It’s no secret that alcohol sales play a significant starring role in improving a restaurant’s bottom line and drawing more customers to the establishments. Serving alcohol in a restaurant setting indeed is high-profit, trend-proof commodity and may seem fascinating and fun, but it’s a quite serious business which requires many skills and involves various lawful obligations. Since liquor has addictive and intoxicating qualities, hospitality industries need to understand and appreciate both legal and social responsibilities associated with alcohol.
From establishing a reliable alcohol system and handing out drinks safely to preventing serving liquor to an underage or intoxicated patron, this guide will help you and your staff mastering the responsible service of alcoholic beverages on the premises and keeping the venue secure against potential litigations.
Understand the Licensing Laws
Almost every restaurant, pub, and full bar across the US has to acquire a legitimate license and alcohol server training certificates, such as TIPS, to sell alcohol in their establishment. Generally, the underlying purpose is to understand who can sell liquor, where, when, and to whom.
For example, in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, full bars can obtain different types of license, in adherence to local, state, and federal laws, depending on what kind of sell they are longing for and from what environment. Restaurateurs holding a permit in complying with their country’s jurisprudence such as licensing authority and health ministry can:
- Assess their current practices and establishment policies associated with the sale or service of alcoholic drinks
- Aid in the implementation of effective upstanding and responsible liquor service system that currently is not in use
- Identify and carry out a structured alcohol sale process to boost your business operations
Train your Staff
Many countries require employees, who sell or serve alcoholic beverages, to develop their knowledge and skills as well as procure reliable alcohol server training certificates. The training is aimed at employees and managers to give guidance on:
- Avoiding as well as handling various alcohol-related issues proactively
- Educating them about the safe level of alcohol consumption
- Enabling them to create, vend, or serve concoctions responsibly
- Resisting and enduring customer pressure
- Writing a code of conduct to manipulate user behavior effectively
- Dealing with intoxicated patrons in a skillful manner
During the hiring process, make sure to tell the applicant about your establishment’s policies and expectations related to sales and services and also confirm if he or she has a better understanding of liquor laws. Not to mention, the skilled and knowledgeable staff will be able to work efficiently, deal with a wide range of complaints in the premises, and improve customer service, which will surely make visitors feel more welcomed and noticed.
Prevent Underage Liquor Service
We are all well aware of the fact that teens can go to great extents to sneak out and guzzle a bunch of cocktails or liquor beverages. In most countries or states, it’s illicit to sell alcohol to people who are not at the legal drinking age yet. This age threshold varies from country to country. For example, the Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) is 21 years in the US, 16 in France, and 18 in Sweden.
A full bar or any other establishment and its employees can encounter alcohol liability lawsuits for serving alcoholic beverages to a minor. Even if your employees don’t serve drinks to underage patrons, finding them consuming alcohol on your premises can lead to legal consequences since it is a violation of liquor laws. Establish and follow these practices to protect your staff and restaurant and also uphold the law:
- Ask for IDs such as passport and photographic driving license of customers ordering alcohol.
- Don’t accept the college or school ID as Proof of Age (POA) even if it contains their photo and date of birth.
- Confirm that their POA card is authorized by a state or federal government agency.
- Create and put appropriate policies in place to make sure minors don’t consume any alcoholic drinks at your full bar.
- Refuse sale to patrons who avoid providing an ID card and also don’t appear to be of a legal alcohol drinking age yet.
- Take significant steps to assure that the provided ID is not fake or altered.
Refuse Serving Drinks to Intoxicated Customers
A restaurant will be drawn against litigations if they sell and serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated customer or allow them to drink any liquor beverages on their premises. They will be held responsible if a stoned patron’s actions cause death, property damage, or any injury to a third person. A dead drunk customer typically shows one or more of the following symptoms:
- Slurred or incoherent speech
- Clumsiness, discomfort, or poor balance
- Unsettled stomach, queasiness, or vomiting
- Trouble walking
- Red glassy eyes
- Blacking-out, faintness, or loss of consciousness
If you notice any warning signs, refuse more alcohol service, speak to them, and encourage them to contact someone.