While the glamour and excitement of a nightclub is a siren song to some who are thinking about opening their own business, the actual operation of the club is anything but glamorous. The manager or the owner of the club wears many hats from janitor to employee trainer to marketing director.

Day-to-Day Maintenance

The nightclub facilities must be maintained, from keeping the restrooms clean to checking tables, chairs and stools for needed repairs. Other tasks include general cleaning, checking the lighting, testing out the sound system and inspecting the outside of the nightclub and parking lot.


Staff members include bartenders, wait staff, security, hosts and cashiers. The manager determines the required staffing level, develops the job descriptions, hires and evaluates -- and if necessary terminates -- employees. An important part of the nightclub staff is the security force, which keeps the nightclub patrons safe, breaks up altercations and helps the bartenders cut off drinks to patrons who are inebriated. A well-trained security staff prevents potential litigation and damage to the club's reputation.


Shrinkage can be a problem in any retail business bur a crowded nightclub with bustling activity at the bar is particularly susceptible to the loss of liquor inventory. Bartenders may serve more than the one to two ounces of alcohol per drink, give away too many drinks and pilfer brand name liquor. Wait staff can pocket the drink payment instead of remitting through the point of sale register. The manager should install software systems that automatically measure the correct serving of liquor and update the inventory in real-time. Make staff aware that inventory of expensive, name-brand alcohol is done before and after every shift. Develop a policy of who gets free drinks and stand by that policy.

Food and Beverage

Serving food in a nightclub mitigates the effect of alcohol so patrons can stay longer. Food is also a profit center if managed correctly. Cost of food should not exceed 29 to 32 percent. Beverage cost should be about 21 percent, according to Nightclub & Bar. For example, if the ingredients for the nightclub's signature cocktail costs $3, the drink should retail for about $12.

Accounting and Finance

Financial management is an important part of running a nightclub. After all, the goal is profitability. Your responsibilities include selecting and installing a point of sale system, determining and collecting cover charges, bookkeeping, generation and analysis of profit and loss statements and preparing payroll, invoices and tax statements.


Marketing is key to the success of the nightclub. Responsibilities include setting up and updating social media sites, advertising, special event promotions, publicity and implementing an online presence in addition to the social media sites.


Patrons need a reason to keep coming back to the nightclub. Entertainment fills that need. Options include music, of course, but a choice has to be made between live bands and DJs. Other entertainment ideas include holidays events such as Halloween parties and contests. For example, if the local professional baseball team has made the playoffs, patrons could show their support by wearing team jerseys. Award prizes for the most glamorous team-related outfit, the sexiest and the silliest.