What are the Duties of a Bouncer?

Updated April 17, 2017

A bouncer has a similar role to the doorman of a venue, except that bouncers tend to be employed by nightclubs and similar attractions. The bouncer regulates who enters a club and is responsible for contributing to the safety of the venue by enforcing the club’s rules. Typically, bouncers are found both at the entrance to a club and on "floor" duty, wandering the club to check that everything is as it should be.

Rules Enforcement

Enforcing the rules and legal regulations pertaining to a club is one of the bouncer’s key tasks, and this duty can vary in its application. In some cases, the bouncer might simply have to remind club patrons that they cannot, for example, bring drinks onto the venue’s dance floor. In other cases, this duty might involve searching patrons as they enter the club to ensure that no weapons or other illegal objects are brought in.

Entry Control

The bouncer has a similar function to a doorman for an entertainment or arts venue, in the sense that one or more bouncers will be in charge of the entrances to a club. The bouncer determines who enters the club, and should a patron wishing to gain admittance be heavily intoxicated or else otherwise unsuitable for entry, the bouncer may prevent him from entering. The bouncer may have a guest list, depending on the type of venue she works at, which the bouncer will need to adhere to.

Nightclubs will inform a bouncer of the maximum capacity of a venue in terms of the amount of patrons it can safely hold; the bouncer will thus need to regulate the number of people who enter the club, for which she may have a counting device that she’ll use whenever she allows a group of patrons in.


Bouncers must ensure that patrons of the club are behaving reasonably and safely, and therefore bouncers have a duty to escort from the premises patrons who are being aggressive, are unpleasantly under the influence of alcohol, or are engaged in illegal activity such as drug taking. Sometimes, the bouncer may spot such behaviour while making his rounds on the club floor; in other cases he may receive a tip-off from colleagues or other patrons.

Whatever the offending patron is doing, the bouncer is best advised to handle the business of ejecting him discreetly, explaining the reasons for the ejection as he does so, as suggested on the Crime Doctor website.

Dealing With Violence

The bouncer must ensure that a premises is safe, which means that if a situation is out of control and violence occurs, the bouncer must step in to stop the fight. This extends beyond simply breaking the fight up and ejecting the offenders from the club, since, as the Crime Doctor website notes, the fight may escalate outside. Instead, the bouncer must ensure that one of the offenders has entirely vacated the area before the other is ejected, and if necessary, the bouncer must call the police to prevent further violence from erupting.

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About the Author

Simon Fuller has been a freelance writer since 2008. His work has appeared in "Record Collector," "OPEN" and the online publication, brand-e. Fuller has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Reading and a postgraduate diploma from the London School of Journalism.