Running a Restaurant: Serve Alcohol Responsibly

Most around the office know me as the “expert” when it comes to alcohol, but really I’m just a snob who thinks it’s more fun to try new flavors and tastes when drinking alcohol instead of getting completely sloshed (I’m right, by the way). Of course, if your a bar or restaurant owner, you must be aware that one of those is acceptable within moderation and the other one can get you in a lot of trouble if you let it happen too often. So when serving alcohol, it’s important to do so in a responsible manner so your customers remain safe and alive and your business remains open. Here are some hints:

-Do anything to promote a safe drive home. That could mean keeping tax companies’ phone numbers nearby or giving designated drivers free non-alcoholic beverages for the night.

-Encourage your serving staff to do training, especially those who serve alcohol such as bartenders and waiters. Those options are out there, and some places even require them by law, so check that out.

-Don’t let your customers’ BAC get too high. Sure, you can’t do a blood test on the spot to check, but if you assume the weight of a person and how much alcohol they’ve consumed, you can make a decent guess of how drunk they are. Tell the bartenders or servers to cut off customers that they feel might be too drunk.

-Your insurance company may offer ideas of how to lower your liability, like having visible signs remind patrons to have a designated driver. I’m no expert on insurance liability, but I bet offering free non-alcoholic beverages might count.

-Make a point to have ID’s get checked. Some places even require carding if someone looks under 30 or 40. (I’ve often complimented some by carding them when they’re in their 50s. What can I say? They looked young enough.)

No matter what you do, if you serve the booze, you can be held responsible if things go bad. Just be cautious. No amount of profit is worth getting someone inebriated to the point of harm or worse.

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