Every jurisdiction has its own legislation that dictates strict rules for operating a licensed venue, but they all focus on the safety of patrons, staff and the general public. Any time there is alcohol being served, emotions can spill over into arguments causing excessive behaviours that might erupt into a brawl. Learning the rules for your area through RMLV training – Responsible Management of Licensed Venues – will give you, as a manager, the knowledge and awareness needed to control these possible situations.
As a manager, you have the right and indeed, the duty, to intervene and take appropriate action whenever a situation escalates into potentially harmful behaviour. However, you must also be protected from potential lawsuits if the patron responds negatively to the corrective procedures you have instituted. RMLV training will teach you when and how to take action.
The first thing you will learn as a bartender is that once a patron begins to show signs of intoxication, you must refuse to serve him or her any more alcoholic drinks. This applies even if customers have arrived at your lounge or bar in an intoxicated condition, indicating that they were drunk before they arrived at your establishment. As well, you must ensure all your patrons are over the legal drinking age for your jurisdiction; you have every right to ask for proof of age. These two actions often bring out the worst in intoxicated customers and you will be glad you have the knowledge from the RMLV training so you can confidently insist on your legal right to protect yourself and your other customers from what could be a harmful situation.
However, this is where it gets difficult. Can you ask intoxicated patrons to leave if they are getting behind the wheel of their car to drive home? If you do, you are putting the whole community at risk. It’s one of the many responsibilities of the bartender and the manager to ensure his customers get home safely. You can request their vehicle keys and try to call a taxi or a friend or relative to come and safely get the inebriated individuals to someplace where they can sleep off their intoxication. With RMLV training you will gain the skills and knowledge to do what you know is right in your conscience but also to fulfil government regulations.
If customers refuse to give you their keys you can try to keep them off the road by offering them food and coffee. Many will have the sense and grace to accept your offer, knowing they have over-indulged and recognizing your common sense approach. However, if they refuse all your suggestions, you have no choice but to call the police. Responsible managers will do everything they can to prevent a potential accident. Make sure all your staff, including servers and bartenders, have the training and knowledge to spot patrons who are beginning to show signs of intoxication so you can all be prepared for a potential situation. RMLV training will alert you to the indicators.
Remember that being a manager in a bar, lounge, or restaurant that serves alcohol is more than an employment position, it is a responsibility that you must take seriously. Be sure to take some RMLV training and any other program that you can that will teach you how to operate a well-run, legal, safe establishment.
This guest post was written by Roselyn Tatel, on behalf of CFT QLD offering online certificate to those looking for a career in the field of hospitality and retail management. To know more about online training, you may also visit About.com.