Preparation vital ahead of busy periods when more customers can mean greater risk
A JAM-PACKED summer schedule could bring a big lift in footfall to Scottish pubs.
But what do the increased numbers of people who are expected to descend on licensed premises during events like the Commonwealth Games, World Cup and Ryder Cup mean for security provisions?
Security specialists contacted by SLTN advised operators to consider the security requirements needed to maintain a safe environment this summer – and plan ahead.
“It pays to be prepared for this increase in business and plan ahead for such times,” said Allan Jones of Edinburgh-based security firm Dunedin Facilities Management.
“The trouble is that these busy and congested pubs often attract those more interested in an unattended handbag than a Ronaldo wonder goal.
“To ensure that your customers’ experience is all they’d want it to be it pays to have eyes and ears that aren’t watching the TV but are discreetly observing and maintaining a safe vigil of the people in your premises.”
Martin Heneaghan of CSM Facilities agreed that preparation for big events is key, and suggested that Glasgow outlets in particular should look at how the Commonwealth Games may affect their footfall this summer.
“I would encourage all licensed premises in Glasgow to go to the Commonwealth Games or City Council websites as early as possible to find out what may be in their area, and therefore affect them,” said Heneaghan.
“Then they can establish if and when there is a need for additional security provision. The sooner they prepare the better as if it’s left too late they may not be able to get security cover at all.”
Describing security as of “paramount importance”, Heneaghan said there are very real implications for premises that don’t take it seriously enough.
“If something major happens on a publican’s premises it can affect their licence and therefore directly effect their ability to trade,” he said.
“From a customer point of view, I know where I would feel more safe; if there is a choice of a busy pub with or without security, I’d pick the one with security every time.”
Not every bar or pub operator will have experience with security firms.
For those hiring a firm for the first time, James Lindsay of JL Security said it’s important operators remain involved throughout the process.
“Don’t just speak to the owners and managers of the company you feel you want to use,” said Lindsay. “Ask to meet and speak to the staff they are planning to deploy.
“Ensure they have experience of working in the kind of venue you are.
“Make sure you have the door staff you want on your door. If they do not fit what you want then demand they are changed.”
And for big events, Lindsay said it is important an operator stays in contact with the security firm.
“Alert your security provider in plenty of time to your plans,” he said.
“You should be having regular meetings with your security provider anyway.
“Both of you should look at the potential increase in footfall, and the different times the events will be shown.
“You should also think about the venues close by. Are they showing the event? Or are you the only venue for a considerable distance showing it?”