RSA Refusal of Service
When you need to refuse service to an intoxicated customer, it can be quite difficult and can even escalate quickly. Do you know how to refuse a customer service of alcohol appropriately? The perfect refusal of service should not be noticed by other patrons.
Similar to handling complaints, when you refuse service to an intoxicated customer, the refusal should be done professionally and respectfully.
How to refuse service to an intoxicated customer:
- Approach the customer that appears to be intoxicated as soon as possible
- When you approach the customer about their intoxication level, explain to them that you are legally not allowed to supply them any more alcohol. State the law that is applicable and refer to any signage to assist.
- Apologise to them and be understanding.
- Let them know that they are welcome another night and that you will serve them then, however you are not legally allowed to sell them any more liquor at the moment.
- Offer non-alcoholic alternatives or food to the patron.
- Inform your colleagues and manager that you have refused a particular customer service due to their intoxication levels so that they are aware of your action.
If the customer in which you are dealing with is or becomes aggressive towards you due to you refusing them service, try and calm them down by speaking to them calmly. However, if the customer is threatening to hurt people or property, the police should be called to assist with the situation. You should also have an ‘escalation plan’ in place in case a situation escalates and so that you know what you have to do.
In a situation when you refuse service to an intoxicated customer, you should always keep in mind that the person is intoxicated and that their brain is affected. This means that they are less inhibited, can become angry quicker, and also are saying things that they normally would not say if they were not intoxicated. The person may also have difficulty understanding what you are saying to them due to their level of intoxication, so it is important that you speak clearly and slowly so that they may be able to understand – this may include stating the same sentence numerous times.
Refusing a customer service due to their intoxication levels is something that takes time, and at times it is better to build up experience before refusing service. Therefore, you should ask someone with more experience such as a colleague or manager to assist you so that you are able to learn how to deal with the situation. If you are unsure and refuse service inappropriately, the situation may become unmanageable and out of control. Only refuse service if you are confident and comfortable to do so.
The online Responsible Service of Alcohol course teaches you how to refuse service to an intoxicated customer, and you even get to practice doing it in real life!