How To Tactfully Deal With Drunk Customers

If you are planning on serving liquor at your special event, then you should be familiar with all the laws and responsibilities that come with it.  While liquor laws vary from state to state, in most cases if a person is involved in an accident while drunk you, as the owner of the establishment who served them, may be held liable as well. The best way to avoid any potential lawsuits stemming from drunkenness is to not serve a customer who appears inebriated.  Of course, some people can hold their liquor very well, and your staff may not realize the patron is drunk until it is too late.  If you are faced with a customer who had had too much to drink, here are some tips for handling them.

STOP serving them immediately.  If the customer has wandered in from another bar or restaurant, you can refuse to serve them.  They may claim you are acting illegally, you’re not.  You’re acting responsibly.

Offer the customer some coffee and some food, as an alternative to a drink.

Call a cab or another ride home for the customer.  Do not let them drive!

If a customer becomes belligerent or angry, escort them outside of the facility and call the police who can look after the customer until they are safe and sober.

TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) is a program that teaches hospitality staff about the responsible sale of alcohol.  It gives advice on how to identify if someone has had too much to drink and how to deal with them effectively.  Visit the TIPS website for more information on training your staff.