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Las Vegas Police Issue DUI Citations after Super Bowl Celebrations – A Reminder about Safe Beverage Service

Holidays, special sporting events, and other events which draw crowds looking to gather in a fun and celebratory environment can up the odds that some partiers may choose to drive while intoxicated. Las Vegas Police issued a warning to those planning to celebrate around town on Super Bowl Sunday; if you drink and drive, you will get caught.

After setting up a sobriety checkpoint and reminding people not to drink and drive, there were unfortunately still several incidents around town. On Sunday night there was a six-car crash reported on Rainbow Boulevard which resulted in one fatality, thought to be caused by a drunk driver (8 News Now). In another incident across town, a teenager was hit by a suspected drunk driver while waiting at a bus stop in the early AM hours on Monday (Action News 13). Police took 13 suspected drunken drivers off the road on Sunday evening, but even one drunk driver is too many.

While those consuming alcoholic beverages should be responsible about their alcohol intake, bartenders, and anyone else who serves alcoholic beverages also has a legal and moral responsibility to serve responsibly, and promote an alternative means of getting home if anyone appears intoxicated. For a list of steps service professionals can take to serve responsibly and promote safe beverage service, refer to our blog post, “DUI-Related Traffic Deaths Up This Year in Southern Nevada – Are You Doing All You Can to Help Prevent Drunk Driving?

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© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Summer Jobs – Opportunities Abound to Work Poolside in Las Vegas!

Ever dream of working in a position where you can enjoy the summer sunshine, listen to music from excellent DJs, and net great tips at one of the area’s most popular venues? It’s that time of year again, and the hottest spots around town are hiring for a variety of summer positions at their pools and bars. Whether you’re looking for work as a cocktail server, bartender, host, or a variety of other hospitality-based positions, these brisk winter months are the best time to prepare for auditions and interviews. Las Vegas Weekly released an informative article, “Tips for Landing a Job on a Las Vegas Pool Deck,” with great advice for landing a summer job poolside, as well as a detailed list of who’s hiring, and what you’ll need to do to apply.

Las Vegas Weekly offers great advice on how to prepare, but remember, you’ll also need to obtain your TAM® Card prior to serving drinks, poolside or otherwise. Visit our website to register for one of our online or on-site alcohol awareness classes today. For even more advice on responsible poolside beverage service, check out our blog post, “Are You Serving Poolside? Five Ideas for Popular Vegas Pool Parties!

What advice would you give others about serving poolside?

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© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

 

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Are You Serving Alcohol Lawfully? TAM® Cards Expire After 4 Years

Over 200,000 hospitality and service workers are employed in Clark County, most of whom are required, by state law, to receive alcohol awareness training and carry an Alcohol Education Card. Alcohol awareness training is mandatory for those who serve or sell alcoholic beverages or provide security services in casinos, restaurants, bars, clubs, and grocery/convenience stores in Clark and Washoe Counties. Many establishments also require anyone who handles alcoholic beverages and their managers and executive staff to carry cards. Do you already have your alcohol card? Great, but make sure to check the expiration date! TAM® Cards expire after four years, so don’t delay in staying current with your education.

There is a common misconception that one can “renew” their card by paying a fee or taking a short quiz, but law dictates one must re-take an approved alcohol awareness course every four years. Laws, policies and procedures, and even available alcohol products can go through considerable changes in four years, and it is very important for service professionals to be aware of those changes. The benefits of refreshing your education include staying up to date on current laws, refreshing knowledge about how alcohol affects the body and learning about what to watch out for, how to react to certain situations, and more.

There are some important points to consider as you determine how this information affects you:

  • Providers of alcohol awareness training, such as TAM® of Nevada, must be approved through Nevada’s Commission on Postsecondary Education. Cards issued by providers and provider locations not on the approved provider list could be deemed invalid.
  • Training can be taken online or in the classroom. If you’re interested in completing your training online, you can view our online course demo and sign up for a class here.
  • All students must physically go to the provider’s approved school location to take an exam that is proctored and pass the proctored exam with a score of at least 75%. TAM® of Nevada has convenient proctoring hours six days a week for students to drop-in to take their exam and obtain a TAM® Card.

If you are concerned that your current card may be invalid, or if you’d like to register for an alcohol awareness course, you can reach TAM® of Nevada here. For more information on laws governing alcohol awareness training in Nevada, check out our blog post, “Call It What You May… There’s Only One TAM Card!

