The holidays are quickly approaching, and restaurants and bars need to exercise extra caution during this time of year. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, business increases, bartenders and servers are rushed, and customers tend to relax and participate in more celebrations that include alcohol. Servers and sellers of alcoholic beverages must be diligent in following protocol to ensure its safe and legal sale and service. Below are some basic reminders to ensure a safe, happy, healthy, and profitable holiday season.
- Be sure your alcohol compliance training is current. If it’s not or if you’re unsure, call Christy Crump at RCS at 850-224-2250 x252.
- Ask for ID from everyone who appears under the age of 30. Remember that acceptable forms of ID for the sale and service of alcohol are a state issued ID, a state issued or foreign driver’s license, a passport, and a U.S. military ID. Check the ID carefully for expiration date, birth year, and any sign that it could be fake or altered in any way. If you have any concerns about the validity of an ID, be sure a manager is involved.
- Be sure servers count drinks served to customers within a specific timeframe. Know what a drink is (1.5 oz. liquor, 5 oz. wine, 12 oz. beer), and be familiar with how quickly men and women usually become intoxicated. Avoid overserving, and you reduce liability for the server and the business.
- Watch for signs of intoxication such as slurred speech, stumbling, irrational behavior, loud voice, overly friendly and/or flirtatious. Slow or stop service before the customer loses control or is overserved. Offer food and nonalcoholic beverages as an alternative.
- Be sure managers are alerted and/or involved when cutting off a customer’s alcohol service, preventing a customer from driving drunk, and controlling behavior that may affect other customers.
- Plan ahead for taxis. Have taxi company numbers readily available to give to customers who should not be driving, and know if free taxi service is available in your area.
Follow these tips, and your customers, staff, and business will have a safer and happier holiday season.
If you have questions or concerns as you move into the busy holiday season, don’t hesitate to contact your RCS regional manager or RCS director of operations, Christy Crump at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850.224.2250 x252.