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7 Tips for Responsibly Serving Alcohol

7 Tips for Responsibly Serving Alcohol

By Wally Rohde

Alcohol is one beverage that seems to fit every occasion. While you can enjoy alcohol at any time, it is critical to understand that responsibly serving alcohol is crucial for your and everyone’s safety. Drinks are the evergreen trend for alcohol-serving establishments as they are high-profit and quick to prepare. But irresponsibly serving alcohol can put them and their patrons in a risky spot.

Here are seven tips for responsibly serving alcohol.

Tip #1 – Measure Alcohol When Mixing Drinks:
While all bartenders are required to measure the alcohol content when mixing drinks, experienced ones might get overconfident. Measuring alcohol content is essential to keep every drink at the same strength so you know how much you have already served a customer.

Tip #2 – Train Your Staff:
Most establishments require their servers, bartenders, and managers to have OLCC alcohol serving training to employ them. This training is essential for alcohol-serving employees to identify intoxicated patrons, check IDs, and learn other critical techniques to serve alcohol responsibly.

Tip #3 – Establish Strict Policies:
Setting up policies and ensuring your staff follows them is a smooth and legal way to avoid any mishaps from intoxicated patrons. While not every customer will like these rules, especially those who do not profit from them, it is good for the image of your establishment and everyone’s safety. These policies can be checking IDs, slowing down alcohol serving, and refusing drinks after a limit.

Tip #4 – Check IDs:
It is a tip of utmost importance as it can directly impact the image of your establishment. Train your employees to check IDs for everyone who orders an alcoholic drink. Ask them to wait until the person arrives or present an ID for them if they order a drink for another person who is unavailable. You do not want to serve alcoholic beverages to underage patrons as it can cost you a fine of thousands of dollars, put someone’s life at risk, and may even lead to you losing your Washington alcohol license.

Tip #5 – Stay Attentive for Indications:
It is crucial for the waiting and serving staff to be watchful for any signs that indicate a patron is highly intoxicated. It may be challenging to be precise initially. Still, with experience and proper alcohol-serving training, you will learn to see the

signs that a customer has had too much to drink, and also understanding how to cut them off in a respectful and appropriate way. Four common signs that a guest has had too much include:

  • Bloodshot and glazed eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Decreased motor control
  • Negative or aggressive interaction

Tip #6 – Stop Serving Intoxicated Customers:
When you identify a customer who is indeed intoxicated, refuse to serve them drinks and get their check.

Tip #7 – Sell Alcohol Responsibly:
Every business wants to be a fun place for its customers. But it’s crucial to understand that irresponsibly selling alcohol is not the right way. Keep a trained staff with good values to maintain your image.

Extra bonus tip: Have alternative transportation on speed dial - having a taxi service or UBER available and easy to find will help ensure the customer's safety and anyone else on the road. It's worth having the customer's car in your parking lot overnight to help ensure the customer's safety and the public's safety.

About A+ Server Education

Get trained for a responsible beverage service program by enrolling yourself into A+ Server Education’s alcohol server education class. We have over 15 years of experience in the industry, which qualifies us to give you the knowledge needed to get your permit. If you have any questions about our training courses, reach out o us at (503) 740-5509 or our toll-free number (877) 740-5509. You can also email us for more information.

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