to understood the idea of a VIP Experience.

After I left that club and headed off to my next training event, I thought about the image that the owner and manager had of themselves and of the operation they were in charge of. It really hit home with what I try to get security guards in the bar and club world grasp about their jobs and what they have to be able to control.

The job of a door host, ID checker, dance screener, floor walker, security host, bouncer or whatever name you choose to be called is difficult, dangerous and thankless. However, if you carry yourself with confidence, intelligence and with an attitude of enjoyment, the job can becomes so much easier. And, if you use a job title or name that is just a bit classier than what we typically hear, I think this will help make the job easier and perhaps safer.

Robert C. Smith is the President and CEO of Nightclub Security Consultants, Inc. His company has trained over 5,000 hospitality industry employees and worked with over 1,000 bars, clubs, restaurants and other alcohol service venues nationwide. Now retired after 20 years as a San Diego Police Officer, Roberts and his company will have an even louder and far reaching voice on improving the training for guards and the standards for security working in the hospitality industry as a whole. For more information on Nightclub Security Consultants, visit, go to or follow on Twitter @bouncercoach.

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