Spotting and Handling an Underage Patron

Posted on: March 28, 2018 by RMS Hospitality Group

One thing that will always be a constant concern in the restaurant and hospitality industry is the issue of underaged drinking. While, obviously, bar and nightclub owners can’t handle what happens off their premises, they can ensure they’re taking the right steps to enforce strict rules against underaged patrons.

It’s the bar’s or restaurant’s responsibility to make sure people under the age of 21 aren’t drinking. Staff and management face serious legal risks if underaged patrons are caught drinking on premises or if something negative occurs following a visit to a bar or restaurant. This is when having knowledge of liquor liability for nightclubs comes in to play, as well as heeding tips to better to spot and handle an underaged patron.

Check ID’s at the Door

Statistics show that underaged drinking is actually declining in the United States. But even with this positive bit of information, it doesn’t mean it’s completely taking away the risk of having underaged drinkers trying to get into a bar and order a drink. From the start, a bar or restaurant needs to check ID’s either at the door (for a bar or nightclub) or at the bar inside a restaurant that doesn’t have an age restriction to get inside, like a family establishment.

When there’s a big rush, servers, bartenders, and management need to be even more diligent. Even in the middle of a rush time needs to be devoted to checking ID’s.

Identify Drinkers

Having a system in order to spot drinkers can help, like with armbands, stamps, or other indicators. Have staff make regular spot-checks throughout the night to make sure only those with bands or stamps are drinking.

Cover All Doors

Some nightclub establishments have side doors and extra exits away from the major entrance. If this is the case it may be easy for underaged drinkers to slip in or let their friends come in undetected. Make sure to have staff stand by these doors or have regular checks or even security cameras facing directly at them.

Employ Bartenders to Help

Sometimes an underaged drinker with a realistic fake ID makes it inside a bar or nightclub. Even if this happens, and it still will, bartenders and servers can still be diligent when scanning for bands, stamps, or suspicious activity. By checking ID’s again when ordering a drink this can help to reduce suspected underaged drinkers.

Make The Nightclub or Bar 21 and Over

Some nightclubs allow patrons to be under 21. In an 18 and over bar it can be hard to differentiate who is actually of legal age. If this is too much to handle, consider updating the entrance age to 21 across the board.

Following these tips may not exactly solve the problem of underaged drinking as a whole. But taking steps to reduce this risk will only help keep everything transparent.

About RMS Hospitality Group

At RMS Hospitality Group, our expertly crafted policies are written specifically for the hospitality industry. We offer custom tailored solutions to meet any venue’s specific needs. For more information, contact our knowledgeable experts today at (516) 742-8585.

Posted in: blog Liquor Liability Nightclub Insurance