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© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Service Excellence: Making your Serving Staff Stand Out

Bartenders and servers have a tough job. They must juggle customer satisfaction and safety with fast-paced service, heavy lifting, and hot kitchens… and do it all with smiles on their faces. Given the rigors of the job, a great hospitality worker can be a rare and welcome find, and it is very important that you have a proper training program in place for serve staff. Managers can benefit from a few suggestions aimed at helping to train serving staff to offer the best in hospitality and customer service to increase sales and encourage repeat business. Here are some ideas for making the most of your training program:

  1. Make the most of your search and hiring process to find candidates who are likely to succeed and fit in with your company culture. The first step to training your employees should begin with careful hiring. Make the most of your search by using traditional avenues for listing available positions such as your company website and websites such as LasVegasJobs.com. Additionally, also make use of your social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to advertise job listings and reach a wider audience. Once you’re ready to start interviewing, look for candidates who are interested in learning more about your company, are passionate about customer service, and who are ready to work in Las Vegas. Remember, TAM® Cards are required for employees in positions where they will sell or serve alcoholic beverages, so if new hires are not already certified, make sure they complete their TAM® Training and obtain their Health Card prior to the start of work.
  2. Create an orientation and training program that encompasses all of the important points a server or hospitality professional should be aware of. When outlining your orientation program make sure you touch on points such as safety, safe beverage service, and hand washing procedures, the process for greeting and serving guests, suggestive selling and upselling, and all important company policies and procedures. An orientation should let your staff know what you expect from them, and what they can expect in their new jobs. The goal for a successful orientation is for your new employees to leave well informed and excited about the new opportunity, and for you as a hiring manager to feel like you’ve conveyed the importance of all policies and procedures and set realistic goals and expectations.
  3. Consider enlisting your seasoned staff members to help show new hires the ropes. By allowing new hires to shadow your current employees while they get acclimated to their new positions, they get important on the job training from their peers on menu listings, point of sale systems, and everyday procedures. Your new hires will have someone to turn to on a busy night if they have questions, and your customers can still expect excellent service. Additionally, this is a great way to promote teamwork among your staff members.
  4. Stress that excellence and education is an ongoing process. Even seasoned hospitality professionals are constantly learning and improving. Remember, alcohol awareness cards expire every four years, and this is a good example of one way service professionals can brush up on their skills and knowledge by refreshing their training. You can also consider occasional team building or training workshops to cover topics of interest, or pass along any interesting articles or knowledge to your staff when appropriate. Subscribe to the TAM® of Nevada blog and other industry websites for articles and news items important to customer service professionals.

What ways would you recommend for training new hires? What is the best advice you received when training for a new serving job?

© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Begin the New Year with Positive Changes – Make it Your Resolution to Become TAM® Certified

TAM-Hospitality-ProfessionalsLas Vegas kicked off the New Year in high style with parties at all of the hottest spots around town. While Metro police noted that the evening’s festivities remained relatively orderly, there were 22 arrests for those suspected of drunk driving, and approximately 57 arrests for minor misdemeanor offenses on the Strip (Fox 5 Vegas). Drunk driving is never OK and rowdy behavior can be problematic for all of your guests and staff. Why not vow to help try and cut that number drastically in 2012? TAM®-Certified professionals know how to help keep things safe when serving alcoholic beverages, which can cut down drastically on these types of behaviors from patrons, and help keep the mood celebratory and fun for all. Why not kick off the New Year by doing all you can to provide excellent service to your patrons while also making sure they are not over-served and able to get home safely?

2012 can be the year to resolve to make changes in your career, education and business. Whatever your resolution, TAM® of Nevada has some ideas to get you motivated.

Sign up for your TAM® Class and get trained the right way. Carry your TAM card to show you received the best possible training. Protect yourself and your employer by getting your mandatory alcohol education through TAM® of Nevada. Contact us today to sign up for one of our online or classroom-based training sessions and kick off the New Year by completing or renewing your alcohol education.

Start an exciting new career or expand your existing career in the service industry. Resolve to begin the search to find your dream job, or make changes in your attitude and delivery at your current job. If you’re looking for a new career, make this the year that you up the ante on your job search. Show employers you are serious about obtaining the best possible training by obtaining a TAM® Card, and then make sure to read out blog post “You’re Hired! Landing a Job in the Hospitality Industry” for tips on making the most of your job search and nailing the interview. Or, if you’re already happy in your current position, why not take it to the next level and work on customer service?  Wow both your patrons and your boss with a fresh new outlook and dedication to providing excellent service. Check out our blog posts “Set the Tone and Increase Your Earnings with Positive Body Language” and “Service Excellence: Best Practices for Hospitality Professionals” for even more tips and ideas on how to impress your guests and net better tips.

