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Brush Up On Your Bartending Skills – Inspiration from Las Vegas’ Best Flair Bartenders

Flair bartenderThere are a lot of things that go into a great bartender: a winning personality, an attention to detail, and a dedication to the legal and moral responsibilities that come with serving alcoholic beverages. Think you might be right for the job? Why not get a leg up on the competition with additional skills and techniques to set you apart from the competition?

If you can flip bottles, juggle cocktail shakers, and serve up excellent drinks with a smile, you may be a great candidate for becoming a flair bartender. Additionally, flair bartenders can do pretty well for themselves, especially if they can entertain while serving. Flair bartenders will draw in more customers, making more money for the bar, and themselves.

Flair bartenders are known for using bar tools and liquor bottles as props to entertain while they are mixing drinks. It can be quite a sight to see someone juggling liquor bottles, mixing drinks behind their backs, carefully setting fire to mixed drinks, and more. Las Vegas is home to some of the best flair bartenders in the country, and boasts several bars and clubs that showcase their talents. If you’re considering a career as a flair bartender, Las Vegas is the place to be. Make sure to check out Las Vegas Weekly’s article, “From glass-juggling to bottle-throwing, the best flair bars in Las Vegas,” for a feature on some of the city’s most impressive and popular flair bars.

So you’re ready to become a flair bartender? TAM® of Nevada has some tips on how you can get started:

Obtain your TAM® Card. All hospitality professionals in Washoe and Clark Counties are required to obtain their alcohol education card prior to working at a location where they’ll be selling or serving alcoholic beverages. The Techniques of Alcohol Management® course will satisfy state training requirements and will give you the skills and knowledge you need to serve responsibly.

Get educated on bartending techniques. Flair bartending requires a solid working knowledge of bartending skills, plus lots of practice, practice, practice! Before you start juggling liquor bottles, it’s important to learn how to mix drinks, and build up your bartending know-how of tips and techniques. It won’t matter how well you can entertain if you don’t know how to make a martini.

Practice makes perfect. Every day at work you’ll have the chance to handle bottles and shakers, so practice spinning shakers in your hand and doing simple tricks when you have some downtime. Starting with the basics and working your way up to more difficult tricks, you’ll begin to feel comfortable with your props and impress your guests at the same time. You can also watch plenty of flair training videos online for tips and tricks to learning basic flair bartending moves. A great resource is TAM of Nevada’s YouTube channel; we’re always adding our favorite flair bartending videos and tutorials.

Our most important advice of all of all: Remember to have fun! What is the best advice you would give to someone looking to start a career as a flair bartender?

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© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Announcing Our Quarterly Customer Satisfaction Survey Winner – Have You Entered Our Drawing Yet?

TAM® of Nevada has been happy to serve the Las Vegas community for over 25 years, and we are always happy to hear from our customers about their experiences with our alcohol awareness training program. If you’ve completed your alcohol awareness training with us in the past, you know that at the conclusion of the course we invite students to complete a short survey about their experience with TAM® of Nevada. And, as a token of thanks for their participation, we enter survey respondents into a drawing for a $100 Amazon.com gift card prize.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our students for their survey comments and feedback. We’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Tami S., the most recent winner of our quarterly drawing. If you’ve recently completed your TAM Card course and haven’t yet completed the customer satisfaction survey, we invite you to visit us on Facebook to access the survey and submit your responses. While you are there, write on our Wall! Let us know your favorite part of the training, what you learned, or ask us any questions you might have.

Thinking about obtaining your TAM® Card at TAM® of Nevada? Rest assured our students have provided us with overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding their course experiences. Here are some survey responses from our customers:

  • I thought it was great. I’ve lived in California and Oregon and we have nothing that relates to this. Keep up the good work.
  • It was nice having any questions answered right on the spot. Instructors were very friendly and helpful. I passed on my first try. Thank you TAM :)
  • This was my first time attending this class. It was very informative. I hope to see you again when I renew my TAM card. Keep up the good work.
  • Instructor Ken made this class fun to take and informative. I learned a lot and got 100% on the test. Ken made it fun & simple to understand and prep for the test.

Thank you again to all of our TAM® students and customers for your patronage and helpful responses. Remember to visit us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.

© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Las Vegas Teens Learn About the Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Late last week, local Las Vegas Legacy High School juniors and seniors learned a tough lesson about the dangers of driving while impaired. With the Every Fifteen Minutes program, participants were guided through a unique and powerful 2-day event complete with student and parent involvement, mock obituaries being read about participating students, and even a chance to tour what looked like an active fatal accident scene involving friends and peers.

By giving teens a close-up look at the real and tragic consequences of driving while impaired, there is hope that students will take the lessons to heart and make safe choices for themselves in the future. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has partnered with the Clark County and Las Vegas Fire Departments, University Medical Center, Clark County Coroner’s Office, Mercy Air, Ambulance services, Palm Mortuary and a host of sponsors to create this unique learning experience for Clark County teens.

Teens often have feelings of invincibility about dangerous choices and feel like nothing bad could possibly happen to them. By launching an interactive program to demonstrate the dangers of what could happen to them and other teens like them, it drives the point home. To learn more about the Every Fifteen Minutes program and activities, visit the LVMP website.

The program’s name was derived from the fact that in the early 1990’s, every fifteen minutes, someone in the United States died in an alcohol-related traffic collision. The NHTSA now estimates that the number of fatal alcohol-related collisions is lower. Now, approximately every 51 minutes, someone dies in a drunk-driving related traffic collision. As a TAM® Card holder or hospitality worker, are you doing all you can to help bring the number of drunk-driving related accidents even lower?

Remember to remain vigilant:

  • Display signage in your store or bar announcing that purchasers of alcohol will be carded.
  • Report any suspicious behavior or activity among patrons to your supervisor or manager.
  • Keep up-to-date with your TAM® training.
  • ALWAYS check identification carefully, especially for anyone who appears to be under the age of 30.

What you do think about the Every Fifteen Minutes program? What policies have you instituted at your business to help deter teen drinking?

Resources

© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Serving Alcoholic Beverages in a Limo or Party Bus? TAM Cards are required.

Tourists and locals alike often rely on chauffeurs to transport them in limousines, sedans, and party buses for a variety of events and special occasions. Even if limo drivers and transportation companies cannot sell alcoholic beverages, in many cases passengers are permitted to bring their own drinks, and drivers will be responsible for carefully monitoring passengers. In the regular course of business, drivers may find themselves pouring glasses of champagne or other alcoholic beverages for passengers on airport pickups, nightclub crawls, chartered tours of the Las Vegas strip, wedding and bachelor parties, and more. If you work in a position where you may serve alcoholic beverages to passengers, you are required by Nevada state law to complete alcohol awareness training and obtain a TAM® Card.

Party buses and limousines are often times equipped with neon and strobe lights, televisions, and surround sound, all of which contribute to a fun and exciting atmosphere. Passengers are in a celebratory mood, and limo drivers have the responsibility of not only safely transporting them to their final destinations, but also making sure they are not over-served or otherwise behaving inappropriately. The recent death of a party bus passenger in New York serves as a reminder that safety is of the utmost importance and that drivers must remain vigilant (Las Vegas Sun). Always follow company policies and procedures when it comes to guest safety and make sure your passengers are aware of any necessary rules and safety regulations.

You can make sure that your passengers are having an enjoyable time, are served responsibly, and remain respectful of the vehicle and others. To learn more about safe beverage service, take the Techniques of Alcohol Management (TAM)® course offered by TAM® of Nevada.

Have you worked as a chauffeur in Las Vegas? What advice would you give to others for keeping passengers safe?

Resources

Teen’s Death on Party Bus Serves as a Warning – Las Vegas Sun

© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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With College Students Returning to Campus for the Fall Semester, Be Extra Vigilant in Checking I.D.s

Underage drinking is a serious concern in Nevada, and police agencies across the state are working to remind retailers, servers of alcohol, and teens that if they do not abide by the laws, they will face consequences. With students returning to classes for the Fall Semester, many young adults are moving in to dorms and living on their own for the first time, which means a new sense of freedom for many.

Many young students will be busy adjusting to their new schedules, making new friends, and in many cases, partying around and off campus. If you work selling or serving alcoholic beverages, be on the lookout for underage drinkers, and make sure to always check for valid identification. Additionally, remember to keep a close eye on patrons and make sure no one is over-served. Even adults ages 21 and over need to be monitored closely to keep things safe. For more tips on stopping underage drinkers, read our blog post, “A Dangerous Cocktail –Teen Drinking.”

