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As a Bartender, How Do You Handle Intoxicated Customers?

Michelle Roebuck

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Michelle Roebuck | June 22, 2017 | 0

Bartenders enjoy some of the best job benefits, like participation in the nightlife and getting to collect hefty tips. But the job also has challenges like confronting and managing tipsy customers.

While it is hard play the momma role with drunken customers, it is necessary for bartenders to save their workplace, other servers, and patrons from being disturbed or face serious accidents.  It is also necessary to keep drunken customers safe from injuries, bad behavior, and accidents inside the bar.

So how do you handle these customers?

Use firm but friendly tone – Intoxicated customers will often disturb their neighbors by speaking loudly, singing loudly, or behaving wildly. In these circumstances, it becomes necessary to show them the way out. While you must be polite, it’s also a must to use to-the-point/yes or no responses to cut the conversation as short as possible. Another option is to deliver the customer’s bill as an indication to hit the road.

Take help of a friend – Enlist the help of someone to approach the drunken patron and politely ask him/her to either stop drinking or leave. The person is more likely to listen to his/her friend than to a bartender or staff member. However, do not hesitate from calling on security if needed.

Try to resist cutting the customer off in front of others – The customer is most likely to get offended if he/she were to be cut off by the bartender in front of others. The person might even feel compelled to behave more rudely or illogically. Hence, it is always a good choice to talk politely and in person to eliminate any conflicts.

Make sure the customer leaves safely – Kicking out the troublesome customer without checking on their safety might sound tempting, but remember if they turn out to walk out your bar and right in front of a speeding vehicle, you and your bar could be liable. Making sure your customer reaches home safely protects you and your establishment.

TABC Training – Make sure your staff completes mandatory TABC training to effectively prevent intoxication, underage drinking, and drunk driving. The training will also help staff identify if someone is over-intoxicated, and the ways to deal with the person.

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