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March Madness is Here. Are You Ready for the Crowds?

march mardnessMarch Madness officially kicks off this Thursday and is one of the biggest draws of the year in Las Vegas. Why not make the most of being on center stage to show visitors and locals alike all that Vegas has to offer? Taxi drivers, restaurants, and shops will all be working hard to accommodate the influx of visitors and hotel room prices have skyrocketed for this weekend. Establishments all over town are preparing to face huge crowds of patrons looking for viewing parties, food, drink, quality service, and a good time.

If you’re planning to work during the course of the event, it presents a great opportunity to make extra tip money and wow your guests at the same time. Are you looking for ways to net bigger sales and tips? There are a few things that can set you apart from the competition:

  1. Special events such as March madness are a great opportunity to try special menu items, viewing parties or themed promotions. Why not offer a specially-priced cocktail menu to entice your guests? Your bartenders could create signature team-themed cocktails or sports-themed menu items to get your guests in the celebratory mood and trying something new. Looking for even more inspiration from other local events happening around town? Check out Vegas Chatter’s guide to March Madness celebrations.
  2. Make suggestions to your guests for visiting popular spots in Las Vegas. As a local, you can capitalize on your knowledge of what is going on in and around town and pass on suggestions to your guests on how to fill their time in between games. Guests will appreciate the insider scoop and ability to make recommendations on after-parties, places where locals like the hang out, and off the beaten path sites to visit. You may also want to suggest use of the Las Vegas monorail, trolleys, free trams, and free shuttles. With the huge crowds expected, having a variety of options to get around will be helpful.
  3. Always practice safe alcohol sales and service. The lessons you learn in your TAM® course will help you to serve responsibly. A well-educated server is familiar with alcohol’s effects on the body and can recognize the dangerous signs of over-intoxication. Watch how much you are serving and how often. You can help to cut down on the number of over-intoxicated individuals who ruin the atmosphere for others, or potentially harm themselves. Also, call a cab for any inebriated drivers on your premises. Keeping them off the road helps keep us all safe.

How are you planning to make the most of the March Madness crowds, and what team are YOU rooting for?

Resources

Vegas Chatter’s Guide To March Madness Parties – Vegas Chatter

© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Filed under Alcohol Education Cards, Alcohol Sales

Meet Our Instructors: Sherry Cummings

Sherry_CummingsYou can tell a lot about a company by the people that work there, and here at TAM® of Nevada we have an amazing set of knowledgeable, professional, and fun instructors. Whether you complete your TAM® training online or in the classroom, you can expect to meet some of our staff members. We’d like to introduce you to our staff in a new blog segment: Meet Our Instructors. I had the opportunity to interview each of our instructors, and this is a great bunch.

Let’s kick off this week by getting to know our General Manager and TAM Instructor, Sherry Cummings. Originally from New Jersey, Sherry has lived and traveled extensively throughout the USA, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Hotel marketing in Mexico led her to owning multiple restaurants in Puerto Vallarta. Sherry’s later tenure as Food & Beverage Manager at Pegasus, a Mobile Four Star dining room inspired her to explore and hone her service skills, food knowledge and wine expertise.

The Court of Master Sommeliers certified Sherry and she continues to attend sommelier seminars and training programs. Sherry attended the Sterling School of Hospitality and was also certified by London’s Wine & Spirit Trust.

Later, Sherry worked at the Rio Hotel & Casino, Gatsby’s at the MGM and Southern Wine and Spirits in a variety of roles alongside wine directors, sommeliers and chefs up and down the strip! Now, Sherry brings her unique experience to the classroom and is in a fantastic position to teach responsible beverage service based on real-world examples.

If you’d like to attend a TAM Class taught by Sherry, register for a class on our website. The schedule varies by week, but you can normally find Sherry teaching students on Mondays and Wednesdays at 2:00pm.

© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Filed under Alcohol Awareness, Alcohol Education Cards

Four Loko Will Now Label Beverages with “Alcohol Facts”

The ban on caffeinated alcoholic beverages, also called alcopop, was one of the biggest stories in the beverage service and sales industry in 2010. Popular beverages such as Four Loko were called dangerous, a binge in a can, and worse. The Food and Drug Administration declared alcoholic energy drinks to be a public health concern and concluded that caffeine added to malt alcoholic beverages was an unsafe food additive (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). Four Loko removed the caffeine from their beverages to comply with new regulations. Now, the FTC has reached a settlement with Phusion Products, the makers of Four Loko, to take it a step further.

In an effort keep drinkers safe and well informed about how much alcohol they are consuming, cans of Four Loko will now display an “Alcohol Facts” label, similar to a nutritional label, to make it clear they pack a potent punch.

These facts will include the container size, percentage alcohol by volume, number of servings in the container and serving size in fluid ounces (NPR). Additionally, all cans of Four Loko containing more than two-and-a-half servings will also have to be re-sealable. The intent is to help consumers realize that they should not consume the entire can in one sitting. A can of Four Loko contains up to 12% alcohol, and a 23.5 ounce can is equivalent to about four or five standard beers (San Francisco Chronicle). Binge drinking means drinking so much within about 2 hours that blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels reach 0.08g/dL. For women, this usually occurs after about 4 drinks, and for men, after about 5. (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).

This should serve as a reminder to all beverage service professionals to always serve responsibly. Alcopops with colorful packaging and fruity flavors are especially popular with teen drinkers, so servers and sellers should be extra vigilant in checking identification and observing guests.

Resources

© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Filed under Alcohol Awareness, ID Checking

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman Recognizes TAM of Nevada for Community Participation

TAM® of Nevada has been a part of the Las Vegas community for over 25 years, and is proud to continue offering an important service and superior product to local residents and businesses. We were happy to kick off the New Year by attending the 2nd Annual CNY in the Desert, and look forward to additional community events in 2013.

We are proud to announce that TAM® of Nevada General Manager Sherry Cummings will be recognized by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman on Wednesday, February 20th for her hard work with TAM® of Nevada and her participation in the Annual CNY in the Desert event.

Sherry will be recognized during the City Council Meeting held at City Hall at approximately 11:00am. Las Vegas residents are welcome to attend the proceedings, and the meeting will also be broadcast live on KCLV, cable channel 2 and online at www.kclv.tv.

Join us at the Las Vegas City Council meeting to support our local business and community leaders on Wednesday at:

Council Chambers
495 South Main Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101
 

To learn more about the services we offer visit our website or stop by and say “hello” on February 20th. Also be sure to stay up to date about this and other activities and events TAM® of Nevada will be attending by connecting with us on Facebook.

© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Make It Your 2013 Resolution to Renew Your TAM® Card

TAM02_057Alcohol awareness cards expire every four years, are you due for renewal in 2013? Renewing your TAM® Card or alcohol awareness card has never been easier. Additionally, if you have obtained your alcohol awareness card from a different provider in the past, you can still renew with TAM® of Nevada. Why not complete the best training available and trade up for an official TAM® Card?

Please use the following information as a “cheat sheet” of TAM® Card renewal information, and pass on to anyone you know who may benefit from these details.

  1. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a “shorter” class for students who need to renew their alcohol education cards. State law mandates that students must complete the ENTIRE program following specific topics and curriculum every four years in order to remain in compliance. Plan on dedicating about 3 hours to your course, followed by a short exam.
  2. Online or on-site, the choice is yours on which option fits best with your lifestyle and schedule. Classroom training is NOT required; you can take your alcohol awareness course online. You’ll receive the same great training and a valid TAM® Card with either option.
  3. We now also offer open lab time on Tuesdays for students who would like to complete their alcohol awareness training online, but do not have access to a computer. Students are welcome to visit our training center and use our computer lab to complete their training every Tuesday between 9:00am and 5:00pm.

