3 Steps For Cutting Off A Customer's Alcohol Intake

As a server who works in a place that sells alcoholic beverages, you have a serious responsibility to make sure that you don't over-serve a customer. In many states, you can be held liable if you over-serve a customer and they cause damages or hurt someone afterwards. It is often part of your liquor license training to know when to cut off a customer and is one of the things that you are required to do when necessary. Here are three steps for cutting off a customer when you work as a server at a restaurant.

#1 Refuse Their Next Order

Part of the challenge of cutting off a customer is to do so in a manner that does not offend the customer or embarrass them in front of the other individuals that they are there with. You need to fulfil your liquor license obligations while also making your restaurant look as positive as possible.

When they order another alcoholic drink, tell them that you can't make that drink for them or that you can't serve them that drink. Then, quickly have another suggestion at hand to offer the customer. For example, if the customer had been ordering strawberry daiquiris, you might suggest some strawberry lemonade to the customer. Try to have a few ideas on hand that you think the customer may like before you head over and refuse to take their drink order.

Make sure that you let your manager and other nearby servers know that you are cutting off a particular customer. That way, they will not mistakenly take an alcoholic drink order for that customer after you cut them off.

#2 Provide Them With Another Drink

Regardless of if the customer orders another drink, you should still provide them with another non-alcoholic drink. This can help the customer begin the path towards becoming sober. Classic drinks to provide a customer who is inebriated include water or coffee. However, if you think the customer would be more receptive to something such as soda or iced tea, you should provide that type of drink to the customer instead and see if your manager will send the drinks on the house. Most managers are willing to do this because they have already made enough money on the customer from the alcoholic drinks that they consumed, and they don't want to take risks with the customer leaving the restaurant, getting into an accident and word getting out that they left your establishment drunk.

#3 Help Provide Safe Transportation Home

Finally, offer to provide safe transportation home for the guest. If they are with other individuals, ask if any one of them can drive their companion home. You can also offer to call a cab or provide times for the local bus system. You should make at least two to three attempts to ensure that the inebriated individual will not be behind the wheel of a vehicle; this is yet another step that can reduce your liability should anything happen when the customer is driving home.

Finally, make sure that you know your restaurant's policy for dealing with inebriated customers and always ask the manager for support if a customer is difficult or upset that you are cutting them off. If you have further questions about food service, you can also click here for more info.