How to get in to Exclusive Manhattan Clubs and Lounges

Part 3 of 4 – How to Interact With the Doorman

In part 2 of this series, we took a look at how bringing something of value to the club is the best way to get into a club or lounge.

In this post, we will take a look at another important factor in getting into clubs:  How you interact with the door manager.

How you behave at the door and how you interact with the door manager play a big part in your chances of getting in to an exclusive club or lounge. 

Regardless of whether or not you are on the list, or if you are a person that contributes to the brand of a club, or if you are there to spend big money – proper door etiquette is essential. 

The doorman has the final say on who comes in and who does not.  Follow these simple guidelines to increase your chances of getting in.

How to get into exclusive clubs & lounges: Tips for interacting with the doorman

Project confidence

Door managers are experts at reading people.  If your behavior is timid, or unsure in any way, they will pick up on it and will mirror any doubt that you may have.

Act like you belong, and you will belong.  Below are some pointers that will help you project a confident image.

  • Body language – Stand tall, do not cross your arms, do not appear uncertain
  • Do not line up behind others (within reason) – this is a sign of weakness, what kind of person waits in a line to get in?  Don’t be that person.
  • Never adopt a negative or bitchy attitude – would you want to let someone with that attitude in to your club?
  • Never say to your friend “We are never going to get in” – not with that kind of attitude, do not express negativity.  Not only will the door staff pick up on it,  people don’t want to be around it.

And remember, acting like you belong is never a bad move

Be respectful

Whether or not you are invited in is entirely at the door person’s discretion.  They are often busy and distracted; don’t do anything to make their job harder.  Do not lose your temper, as they will remember you and the opportunity for you to come back will be gone for good.

Do not act needy – Don’t try to befriend the door person, or suck up to them so that they will let you in.  They will see right through this and find it very disingenuous.  Just walk up to them, get their attention, tell them who you are with and leave it at that.

Steps to follow when interacting with the doorman

1. Get their attention and point out the people you are trying to enter with – At this point they will usually ask you if you are joining a particular party, or are on the list- now is a good time to tell them what list you are on (if you are in fact on a list).  If you are not on a list, the appropriate response is “it is just us” (or, “just me”, depending).  Note that being on a list does not guarantee entry, it is still at the discretion of the door staff.

2. Confer with them about your options – After step one, if you are not granted entry, there exists another option by which you can still gain admittance.  This is by agreeing to spend a minimum at the bar.  The minimum amount is usually decided upon by the doorman on the spot based on the characteristics of your group (remember branding?) and how busy it is that night.

3. Thank them – and either proceed inside or move along to another destination, depending on the outcome.  Being polite and respectful is essential, remember that if you make the door persons job any harder than it has to be, you will develop a bad reputation and ruin any chances of getting in to that establishment in the future.

Never do any of this stuff

Say – “But we have money to spend!”, If this is true, offer to agree to a bar minimum.

Adopt a hostile tone – not going to help you.  Don’t be the person that says “Do you have any idea who I think I am?”

Try to bribe the door person – It is much more effective to agree to spend a minimum, the door person would only be insulted by any amount that would make economical sense for you to offer.  It is better to just spend that money at the bar.

Following these pointers and you should have a smooth interaction with the door staff, and greatly increase your chances of being invited in.

In our next post, we look at who you need to know, and how they can help you get in. 

Other Articles From This Series:

How to Get Into Exclusive NYC Clubs & Lounges – Introduction

Part 1 of 4 – How You Can Tweak Your Image to Get Into Exclusive NYC Clubs

Part 2 of 4 – How “Bringing Value” Can Get You Into Exclusive NYC Clubs & Lounges

Part 3 of 4 – The Proper Way to Interact With a Nightclub Doorman

Part 4 of 4 – Who You Need to Know to Get Into Exclusive New York Clubs & Lounges