Serve Alcohol Safely

Hit a Homerun. 5 Tips to Serve Alcohol Safely

Our experts offer some suggestions on how to serve alcohol responsibly - now and throughout the year.
A man holding a beer in a stadium
Hit a Homerun. 5 Tips to Serve Alcohol Safely

National Restaurant Association

Baseball is back, folks!

April 3 was Major League Baseball’s official opening day, and you know what that means. When you’re tending bar, you’ve got to serve alcohol safely — whether it’s at your restaurant or a concessions stand.

There are risks to serving alcohol. If you’re not responsible, you could face fines, imprisonment, the loss of your liquor license, increased insurance costs or even the loss of your business.

So don’t forget: practice safe service every day, not just on opening day.

Our ServSafe Alcohol experts are offering five tips on responsible pouring. Their suggestions can help your bartender, server, host, valet and front-of-house staffs handle the toughest alcohol-fueled situations:

  • Count drinks. This is a useful tool in understanding whether or not a guest is intoxicated. In order to count drinks correctly, you must know how much alcohol they contain. Here are the standard measures for one drink: 5 oz. wine, 12 oz. beer, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof liquor and 1 oz. of 100-proof liquor.
  • Estimate BAC, or blood alcohol concentration. If you count the number of drinks consumed by your guests and can estimate their approximate weight, you can get a rough idea of their BAC.
  • Observe guests’ behavior. Talk to your guests and keep an eye out for physical and behavioral changes. Some of the changes to look out for include: relaxed inhibitions, impaired judgement, slowed reaction time and impaired motor coordination.
  • Offer guests food and water. Food that is high in fat or protein, such as pizza or chicken wings, is best to serve because it is digested slower and slows the movement of alcohol to the small intestine. Alcohol also dehydrates people, making them thirstier. When that happens, they’re more likely to reach for more alcohol to quench that thirst. Offering water can slow down their alcohol consumption.
  • Don’t overserve your guests. Measure pours correctly. And don’t serve guests more than one drink at a time. This will help them pace their consumption.

Ensure the safety of your guests and your establishments. 

Learn more about ServSafe Alcohol

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