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Managing a nightclub may seem like the ultimate glamor job: schmoozing with VIPs, celebrities and musicians. But behind the glamorous ambiance of a successful nightclub is a hardworking manager whose job entails the fastidious supervision of every facet of the operation, from drink specials and entertainment to basic cash flow and financial reporting. Opportunities in the field depend largely on your experience and location.
Basic Role and Responsibilities
Charged with a host of duties, nightclub managers must be able to multitask. Basic roles and responsibilities include hiring, training and evaluating personnel, including delegating authority to floor supervisors; cash flow management, such as purchasing, inventories, sales goals, profit-and-loss statements and payroll; and quality control in terms of inspecting venue areas, maintaining high service standards and ensuring customer satisfaction. Because most nightclubs serve alcohol, managers are expected to maintain a safe, secure environment while complying with state and local regulations.
Work Schedule and Environment
Nightclubs, by their nature, necessitate late-night staffing. Managers are expected to be flexible with their shifts, including work on weekends and holidays. While certain venues may provide office space for their managers, prospective nightclub managers should be comfortable interacting with customers and employees on the floor. Clubs can be noisy, crowded and smoky, depending on state regulations. Physical demands of the job range from constant standing and walking to lifting up to 40 pounds. Managers also have to be comfortable working with security personnel if issues arise.
Required Education and Training
Educational requirements for the job differ among venues, but most employers want at least a high school diploma and relevant experience in the industry. Angel Management Group, a national entertainment company with venues in Las Vegas, New York, Miami and Los Angeles, prefers managers have a college degree; but they will consider applicants with a high school diploma or equivalent. The company requires managers to have three to five years of experience in the hospitality industry as well as certifications in ServSafe and other programs. Applicants must also be proficient in Microsoft Office or similar software. Even smaller employers require managers to be proficient in basic point-of-sale systems, such as Aloha.
The current average annual salary for a nightclub manager in the U.S. is $66,000, according to SimplyHired. Salaries, however, vary by company, venue and professional experience. Typically, clubs in larger metropolitan areas offer higher compensation than those in smaller cities. For instance, a recent job listing for an upscale club in Washington, D.C., offered manager wages of $70,000 to $100,000, plus medical and dental benefits. But applicants were required to have at least three years of experience and connections in the local nightclub market. In contrast, a job listing for an entry-level, part-time nightclub manager in Corpus Christi, Tex., offered wages of $30,000 to $49,000 a year and made no mention of benefits.
Scott Neuffer is an award-winning journalist and writer who lives in Nevada. He holds a bachelor's degree in English and spent five years as an education and business reporter for Sierra Nevada Media Group. His first collection of short stories, "Scars of the New Order," was published in 2014.
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