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The Best Practices to Sell and Serve Alcohol

 

The service and hospitality industry, while rewarding and lucrative, also carries some of the highest risks of any industry. The dangers associated with the service of alcohol to the public are quite high, and it is imperative that those involved should know of the risks, and be prepared to counter them as best as possible. Therefore, many businesses put their staff through Responsible Beverage Server Training, which teaches employees and management alike the proper ways to serve, and the dangers to look out for to prevent hazards or risk with customers.

Off-Premises vs. On-Premises Training

An "off-premises" establishment is one at which a) the alcohol is sold but not consumed on the premises of the business, such as liquor store, or b) alcohol is sold/served at special events, such as catered events, concerts, festivals, etc. Employees undergoing our online alcohol server training will need to learn the appropriate laws and regulations concerning off-premises alcohol sales, and understand their compliance and liability in the case of an incident. While these servers can spot an intoxicated customer attempting to purchase or imbibe on the spot, it is often difficult for them to track that customer’s condition throughout the event; therefore, these types of training mostly mitigate risk from the business owner themselves, while holding the employees accountable for the immediate actions with the customer.

An "on-premises" establishment is just the opposite – it is a place where alcohol is sold and served on the grounds, such as a bar or a restaurant. Servers who work in these places must be much more aware of their patron’s condition throughout their stay, as they will be visiting the table frequently and can judge when the customer needs to be cut off. There is a much higher risk of criminal and civil liability with on-premises establishments, and the alcohol server education is targeted at these issues.

Employee Training Topics

Servers enrolled in online alcohol server training course will learn essential tasks such as properly checking IDs, and preventing sales to minors. They will also learn how to identify previously intoxicated guests, or those who have become so during their visit. The course will cover safe intervention techniques, drink size and limits, and will teach how different amounts & types of alcohol affect customers of all varieties differently.

Management Training Topics

The Responsible Beverage Server Training extends to Management alcohol education as well. In addition to the topics covered in the employee training, managers must also be aware of the risks to the business and its license, and the administrative liability involved. They must know or establish in-house business policies to ensure a safe environment for servers and customers alike, and will likely be called upon to enforce these measures when an employee needs the help of an authority figure. Some of these critical policy elements include:

  1. Stopping service to a guest
  2. Ensuring inebriated customers return home safely
  3. Handling guests who arrive previously intoxicated
  4. Handling and diffusing violent or illegal situations
  5. Dealing with underage customers
  6. Handling emergency situations
  7. Documentation of on- or off-premises incidents

Above all, it is the manager’s responsibility to see that everything at the business runs smoothly. These best practices also ensure that the manager knows how to supervise their staff competently and supportively, keeping the appropriate records and ensuring that everyone is following the same established guidelines.