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Spotting Problematic Behavior Before It Escalates

Spotting Problematic Behavior Before It Escalates

By Wally Rohde

As a bartender, there may be days when you’re in the weeds. When patron after patron is ordering drinks, when everyone’s asking for mojitos for some reason, you may think you can’t focus on anything else. But as a bartender, you’re in a position to spot problems before they get worse.  Below, we’ll discuss some of the ways that you can protect the bar and your patrons by assuring that any issues are solved before they escalate.

Problematic Behavior to Watch Out For

Most of the behavior that you need to watch out for is obvious if you’re paying attention. Patrons falling asleep on the bar, being obnoxious with other guests, and struggling with hand-eye coordination are all visible warning signs.

It’s good to check for these signs when people initially enter, but perhaps the most important thing is to ensure that you’re periodically checking on people. They may be okay when they first enter the bar, but that second, third, or fourth drink could change their behavior.

If someone is reckless and/or troubling when they come into your bar, that’s one thing. But if someone’s behavior only troubles you later, it’s a good idea to compare their initial comportment to where they are emotionally after they’ve been served.

Serving Underage Patrons

As well as making sure no problems are being caused by the behavior of patrons, you also have to consider whether or not the patrons you’re serving are old enough. Oftentimes, this can be a simple judgment call: do they look of age? Have you checked their ID to see if it’s fake?

But there are additional things you can look for. For instance, it’s a bad sign if a patron is evasive with showing their ID, or if they’re trying to avoid making eye contact. The former behavior obviously points to someone who doesn’t want their ID to be seen. The latter may indicate that they’re trying to avoid letting you match their face to their ID.

If you see the former behavior, you shouldn’t serve them alcohol. If you see the latter behavior, try talking to them. This is one way to encourage them to look at you, so you can determine whether their ID is, in fact, their own.

Learn How to Be a Responsible Bartender

At A+ Server Education, we understand the power that bartenders can have. When you’re serving drinks, there are a variety of things you’re going to want to pay attention to: getting customers taken care of promptly, making sure they’re happy, and encouraging the biggest possible tips. With all that going on, though, you also need to make sure you’re serving alcohol responsibly. That’s what A+ Server Education is all about. If you have any questions, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. Then you can choose your state and start your training to become a responsible seller/server of alcohol!

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