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Preventing Alcohol-Related Incidents in Restaurants

Sep 30, 2020

Liquor Liability

Preventing Alcohol-Related Incidents in Restaurants Preventing Alcohol-Related Incidents in Restaurants

After COVID-19 spread throughout the U.S., restaurants and bars went into full-on panic mode as local mandates closed their doors to prevent further contamination. In response, these establishments began alcohol service to-go or through delivery, opening up a new revenue-generating avenue for bars and restaurants and helping them stay afloat. But even as the top food spots and watering holes open back up as restrictions around COVID-19 ease, there is now a bigger spotlight on alcohol-related incidents, such as fights, accidents, and even death. To prevent these risks, local jurisdictions are now focusing on keeping everyone safe, highlighting the need for Liquor Liability Insurance plans to cut down on risk.

But while a combination of liquor liability insurance and NY restaurant risk management can minimize unnecessary risks, knowing how to prevent them from occurring is just as important.

Know Your Laws

Annually, nearly 90,000 people die from alcohol-related incidents. Some of these victims are underage, making it important for restaurants to not serve anyone under 21. A restaurant's staff also needs to know it's illegal to serve anyone who is visibly intoxicated or who a reasonable person would know is already under the influence. The sale of alcohol to underage or intoxicated customers is considered a Class B misdemeanor offense in some states.

Staff should know how to determine questionable age, recognize signs of intoxication, techniques for cutting someone off from more drinks, and reduce the risk of civil liability.

Check ID's

It should be a policy to check anyone who looks under the age of 30. Valid forms of ID include a valid driver's license, a DMV-issued identification card, a valid passport, or an armed services identification card. Other forms of ID, such as a student identification card, are easier to forge and should not be trusted. Alcohol-related incidents can be costly, so your clients should take the time to examine proper forms of identification.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration, and the awful morning after hangover everyone dreads. Dehydration makes customers thirsty and potentially prone to consume more alcohol than they usually would in other circumstances. Staff should know that offering water helps slow down alcohol consumption.

Have Policies and Stick to Them

Setting a standard and sticking to it is the best thing a restaurant can do to promote the responsible service of alcohol. If a restaurant is not sure where to start when it comes to crafting a policy, there are plenty of resources to pull from. The New York State Liquor Authority provides guidance for restaurants on how to create and enforce policies.

While these steps can help to cut down on risks, they won't completely mitigate them. Taking steps to ensure everyone is getting the same amount of attention and care will increase the chances of a safer drinking experience and keep patrons safe.

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 experts today at (888) 359-8390.

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COVID-19 Update:

At RMS and associated firms, business continues as usual. Our staff is remote-capable and available to handle all partners, brokers, and insureds at the present time.