I don't wanna. You can't make me! I am not gonna." Crying, foot stomping. Pouty- face. A 2-year temper tantrum? A teenage outburst? Nope, just bartender refusing to do what they don't want to do. Cut off an intoxicated guest.
Face Your Fears
I originally started this, thinking about why bartenders don't cut guests off. Maybe it's because... or maybe because...nope.....sometimes it could..... All the reasons come back to the same one. They are afraid. Afraid? Afraid you say? That big bad bartender? Yeppers, people. I've seen the most confident, know it all, seasoned bartender become like a kindergartner at nap time. " No, no, no I don't want to" "You can't make me". " I don't wanna!".
It's kinda like going to the gym..You promise yourself you will. You tell others, you are going to do it. You tell yourself why you should do it. You imagine all the horrible things that might happen if you don't do it. And, in the end, after all the mental gymnastics you still have to go to the gym and get on the treadmill. You still have to lose the weight. You still served them the alcohol you still have to refuse them service. You are responsible.
What works for temper tantrums works for intoxicated guests too....
"So what's the best way for you to react? With your own self-control intact. Teaching by example is your most powerful tool. Speak calmly, clearly, and firmly — not with anger, blame, harsh criticisms, threats, or put downs.
So, let's stop those monsters under the bed and turn the light on!
9 things you think will happen that probably won't.
1. They will hate you. Yeah, they might. But they'll thank you in the morning. *seriously, I've had people come back the next day and thank me.
2. They will hit you/push you/get violent. Yes, drunk people are unpredictable. But, hey, that's what doormen are for. Seriously, Get properly trained, stand physically clear, don't pull the drink physically out to their hands, and stay calm and the odds of this happening dramatically go down.
3. They will continue to drink. Ummm, a reminder: You control the flow of alcohol at your establishment.When you refuse service of alcohol, you are in charge. If they drink someone else's drink (yeppers saw that once). Even more reason to have them escorted out the door!
4. They won't take you seriously. Yes, the guest may try and laugh you off in a weak attempt ignore what is happening.But when you refuse to give them another drink, trust me: they will take you seriously.
5. You'll look like a fool/the bad guy. Sometimes it sucks to be the adult in the situation. Most likely the other customers will appreciate it. And shows that you value them and their safety.
6. It will be some huge thing /drama. It's not unless you let it be. Keep it professional, civil and smile. No drama.
7. Not tipping/ looking bad in front of other customers. Think about this: if something happens to the guest and take legal action...they are not coming back to tip you. Ever. Or you could lose your job, pay a fine or get your wage garnished. So look at the long term consequences of your action. Not the short term $ 5 or 10 bucks.
8. You are afraid or scared. There is always a some uncertainty when deciding and executing refusing service to a customer. A bit of an adrenaline rush, you could say. This never goes away. It's part of it. It helps keep you prepared to handle any problems. Think of it as the anticipation before a big sports game or an actor going on stage.
9. No backup/ afraid of repercussions from owners. It can be intimidating to know you are going at this alone. But you are not. The law is on your side. At the end of the day, you have a legal obligation to provide responsible alcohol service. At the end of it, you have to look yourself in the mirror and know what you did is right. And that means protecting the guest and the people they might possibly hurt or damages they could incur. A good owner will know this. And appreciate you are protecting their business.
So, there you have it. Just like the monsters under your bed, once you turn the light on, they disappear!
Happy Safe Serving,
The Tips Lady