Monday, March 28, 2011

One in a

Hundreds of people come through the door on a normal night. Some venues I've worked at could do 3-4k punter turnover in 4 hours with only half a dozen staff. Most of these will be fine, they'll buy drinks, not steal them, they'll dance and chat and help build a good atmosphere, not lurk, leer and poison a good atmosphere. Depending upon the venue, therewill be a mix of the good and the bad. The challenge is knowing how to tell them apart, how to assess the broad range of folks coming in and identifying the problems. If we need 1000 people in but to do that we'll have to let in 100 bad, there will be more trouble in the venue and more need for doorstaff than if we let only 900 in and they all have a good night without witnessing fights and having to overly watch their bags and drinks we may see all of them back. This can be missed by a manager with a 5 figure sales target for the night but less bother, more fun, longer stays, more spend per head, lower staff numbers, all help hit those targets. There is no secret trick to picking good from bad, watch people, judge people, listen for accents, speech patterns, what they're wearing, how they're wearing it, how they carry themselves, how they communicate internally amongst their group, between strangers and with you. Don't sit and weigh these as you might a hand in poker with half the cards known, get a feel for who you want in and make your calls accordingly. You'll never get it all right, you'll never be able to see the future, you just work with what you do and don't get too obsessed with the one who you're not sure about, don't miss the 10 really bad ones while you're thinking.