7 easy steps to Responsible serving that won't cost you a dime.

7 Easy Steps to a Responsible Alcohol Service Plan

Like most things in life, intention only gets you so far. At some point you have to execute. Like Nike says, just do it. Put your money where your mouth is. It won't cost you a dime.


Here’s how you do it:

  1. Make a commitment to creating a culture of responsible alcohol service. Your staff looks to you to set the values and environment of the restaurant.
  2. Make it clear to your staff what you expect in the way of service. Make sure to have written policies, procedures and standards posted and part of the training package. Then they know what is expected of them.
  3. Walk the walk. Talk the talk. Put your money where your mouth is. Take the alcohol training with them. Or at least show up at the class. And put up a House Policy that if there are not certified they won’t be on the schedule within a reasonable amount of time from the offered class. It shows you take this seriously.
  4. Make certain your House Policy outlines the steps to be taken in preventing and refusing service to an intoxication guest. The House Policy should show who should be notified before and after, the patron has been refused service then, post that in the bar and service areas. Include this in the training packets also.
  5. The staff will look to you as a role model. They will come to you for guidance in difficult situations and need your support. Guide them and then back up their decision when they decide to stop service to any guest they feel is intoxicated. This will show that you respect and support their efforts.
  6. The single most important component to having a culture of responsible service of alcohol is this: Back up your staff. When they refuse to serve a customer, support their decision both verbally and physically. Verbal support is telling them that they are right to do it. Physical support is that you go with them and be within hollering distance if they need you.
  7. Don’t make exceptions. Exceptions such as  they can’t cut off your friends, family or regulars. Those situations require a delicate touch. The House Policy should clarify that if they are unsure or hesitant to let a manager handle the patron. If you start to make exceptions it will weaken the staff’s trust in the management.

Follow these simple steps and you will not only have a culture of responsible service, but a more cohesive staff. The staff will learn they have the ability to handle sensitive situations, make money and have the respect of the management while doing it.

Now it's your turn,  tell me what worries you the most about having the staff serve responsibly. No concern to small! Leave your biggest worry in the comments below