TAM® is the industry-leading program for responsible alcohol server training and is approved by the Commission on Postsecondary Education in Nevada. Don’t accept substitutes. Trade in your old card and get a new TAM Card® today.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Filed under Alcohol Education Cards, Alcohol Sales, Renewal

Wishes for Safe and Happy Holidays from TAM of Nevada

TAM CardLas Vegas is a city that knows how to throw a party. Bars and restaurants all across town are preparing for a week of successful and festive holidays promotions. With everyone getting revved up for the holiday season and big holiday parties, what does that mean to you as a server, seller, security officer, operator or establishment owner? You need to be prepared.

  • Servers and sellers should be extra vigilant in checking identification and observing guests. Be sure that your guests are not over-served and are getting enough food and water while they are enjoying their alcoholic beverages. If one of the guests in a group you are serving becomes intoxicated, check with other guests in their group to make sure that they have a safe ride home. If necessary, let any guests know that AAA will offer Tipsy Tow service with a one-way ride to drivers and their vehicles, up to 5 miles, at no cost on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Rest assured that tow service will only be provided to a driver’s home and not to any other drinking establishment or similar location, so you know your patrons will get home safely.
  • Security Professionals should note that big party nights equal higher energy levels, increased levels of excitement and overindulgence. Be visible and interact with your establishment’s guests to defuse potential issues. Be extra diligent when checking IDs to ensure that you keep the underage out of your 21 and over establishment! A recent decoy operation during a “Santa Pub Crawl” in Reno resulted in a 91% compliance rate for establishments checked for selling alcohol to minors, which is great. But, regardless of the impressive compliance rate, there were still establishments which failed the check. Don’t let your guard down this holiday season (KOLO 8 News).

We would love to hear from you! What other recommendations do you have for keeping the holiday celebrations fun and safe for your guests?

TAM® of Nevada is wishing all of our students a safe and happy holiday season and New Year. If you could like to come in for a TAM® Class or proctored exam next week, our holiday hours are as follows:

  • Monday 12/24 and Tuesday 12/25 – CLOSED.
  • Wednesday 12/26 through Friday 12/28 – Open 8:30am-5:00pm. Classes at 9:00am and 2:00pm.
  • Saturday 12/29 – Open 8:30am-5:00pm. Class at 9:00am only.
  • Monday 12/31 – Open 8:30am-5:00pm. Class at 9:00am only.
  • Tuesday 1/1 –CLOSED. We will reopen for regular business hours beginning Wednesday, January 2nd at 8:30am.

Resources

© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Filed under Alcohol Awareness, Alcohol Education Cards, Alcohol Sales

Teen Drinking: National Survey Shows That about 75% of Underage Nevadans Do Not Drink

teen-drinkingA new survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says Nevada comes in just below the national average for underage drinking with roughly 1 in 4 teens admitting to illegally imbibing. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found 24.5% of Nevada residents between the ages of 12 and 20 drank liquor in the previous month.

While Nevada numbers fall below the national underage drinking rate of 26.6%, and give the state the 13th lowest rate in the country, this is still an alarming trend. As a service professional, what can you do to reinforce the message that underage drinking is not OK and the majority of underage people do not drink? What more can you do to help prevent underage drinking and keep things safe?

It only takes a minute to check an ID and prevent a minor from entering a bar and buying a drink. Additionally, gas stations, grocery stores and liquor stores are all places that teens turn to in order to purchase liquor, and staffers at those establishments should also take steps to ensure they are doing all they can to prevent illegal sales.

The first defense for sales professionals is a thorough knowledge of local and state laws, and mandatory alcohol awareness training. Alcohol awareness training from TAM of Nevada will teach you how to spot fake, altered and borrowed identification, which is popular with teen drinkers. Also remember that TAM Cards expire after four years, contact TAM® of Nevada if you need to renew your training. Officials may ask to see your alcohol awareness card during an alcohol compliance check.

Resources

 

  • State Estimates of Underage Alcohol Use and Self-Purchase of Alcohol: 2008 to 2010 – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

 

© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Filed under Alcohol Awareness, Alcohol Sales