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5 Tips for Dealing with an Over-Intoxicated Customer

5 Tips for Managing Intoxicated Customer

By Wally Rohde

Managing intoxicated customers can be difficult; many amateur drinkers are unaware of their alcohol tolerance limit and drink more than their bodies can handle. The same situation arises with alcoholics who cannot control how much they consume. Such patrons can be a liability and risk to themselves and the people around them. Understanding how to carefully deal with intoxicated customers is crucial not only for servers that work at alcohol-serving places but for everyone who can contact such patrons.
Here are some practical tips for dealing with an over-intoxicated customer

5 Great Tips on How to Manage Intoxicated Customers

Tip #1 – Offer Complimentary Beverages: Allow some time for the customer so that alcohol can pass through their bodies. Suggest the patron order a non-alcoholic drink like a mojito, coffee, etc., to allow them some breathing time. If they are not convinced, give them a beverage complimentary on the house. Slowing down consumption time will reduce the effects of alcohol.

Tip #2 – Convince Ordering for Food: Try to convince the group or the patron to order some food before continuing their drink. You can also suggest eating if someone has crossed the standard drinking limits, even if they do not show visible intoxication signs. If they have an empty stomach, alcohol will be absorbed much quicker into the bloodstream.

Tip #3 – Slow Down Serving Drinks: Sometimes, patrons do not accept any food or beverage, even if it is on the house. In such situations, you should slow down your services. Instruct your waiting staff and bartenders to slow the service if a customer request is about alcoholic drinks.

Tip #4 – Talk to the Customer: Intoxicated people seldom listen to others, especially when discussing halting the drinks. Nevertheless, you should gently try to explain to them about their consumption and distract them with other options on your menu. If the patron becomes agitated, call your manager to handle the customer. Intoxicated customers, if not controlled, can disrupt other guests, break stuff, and talk mannerlessly to everyone, ruining the establishment's reputation. If they understand their actions, you should give them something to eat and call a cab to drop take them home safely. Make sure to document the details of the customer and the cab driver to ensure their safety and record the information in your logbook.

Tip #5 – Refuse Service: If nothing is working to slow down the customer, you should refuse service to them. Do not take their orders or serve any more alcoholic beverages. You can bring them their check so they can pay. If the customer gets belligerent, you can inform your manager or owner and, if needed, call the police to handle the matter.

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