Are you serving alcohol responsibly?

Responsible Service of AlcoholThe role of a bartender can be quite busy and it can be difficult to pay attention to every customer, but are you confident in your ability to prevent intoxication and promote responsible service of alcohol? This is an important facet of your job, as the penalties for enabling intoxication are severe.  Here are some steps you can take:

  • Promote low-alcohol content beverages.

  • Promote food accompaniments.

  • Do not refill customers’ glasses, wait for them to ask for a refill or approach the bar for another drink

  • You can slow down drinks service by assisting other customers, such as taking food orders or clean the venue.  If you look busy, customers will be less likely to reorder.

  • If customers get irritated by being refused service, point to the signs that outline your responsibilities and the penalties of serving them more alcohol.

  • Ensure that other staff members are aware of patrons showing signs of intoxication.

  • Serve free water and offer low-sodium food.

  • Casually stop by patrons’ tables and ask how their meal or evening is going, to gauge their level of intoxication.

Depending on each individual’s physiology, it is possible for some patrons to become intoxicated more quickly than others.  So what are the best steps to manage people who are already intoxicated in your venue?

How to refuse service?

  • If they ask for more alcoholic drinks, politely inform them that they will no longer be served alcohol, but you can offer them non-alcoholic alternatives such as soft drink or water.

  • If they continue to request alcohol, repeat to them that the law prohibits you to serve them further alcohol.

  • Notify your manager and security. Also, notify other staff members so that the patron cannot be served by any staff.

  • Ensure that a patron’s behaviour, coordination, balance and speech are affected by intoxication and not a disability.

To serve alcohol responsibly, it is important that you abide by the laws and regulations.  If a person appears to be intoxicated, follow the above steps to ensure that you are adhering to your responsibilities, or you may be up for a $4000 fine for selling liquor to an intoxicated person.