Tips for Serving Alcohol Responsibly

Whether you’re a new server or have been doing it for years, or if you’re a restaurant manager or owner, one of the many incredibly important regulations that establishments must follow is to responsibly serve alcohol. But what does that mean? Even though restaurant owners love the fact that alcoholic beverages help to pad their bottom line, when alcohol is not served or guests aren’t drinking responsibly, it can lead to serious fines for the establishment and can be dangerous for both the guest and other diners. Keep reading for tips on how to responsibly serve alcohol in your establishment.

Nutri-Rific provides ServSafe alcohol training courses and exams for anyone looking to start a career in the foodservice industry. Our ServSafe online courses are affordable, convenient, and we offer a range of classes, including food manager, food safety, food allergens, OSHA training, mock food and health inspections, and more. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about the classes we offer.

Tips For Responsibly Serving Alcohol

Training Your Staff

Being proactive about serving alcohol is one of the best ways to prevent issues in the future and to protect your business. This is important and oftentimes required for both servers and bartenders who plan on working in a restaurant and serving alcohol. Proper alcohol training will include things like checking IDs and how to identify when a customer has reached their limit. When all of your employees are fully trained and aware of what is expected of them, it can prevent future fines and even legal issues down the road.

Establish Policies

There are a variety of policies that can be put into place that will protect everyone involved, including the server or bartender, the guest, and the restaurant or establishment. Consider creating policies such as:

  • Checking both IDs when a customer orders a drink for themselves and another person who isn’t present.
  • Only serve one drink at a time when the server or bartender believes a customer is drinking too quickly.
  • Create a drink limit for each visit to the establishment.
  • Policies can easily be put into place, but it’s important to also ensure that they are being followed. Even though some customers may be upset with certain policies, they are for their best interest.

Check IDs

One of the easiest ways to make sure everyone is drinking legally is to check their IDs. Not only will this protect your business, your employees, and the safety of your guests, but it will also protect you from potential fines that you may incur if you are caught serving alcohol to minors. Serving alcohol to minors is a serious offense and fines could reach into the thousands of dollars.

Measure Alcohol When Mixing Drinks

Even though an experienced bartender may be able to mix drinks that all have the same amount of alcohol, they should still measure as they are mixing. This will ensure that all drinks are of consistent strength. When a customer orders a second drink that is stronger than the first, they may underestimate how much alcohol they have actually consumed.

Recognize When to Say “When”

Bartenders and servers can decide when a customer needs to be cut off; it’s just a matter of recognizing 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 interactions

There are a variety of techniques for telling a customer that they have been cut off. If bartenders believe a guest may be reaching their limit, they may consider giving them a water or ask if they are ready for their check. If guests aren’t getting the hint, tell them you don’t feel comfortable serving them another drink.

Responsibly serving alcohol at a restaurant is essential to the safety of your guests, to protect your establishment from fines, and to protect your employee’s jobs. At Nutrif-Rific, we take the education and training of serving alcohol seriously. If you want to work in the foodservice industry, alcohol training is a must. ServSafe online courses offered through Nutri-Rific are a convenient and affordable way to get the training you need for a successful career. Learn more about our ServSafe alcohol training course, and sign up today!