Bear in mind, we’re not talking about bouncers here. Without an army of bouncers to control the flow of visitors and turn away the drunk and disorderly, pubs and clubs would be particularly unpleasant places to spend any amount of time.
No, we’re talking about doormen – those whose job it is to smile and greet visitors as they hold doors open for them.
Our question is – now that automatic doors are so widely available, is there still a place for doormen in the world? Is there anything that doormen can do that automatic doors cannot?
What Do Doormen Do?
These days, only certain types of buildings and businesses still employ doormen. Though they’re surprisingly common in the US, where they work in the lobbies of residential buildings in cities like New York, in the UK they’re usually only employed by certain upscale shops, restaurants, and hotels.
And that’s one of the major benefits that doormen offer over automatic doors. With their immaculate liveries and their impeccable manners, doormen can add a rare air of sophistication. If an automatic door can make a visitor feel welcomed and valued, the presence of a meticulously tailored and supremely polite doorman can make a visitor feel like royalty.
Businesses that employ doormen are also able to offer a refined level of customer service that’s not really possible otherwise. If it’s raining, doormen can offer an umbrella. They can call you a taxi, or carry your bags to your car, or to your room. These services might be taken for granted, or they just might make someone’s day.
Finally, there’s the issue of security. Doormen who work in residential buildings will soon get to know every resident, which means that any potential trespassers or troublemakers will raise alarm bells immediately. Doormen might even call tenants to confirm that they’re expecting guests before they grant entry to anyone unknown.
Automatic doors are safe and highly secure. But for many, the human touch counts for everything. It can be immeasurably reassuring to know that there’s a living person overseeing the flow of visitors at all times.
So yes, even with the prevalence of automatic doors, doormen do still have a place in this world. This is one technological innovation that’s unlikely to put anyone out of a job.