Police are stepping up their patrols around the state. On August 24 and 25, officers from the University of Nevada Police Department and Reno Police Department issued 32 misdemeanor citations and seven people were arrested for various underage drinking violations (KRNV Reno). On the other side of the state, Mesquite Police Officers recently conducted a test using a 21 year- old male to see if retailers are asking for identification when alcohol is being purchased. Of the nine businesses checked, one did not ask for ID. In this case, even one slip-up could have resulted in severe consequences if the purchaser had in fact been underage (City of Mesquite).

Don’t forget, alcohol education in mandatory in both Clark and Washoe counties. In addition to online and regularly scheduled classes in Las Vegas, TAM® of Nevada is able to conduct alcohol awareness training courses for businesses in Reno, and offers courses for individuals once a month in Mesquite.

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© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Is Your Staff in Need of Alcohol Awareness Training? TAM® of Nevada is Now Offering Onsite Classes and Proctoring for Reno/Sparks Area Businesses

TAM® of Nevada is expanding! In addition to our Training Center in Las Vegas, we’re happy to announce we’ll now be offering classes and proctoring for students and on-site solutions for businesses in the Reno/Sparks area.

Employers have a duty to ensure that all of their employees are properly trained in responsible alcohol beverage service prior to their start of work. Want to take the hassle out of staying on top of those training requirements? TAM® of Nevada offers special onsite alcohol awareness classes for groups and companies, and we’ll make sure your staff is trained the right way. Want to know if our training solutions might be right for your company?

  1. Do you have dozens or hundreds of employees who are working day, afternoon and evening shifts? With employees working a variety of different schedules, you can ensure that everyone receives convenient training on-site at your location at convenient times. TAM® is able to offer alcohol awareness training for businesses scheduled on-site at their work locations several times throughout the year. With this option, you can count on a solution that works for your current employees, and ensures any new hires receive the same great training.
  2. We offer options that have your staff taught with one uniform training program to meet all state requirements. When your employees receive training at your Washoe County business, we can tailor a program to meet your needs. TAM’s capable instructors are available to hold regular classes and proctor exams at your facility, at your convenience. For example, we recently launched alcohol awareness classes for Smith’s® employees in Mesquite, NV, and are preparing to provide required training for over 100 students on-site.
  3. With enforcement efforts on the rise, why risk having trouble with something like alcohol awareness training? Local police agencies in Nevada have been increasing their decoy operations and busting establishments and their employees for selling alcohol to minors. Additionally, if someone is busted serving alcohol to a minor, one of the first things law enforcement may do is check their alcohol awareness card to verify that it is valid. Remember, not all alcohol awareness training is created equal. We can evaluate your staff’s current status to make sure everyone is in compliance and holds a valid alcohol education card. Check out our recent blog post, “Over Half of Reno Bars Visited in Alcohol Compliance Check Busted for Serving Minors. Are You Checking for I.D.?” for additional details on a recent decoy operation.

TAM® of Nevada has been tailoring training to meet corporate client needs since its inception. Please contact us today to learn more or to arrange training for your facility.

© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Casino Security – A New TV Show to Profile Vegas Cheaters

Do you work in security at a Las Vegas casino property? It may not always be as glamorous as an Ocean’s Eleven plotline, but casino security and surveillance in Las Vegas is a serious business. As a security guard, one has to be aware of their surroundings at all times. The job at hand is to maintain the safety and security of the staff and patrons of an establishment, and to diffuse any potentially hazardous or disruptive situation before it can happen. The job can present some unique challenges on the casino floor.

Every year gamblers come to Vegas to try their luck, and a small number of them come with the intentions of cheating the system. There is a new documentary series titled “Cheating Vegas” set to premier on Sunday on the Destination America cable channel which will detail how these cheaters try to gain an advantage, and what casinos are doing to stop them. Sunday’s premiere episode will showcase the impressive security features inside the Aria resort. Are you planning to tune in?

And remember, Nevada law specifies that security professionals in Clark County must obtain a TAM® Card prior to the start of work. It’s not just cheaters and thieves that need to be managed in a casino setting; security professional needs to be on the lookout for disruptive patrons, rowdy drunks, and even dishonest employees. To learn more about what to watch out for if you work in security or are considering a career as a security professional, read our blog post, “Casino Security – Suspicious Activity to Watch For.”

What types of scams or suspicious behavior have you witnessed while working as a security guard? What tips would you give to someone looking to work as a security professional in Las Vegas?

Resources

© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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