How to Hire Bar, Restaurant, & Club Security

As a Los Angeles security company working closely with nightlife venues across the city from Hollywood to Downtown to Ventura Boulevard, we know our clients have many options from which to pick. Hiring a professional security team can be a daunting task with numerous options available. AEGIS Security & Investigations wants to help you discover the best route to accomplish the task.


First, know why a security professional is necessary. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the security issue at stake?
  • Do I feel that I, my property or my business is at risk or unsafe?
  • Is this a matter that requires additional assistance related to safety?

For nightlife clients, we can help with those answers.

  • There are several security issues clubs, lounges, bars and restaurants deal with on a daily basis. From crowd control to perimeter breaches and from assault claims to over intoxication, nightlife sites have security concerns. Any time a large group of people are welcome, you are bound to need a security team. Throwing alcohol into the mix only increases the severity of those issues.
  • Your property may not be at stake if you are running a venue with strict standards; however, your reputation could be on the line in a second. Perception is a large part of nightlife, and hiring a professional security team that knows how to mitigate problems on site will help to ensure your reputation is safe.
  • Events in general require security teams. And in nightlife, every working night is an event. Whether you host dance nights, drink nights or other “big nights,” having an extra hand in the security department can ensure your guest list, dress code and the general good vibe is maintained.


Second, decide what means will best meet your demands.

There are two general types of security officers available with any Los Angeles security company: unarmed and armed. Unarmed guards are required to have the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) guard training. This means they are subject to a criminal history background check and complete the Power to Arrest training (for more info, visit the BSIS fact sheet). Armed guards have to have a guard card plus a permit to carry firearms. At AEGIS, these officers can be (but not always) current or former military or law enforcement officers.

Within both categories of security officers, their use to a site should be determined by your needs. Having a security guard alone acts as a deterrent for potential criminals as it visually symbolizes protection. This sense of security in addition to an easily identifiable form of customer service (yes, security guards can be useful to telling a client where to find the bathroom!) can boost your customer satisfaction and general sense of enjoyment in your business. On a personal level, having a security officer nearby can prevent you from being considered an easy target.

AEGIS hires the best officers so you can, too. We supply both dedicated security officers and assigned security patrol vehicles to our clients in support of their goals.

As a boutique security operation, we provide top-notch service at affordable prices. Because we value both our guards and our clients, we aim to meet in the middle on pricing while ensuring that all parties are satisfied and cared for well. In all, you will want to go with a professional security team that provides you with the best service to meet your needs.


Third, know your budget. Different operations will offer different pricing. And with that pricing comes varying abilities and expectations of security officers.

Los Angeles security companies have to include payroll taxes, general liability insurance, workers’ compensation, city taxes and overhead into the cost of your guard. This adds up to nearly 40% more than what the guard is paid.

Operations that offer low pricing may tend to offer low quality. Guards may be newer or simply more careless. We’ve heard from potential clients numerous times that they are dissatisfied with their security but that their budget dictates they must remain with folks who are not necessarily the best in place. On the other end of the price spectrum, there is a reality of high cost equates to stellar service. This is where celebrity security guards typically end up, and their wages are certainly reflective of their genuinely good service.

When you are feeling out a security company, you’re going to want to keep all of those things in mind from a personal perspective. But there is one more thing you want to ask about: how are the guards who are deployed managed?

Los Angeles security companies are all unique in how they are managed. From field supervisors to managers and owners, the knowledge, attention to detail, and responsiveness on behalf of management make or break a successful company. Many people assume security guards are independent contractors – and justifiably so because the market is quite fragmented. But security guards in the State of California are required to be employees and making sure your company operations properly couldn’t hurt. For more information, check out our post about 1099 Guards.

At AEGIS, our management team runs a tight ship ensuring all of our guards are vetted, up-to-date with certifications, and checked on for every post. We utilize a 24/7 model that allows us to connect with our officers in the field through remote location tracking, phone contact, in-person supervision and client response.

When should you run away from a security company? Los Angeles security companies must have general liability insurance, workers comp and a Private Patrol Operators (PPO) license. If they are not insured or give you a guard card number, run away! Independent contractors, 1099 or cash employees is illegal in the state of California. When something happens and it results in a lawsuit, you (the client) will get stuck with the bill… Run away! AEGIS is fully insured and licensed by the State of California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.

In the end, the most important factor when hiring a Los Angeles security company is your comfort level that the job will be done to the standard you need it to be done. And knowing you can reach the company management when you need to doesn’t hurt either.

AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles region company that is licensed and insured in the State of California to provide high-end armed and unarmed regular and temporary off-duty police officers, bodyguards, security officers, loss prevention agents, and event staff. Additionally, we offer services for private investigation, consultation, people tracing, and background investigation. Our trainings and workshops in the field of security licensure and counter-terrorism have been featured in news media and are renowned for their efficacy. For more information or to contact us, visit

Authors: Chelsea Turner & Jeff Zisner