Try out new ideas, deals, and special events at your establishment to kick start sales and draw in new patrons. There are many reasons why establishments can see a sales dip – increased competition, shifting tastes and attitudes of patrons, tired selections and décor, etc. Sometimes it’s tough to break old habits and get out of a rut, but hard work and creative thinking can pay off big for your business. Resolve to make 2012 the year you start thinking outside of the box and try new ideas to increase sales, motivate your staff and get customers buzzing about your establishment. If you’re ready to start brainstorming, read “Are Your Happy Hour Deals Falling Flat? New Ideas to Boost Your Bar Sales” and “Beating the January Lull” from Nightclub & Bar for more ideas to help you get started.

Wishing a Happy New Year to all from TAM® of Nevada. What is your New Year’s Resolution?

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© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Heineken Promotes Responsible Drinking with New Ad Campaign

In an effort to help promote responsible alcohol consumption among consumers, beer giant Heineken is kicking off a new ad campaign telling their customers that, “Sunrise belongs to moderate drinkers.” (Bar Business Magazine). Liquor and beer brands have long promoted responsible beverage service, sales and consumption, but this new move from Heineken really highlights the idea of enjoying an alcoholic beverage, having a great time, and being responsible about your health and safety. Heineken’s campaign will be based around drinkers responsibly consuming alcoholic beverages and ending the night enjoying a sunrise.

The campaign will appear in both online and offline advertising, and will feature heavily in Heineken’s social media channels. You can check out Heineken’s Facebook page to see sunrise photos shared by other fans, and contribute your own. And remember, TAM® of Nevada is also on Facebook, connect with us socially to join the conversation about TAM training and responsible beverage service and sales, plus stay up-to-date on news, events, TAM® tips and more.

Have you seen Heineken’s newest ad campaign? Do you think it will help to promote responsible drinking?

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Heineken Launches “Sunrise” Campaign for Responsible Drinking

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Over Half of Reno Bars Visited in Alcohol Compliance Check Busted for Serving Minors. Are You Checking for I.D.?

Sellers and servers of alcohol in Washoe and Clark counties are required to complete alcohol education and obtain an alcohol awareness card prior to the start of work. If an undercover officer came to your place of employment today to check the status of alcohol awareness card holders, would you be in compliance? If a younger patron came into your establishment and ordered a drink, would you ask to see their identification? This past Saturday Reno Police visited 32 establishments around Reno, Nevada and of those visited, 18 were busted for serving alcoholic beverages to minors in a decoy operation (Reno Gazette Journal). This serves as a reminder to TAM® Card holders to always ask to see I.D. for anyone who appears to be 35 years old or younger, and to follow company procedure and local laws for safe beverage service.

Establishments need to be diligent in requiring staff to check ID’s when making alcohol sales. Every establishment needs policies and procedures to prevent underage persons from obtaining alcohol, and to protect themselves from liability, and the public from harm. Decoy operations are not just used to catch those selling alcohol to minors, they can also be used to check the validity of your alcohol education card and whether it is expired.

Remember, selling alcohol to a minor is a very serious offense. TAM® of Nevada provides alcohol awareness training which covers all aspects of furnishing alcohol to a minor, and provides training on spotting fake IDs. Contact us today to sign up for online or classroom-based alcohol awareness training. Service professionals must be aware of the facts and dangers of teenage drinking and diligent about checking identification.

Additionally, if you are busted serving alcohol to a minor, one of the first things law enforcement and your employer may do is look at your alcohol education card. Not all training is created equal; completing your alcohol awareness course with TAM® of Nevada shows you’re serious about obtaining the best alcohol education possible.

Don’t put yourself at risk, always ask for identification, and get educated on effective ways to help stop teen drinking.

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Did Police Play the Grinch with an Alcohol Sting During Saturday’s Santa Pub Crawl in Reno?

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Join TAM of Nevada in Helping the Local Community with our Annual Holiday Food Drive

TAM® of Nevada has been a trusted service provider for alcohol education in the greater Vegas community for over 25 years. We’re happy to continue to provide training to our Las Vegas Locals, and at this time of year we are giving back to the community by partnering up with Three Square to help make the holidays a little brighter for local families with our Annual Food Drive. According to Three Square, one in six households in Nevada struggles with hunger, so every little bit does help. If you’re coming to our Training Center to complete your TAM® Training in the month of December, please consider bringing along a donation of non-perishables or canned goods to donate to our Three Square drop-box.

