Last Drinks: managing closing time responsibly

New liquor and gaming legislationYou may recall us talking about responsible closing time procedures in bars.  This week, we take a further look into the RMLV measures you can take to ensure this process is handled as smoothly as possible.

Although last calls may differ in time from state to state, you may employ your own venue policy as to what time this is and when all patrons must vacate the premises.

To ensure that your venue is acting within the regulations outlined by your state, it is advisable to contact your local licencing authority when devising your venue’s policy.

Once serving is finished, it’s important for your customers to be aware that they cannot buy any more alcohol.  To do this, some venues may screen off sales areas with shutters or remove staff from behind the counter.

When this is completed, the next step is to provide consistent communication to your customers that your venue will be closing soon.  You can do this by informing them of the time remaining.  For example, calling out ’10 minutes drinking time left.’  This reduces any potential irritation or disputes with patrons.

As patrons leave your premises, post staff outside to discourage loitering or unnecessary noise that might bother neighbouring residents or businesses.  When patrons are aware that they are being observed, they are also less likely to take alcohol outside or leave litter behind.  Keep in mind that there may be some additional training required for Door Staff depending on your state’s laws or regulations.

Ask door staff to remind customers to respect neighbouring properties and members of the public, especially at night.  Some venues provide a small direction service by sending staff in high visibility clothing to direct patrons to nearby safe transport areas.  You may even consider giving out complimentary sweets to encourage friendly cooperation between your staff and patrons.  This is just one idea, and there are many more creative ways of facilitating this.

The aim is for everyone to leave safely, having enjoyed their experience

RMLV training, although mandatory for venue staff in management positions, is a highly recommended training course to help keep your skills and knowledge as relevant as possible.  Sign up for our two-day course here.