How to Serve Alcohol Responsibly in Your Business

If your business has a bar, it’s important to have a responsible team of bartenders and barbacks if you want to stay in business. This is because there are dozens of laws that govern how businesses serve alcohol to their customers.

Bars tend to get crowded and bartenders juggle a lot of responsibilities, but this doesn’t excuse them from doing their duty and ensuring that nobody gets drunk on their watch. Here are just a few ideas to keep in mind when you want to be sure you’re doing things the right way when it comes to serving alcohol.

Know the laws and regulations.

While there are different regulations for each kind of business that you run, some legal aspects of serving alcohol remain consistent across the country. For example, in the United States, it’s illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 21, whereas in Australia and other parts of the work you can’t sell alcohol to someone under the age of 18.

Other laws your business will want to follow are more concerned with drunkenness. To that end, it’s illegal to serve alcohol to someone who’s clearly drunk. In fact, you shouldn’t allow someone to be drunk on your property, so you’ll want to have some different ways of escorting rowdy or disorderly customers off of your premises, too. While this can feel stressful, if you train your bartenders and waitstaff to cut off customers at the appropriate time, you won’t need to worry as much about cases where someone who’s drunk has to be kicked out of your restaurant or bar.

Make smart choices as a business owner.

Beyond following the law with your staff, there are decisions you can make that ultimately impact how people drink at your business. One way to do this is by making sure to pair food with customers’ drinks, to limit the effects of alcohol a bit. You can also limit how much of an effect a drink will have on someone by serving cocktails, wines, and beverages with a lower ABV, or alcohol by volume.

Other choices you can make as a business owner involve the different kinds of behaviors you permit and encourage at your restaurant or bar. Selling shots encourages binge drinking, which could lead to intoxication much faster than just serving mixed drinks or beers. You can also avoid unnecessary refills by waiting for the customer to ask for another beverage rather than asking them directly. While this could hurt your average check value, if it protects you from potential legal infractions, isn’t that worth more?

Don’t forget about finding the right type of insurance.

If you’re serving alcohol there’s a benefit to having a good public liability insurance policy. Remember that public liability insurance protects you from a wide range of accidents or damages that could occur on your premises, helping you cover the costs of these damages if a member of the public tries to press charges against you. Especially when alcohol is concerned, things like slip and fall accidents could be more likely to happen — putting you at risk if it’s shown that you’re serving alcohol irresponsibly.

The best way to avoid all of these issues is to train your staff and treat alcohol consumption seriously, even if your business is focused on fun. Beyond that, you may want to compare public liability insurance with iSelect as a way of further protecting your business premises with the right liability coverage. Having the option to shop around and compare one insurance company to another can help you find the right policy for you and your budget, giving you the peace of mind that you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way.

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