As the alcohol server, you are the key to the prevention of excessive alcohol consumption. You deal directly with patrons and can best monitor an individual’s consumption of alcohol.
You should observe and talk with your customers to determine whether they are visibly intoxicated before serving them any alcohol. You should continually monitor any changes in their behavior. By preventing customers from becoming intoxicated and intervening when necessary through the use of good “people skills,” you play a major role in helping reduce the risks of alcohol-related incidents. People skills are the ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and non-verbally, with people in a friendly way.
Here are some precautionary measures to help minimize a customer’s chance of becoming intoxicated:
- Chat with customers before serving them. Each time you go to their table, try to determine if they are intoxicated or at increased risk of intoxication because of mood, fatigue, medications, etc., or because they have been drinking somewhere else.
- Know and watch for the likely signs of visible intoxication, combinations of the signs and changes in behavior.
- Know how many standard servings of alcohol the glasses in your business hold.
- Count the number of standard servings of alcohol, not glasses, each customer has.
- Do not push drinks. Wait until a customer finishes a drink before offering another.
- Serve one drink per person at a time.
- Check with co-workers before serving a customer they have already served.
- Watch the customer who orders doubles or more than one drink at a time.
- Slow alcohol service when a customer orders and drinks rapidly.
- Encourage customers to order food and non-alcoholic drinks.
- Offer water, coffee or other non-alcoholic spacers between drinks.
- Don’t offer “last call” to people who are approaching intoxication.
- Announce “closing time” instead of “last call.”
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Slide 29: Preventing Intoxication