ServSafe - Alcohol Service Tips to Keep Guests Safe This Summer

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Alcohol Service Tips to Keep Guests Safe This Summer

Alcohol Service Tips to Keep Guests Safe This Summer

Summer may be a time for your guests to relax, but your staff can never relax from their responsibility to serve alcohol safely. Here are some tips to consider with summer alcohol service.  

  • Know How Much Alcohol is Being Served.  Do your servers know how much alcohol is in the drinks they serve?  That giant house margarita may seem like one drink to your customer, but the amount of alcohol may classify it as two drinks, based on industry standards for counting alcohol.  Make sure that your establishment’s drink recipes include standard drink counts and conduct training and review sessions to ensure bartenders avoid over-pouring.  This infographic provides useful guidelines on how to count drinks.
     
  • School’s Out—Be Alert for Underage Guests. More than 11,000 underage youth per day will try alcohol for the first time in July, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  Servers must be vigilant about checking ID and refusing service to those under 21.  Review acceptable forms of ID and how to spot fake ID at your next pre-shift huddle.
     
  • Servers should observe groups with guests of various ages and make sure a guest over 21 is not handing off drinks to someone in their party under the age of 21. Everyone who drinks needs to be ID’ed.  This is especially important if you are serving pitchers of beer, bottles of wine, or shareable drinks.
     
  • Carbonation Brings on a Buzz. Fruity, fizzy summer drinks may seem like a refreshing choice for a hot day, but servers need to be aware that carbonation increases the rate at which alcohol passes through the stomach, causing guests’ blood alcohol content (BAC) level to rise more swiftly.  Servers need to observe guests carefully to be sure that their behavior isn’t the result of intoxication rather than simply having a good time. Check out this video to review signs of alcohol-induced relaxed inhibitions.
     
  • Help Guests Avoid Dehydration.  Alcohol is not the best choice for hydration on a hot summer day.  In fact, it can make guests even thirstier.  Water will provide the hydration your customers need on a hot day. Be sure and offer water to guests along with their drinks and refill water glasses frequently.