Students and anyone else who wishes to donate can stop in at our training center at 3900 Paradise, Ste G, in Las Vegas and drop off non-perishables and canned goods during business hours up until December 31, 2011.

Items that are high in protein, such as canned meats, tuna, and peanut butter are of particular need as well as canned or powdered milk. Other items to consider donating include canned vegetables, canned fruits, personal hygiene products (i.e. toothpaste, soap, deodorant, diapers), and paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, etc.). No glass containers, perishable items or home-canned foods please!

We look forward to seeing students and community members in the month of December and sincerely wish a Happy Holiday Season to everyone!

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© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Warning: Older Adults under Financial Strain May Be at Risk for Drinking More

It is tough times for many Americans in today’s economy, and some people are feeling the financial strain heading in to the holiday season. And, a recent study from researchers at the State University of New York at Albany, as reported by ABC News, found that older adults, especially men and people with less education, are more likely to drink and smoke when experiencing financial difficulties. Are you prepared for the holiday blues?

As explained in the study results, older adults may be at-risk for becoming heavy drinkers due to a number of issues including stress over financial uncertainty. In fact, among study participants, men who experienced financial difficulties were about 30% more likely to begin heavily drinking when compared with men who did not have money problems.

Bartenders and service professionals may notice an uptick in the number of patrons visiting their establishments to relax and unwind around the holidays, and should remain vigilant about responsible service. If you work in or run an establishment that serves or sells alcoholic beverages, you should always take precautions to safeguard your patrons, company, yourself and your community. Let’s not forget, during the holidays, 2-3 times more people die in alcohol related crashes, and 40% of traffic fatalities involve a driver who is impaired by alcohol (NIAAA). All patrons, young and old, should be monitored for over-consumption. Make sure you are employing all of the safe service techniques that you learned during your TAM® training!

For more information on how to be prepared for selling and serving drinks during the holiday season, make sure to read our blog posts, “Big Holiday Parties Are Upon Us,” and “Beware of Binge Drinkers.” Remember, hospitality is all about creating a fun experience and maintaining a safe environment for your guests and patrons. We would love to hear from you! What recommendations do you have for keeping the holidays fun and safe for your guests this season?

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© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

 

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DUI-Related Traffic Deaths Up This Year in Southern Nevada – Are You Doing All You Can to Help Prevent Drunk Driving?

If you’ve been following the local news lately, you’ll know about the recent spike in pedestrian deaths around Las Vegas. In the past few weeks, a 15-year-old was struck by an alleged drunk driver in Henderson, a child was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver while trick-or-treating in Las Vegas, and a pedestrian was killed the following night while crossing the street at Cheyenne Avenue, also hit by a driver who was later booked for DUI (News 3 Las Vegas). Police are taking this time to remind drivers and pedestrians alike to be cautious, follow safety precautions, and most importantly, say no to drunk driving. In fact, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, there have already been twelve alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Las Vegas this year, up from seven in 2010. As a service professional, are you doing all you can to help your patrons get home safe?

Bartenders, waiters and anyone else who serves alcoholic beverages have a legal and moral responsibility to serve alcohol responsibly, keep a close eye on their patrons, and promote an alternative means of getting home if anyone appears intoxicated. There are a few things you can do to help promote safe beverage policies:

  • Complete your mandatory alcohol education with TAM® of Nevada. TAM® will teach you and your coworkers to offer excellent and responsible beverage service while keeping patrons safe. TAM®-trained individuals receive the best education possible in safe serving and selling techniques.
  • Become familiar with sober driving services available in southern Nevada. Keep the number to cab companies at your bar so that you can make the call whenever necessary. Companies like Designated Drivers, Inc. provide a responsible alternative to driving while impaired. A driver will be dispatched to take your patron home in their own vehicle, no worries about retrieving their car after they sober up.
  • Keep a close eye on your customers. If a group of guests is at your establishment and an individual within the group is becoming intoxicated, check with a sober member of their group to make sure that they have a plan to get the intoxicated individual home safely. If there is no designated driver assigned, offer to call a cab. Alert your coworkers to make sure the individual is not served any more alcohol.
  • Familiarize yourself with company policies when it comes to intoxicated patrons and suspected drunk drivers. Alert your manager or supervisor if you need to cut someone off, if you need them to intervene in the situation, or if you have any concerns about a guest’s safety.

Drunk driving is a preventable problem, and service professionals in Nevada can help make a difference, and potentially help save lives. What other tips would you offer on how to help prevent drunk driving?

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© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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