Friday, August 26, 2011

Bars Avoid Problems By Removing Problem Patrons Beforehand

Now this is an innovative solution to a vexing but all too common problem. There's a story over at USA Today about an initiative by nightclubs in Colorado to use ID card scanners and a database of problem patrons to head off problems before they begin.

When entering a venue using one of the systems, a customer, regardless of age, presents his or her ID to a member of the door staff, who runs it through a scanner that checks for validity and whether the person is of legal drinking age, says Nathan Perry, a bar manager at Southside Johnny's in Colorado Springs.

The system also photographs the customer and the ID , and provides information about the customer's history at the venue, Perry says. Then a computer database shares that newly collected information with other area bars.

"If somebody causes a problem then we just add them to the list," he says. "We can add 'started a fight,' or 'caused a problem.'"

Here in Texas nightclubs have a vested interest in keeping the number of problems at their nightclubs to a minimum. Nightclubs that are constant sources of trouble can have sanctions levied against them by the state alcohol licensing agency and could face the loss of their liquor license.

One of the things I like most about this is that it's the bars themselves taking the initiative to change their environment and reduce the likelihood that problems will develop. Most times, it's a whole lot easier to prevent problems before they start than it is to fix them afterwards.

What are you doing to encourage people and businesses to prevent problems before they start?

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