Serving a customer a beer or a glass of wine along with their meal is one of the great freedoms that a restaurant with a liquor license can enjoy. Many restaurants make their money on serving alcohol alongside food, as there is usually a reasonable mark-up on booze.
With great freedom comes great responsibility. Restaurant owners know that this freedom comes with a price. That casual, convivial atmosphere can turn nasty over the course of a few drinks with one drunk customer – ruining it for the other restaurant patrons.
Liquor liability laws are tightening all the time, with staff who are needing ‘safe serve’ training to keep the liquor license intact and the insurance premiums low.
How to Avoid Overserving
Creating the right ambiance in your restaurant can be carefully managed by pulling strings with your staff that are ‘safe serve’ certified and on duty at the time. Consider the following practical steps when you and your staff are out and about on the restaurant floor:
- Avoid overserving customers by serving too many drinks too fast. A patron that orders a round of tequilas for the table, then immediately another – before the food has even been ordered – is a big red flag. While tolerance levels do vary, you want your customers to enjoy themselves for a long time – and not to get too drunk too quickly.
- Is a customer showing signs of intoxication? This can include slurring your words or stumbling back from the restroom. Aggression towards staff or a raised tone at the table are other red flags. A customer who is a jolly drunk and a customer who’s an angry drunk are just as dangerous if they’re allowed to leave and get behind the wheel. With liquor liability laws being what they are, the venue can be held responsible if an accident occurs later.
- Have a good responsible driving option in place. Offering to call a taxi or an Uber is one thing; how and when you do it is another. Management should have a plan that involves staff collectively observing drunk customers, taking keys away from drunk customers, and who is best suited to approach a drunk customer if it’s time for the bill and they’re looking to drive home drunk.
- Teamwork is crucial. As drunk customers can get impatient and order alcohol from another staff member without your knowledge. Regular customers also like to play the ‘favorite’ card and use the fact that they are regulars to coerce you into doing something illegal, such as selling them a bottle of booze to take home with them.
- A good way to avoid overserving customers? Checking IDs at the door is the safest way to ensure that you don’t have an underage drinking situation on your hands. This can be real trouble – and that’s before things even get rowdy.
- The contact number for the police or local law enforcement should be readily available and visible somewhere within the restaurant for staff to see. Call the local authorities the instant things turn ugly so as to protect your best interests.
Comedy Seller Server to the Rescue
Comedy Seller Server has been in the business of educating people online for over 30 years. We add a dash of humor and a twist of fun to our online safe serving certification. This ensures that staff who train with us retain their knowledge for years to come. And what’s more, they’re equipped to apply that knowledge on the restaurant floor.
Don’t be left with the hefty costs of overserving. If you’re looking for the smartest, shortest, safest way to get your restaurant staff ‘safe serve certified’, then look no further than Comedy Seller Server. Laugh while you learn.