In Security for Bars, Taverns and Nightclubs, bars and taverns security expert witness Ralph Witherspoon, CPP, CSC, writes:
What are your risks (in dollars) for criminal or negligent acts by your employees or on your property? or, direct costs/loss for such acts? or, litigation costs? or, loss of reputation and customers?
Many of these establishments require security personnel and sometimes security equipment. In many urban nightclubs catering to young adult crowds, it is becoming increasingly common to use metal detectors at the doors to prevent the introduction of knives and guns, as some patrons seek to bring outside conflicts (and violence) into the club.
Some cities such as New York and Las Vegas now have laws, ordinances or “guidelines” as to what specific security measures or equipment bars and nightclubs should provide, or must meet. For the vast majority of cities and counties that do not mandate such requirements, the national standard for management is “reasonable care” based on the nature and location of each individual establishment, and the reasonably foreseeable risks each faces.
In every case an establishment’s management has a responsibility to use reasonable measures to provide a safe environment for its customers (invitees) and employees. That responsibility usually includes in the club’s parking lot, and sometimes the sidewalks and other areas immediately adjacent to the bar or club which are routinely used by its patrons.