When you open a bar or a restaurant that serves alcohol, part of securing and retaining your liquor license is ensuring that your staff knows how to avoid overserving. Most every state across the country has laws in place that hold the establishment owner liable if someone is overserved and suffers or causes injuries as a result. In addition, if something like this happens, you'll lose your liquor license. During the licensing application process, show the administration that your staff is trained by teaching them these tips.
Encourage Your Bartenders To Monitor Drink Intervals
Binge drinking, sometimes also called power slamming, is one of the most common causes of intoxication that can lead to liability concerns for bartenders and establishment owners. Make sure that everyone on your serving staff understands the importance of monitoring drink intervals for every patron.
It can be helpful to set a solid establishment policy of only serving one or two drinks per hour, per customer. It's also a good idea to serve a glass of water with every drink. This helps to minimize the risk of a patron's blood alcohol content rising rapidly, which can result in significant intoxication and a safety hazard.
Teach Your Staff The Signs Of Intoxication
Anyone who is responsible for serving alcohol needs to understand and recognize all of the signs of intoxication. This ensures that your staff knows when it's time to cut someone off. For example, slurring speech, clumsiness, glassy eyes, and slow reaction times are all things to watch for. By being attentive to these signs, you can help your staff reduce the risk of patrons reaching an intoxicated state that can lead to vomiting, unconsciousness, and unsafe behavior.
Empower Your Staff With Cut-Off And Safety Techniques
Many new bartenders hesitate to cut off a patron because they don't want to be responsible for the establishment losing a customer. However, when your staff understands that you're supportive of them when it comes to ensuring patron safety, they will be more likely to stop service when it's warranted.
Teach your staff techniques to respectfully and discreetly cut customers off when it is necessary. For those in the bar alone, they'll need to be able to tell them authoritatively and then ensure that they don't drive when they leave. This can be as easy as calling a cab before telling the patron that they cannot serve them any more. Have someone on staff every night to provide security as well, because intoxicated individuals can become combative in some situations.
For patrons who are in the bar with others, teach your staff to recognize the least impaired member of the group and address the situation with them. If nobody in the group is safe to drive, or if there is no designated driver, encourage your servers to call a cab for patrons to reduce the risk of drunk driving and accidents.
When your state's liquor commission sees that you've been proactive in training your staff, they will be more likely to approve and help you maintain your liquor license. Click here to find out more about liquor licensing and how to protect your license.