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?
© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada
Learn a new bartending skill and stand out from the pack.
There are a lot of things that go into a great bartender: a winning personality, an attention to detail, and a dedication to public safety, and the legal and moral issues of serving alcoholic beverages. Think you might be right for the job? To get a leg up on the competition, being able to entertain patrons with flair bartending techniques can be the cherry on top. And the best part? A flair bartender can do pretty well for themselves, especially if they can entertain while serving. A flair bartender 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 Vegas.com’s article, “Behind the Scenes: Flair Bartending in Vegas,” for a video interview with Rock & Rita’s flair bartender Anthony Pullen.
So you’re ready to become a flair bartender? TAM® of Nevada has some tips on how you can get started:
- 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. Consider attending a bartending school if you haven’t already, there are several reputable establishments in Southern Nevada. Some of these locations also offer flair training, so be sure to ask for details of what their programs offer when you’re checking credentials. You can also get lots of practical education tending a bar and learning the ropes from other traditional, and flair bartenders.
- Obtain your TAM® Card. All hospitality professionals in Southern Nevada are required to obtain their alcohol education card prior to working at a location where they’ll be selling and serving alcoholic beverages. The Techniques of Alcohol Management® will give you the skills and knowledge you need to serve responsibly.
- 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. Another tip? Try practicing at home with plastic bottles until you get the hang of things – you will inevitably drop some bottles, and nothing will put a damper on your day faster than a mess of shattered glass to clean up.
Flair bartending is not a skill one will learn easily or overnight, but it can be done! For more information on flair bartending news, training and industry information, and a place to network with other bar professionals, you can always check out the Flair Bartenders’ Association.
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?
© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada
A recent news story regarding the accidental service of an alcoholic beverage to a minor is making waves, and it serves to remind us exactly why alcohol awareness education is so important. A toddler was recently served an alcohol-infused margarita mix in place of apple juice at an Applebee’s restaurant in Michigan, possibly the result of a mislabeled bottle at the bar. You can read the full story on The Detroit News’ website here.
New procedures have been put in place by the company to prevent this type of mistake from happening again, but the damage has already been done. The parents are suing, and there is a monstrous wave of bad publicity for the Applebee’s franchise. Luckily, the child who consumed the beverage and began behaving strangely is OK, but he did register a .10 BAC, more than the legal limit of intoxication for an adult driver. Worth noting and also alarming is that this is the fourth such related incident reported since 2006 for Applebee’s. This is why staff training and alcohol awareness education is so important. There are legal, ethical and moral obligations to keep patrons, of all ages, safe.
Policy changes put into place by Applebee’s include only using apple juice from single-serve containers and retraining staff on beverage pouring policies and procedures. You can read Applebee’s response regarding the event and more about their new procedures here.
As a reminder to all hospitality workers, there are a few common-sense solutions that everyone can use to make sure that patrons are receiving what they ordered, and are being served safely and responsibly.
- Store alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages separately, and make sure containers are labeled properly so that bartenders and servers are aware of the contents. A pitcher may look like it contains juice or something else recognizable, but if you aren’t 100% sure of the contents, do not serve it.
- Double check that your guests are being served exactly what they ordered. If you deliver beverages to your guests, aside from visually inspecting the glass to make sure that they are receiving their correct beverage choice, you can repeat the beverage name to the patron upon delivery to confirm with them that they are receiving exactly what they ordered. If another staff member delivers beverages to your patrons for you, swing by to make sure the order is correct and they are happy with their beverage.
- Always card your guests if they appear to be under 30. Hospitality workers need to be concerned not only with incorrect orders and beverages, but also underage patrons who are trying to illegally obtain alcoholic beverages. To learn more about recognizing a fake or borrowed ID, refer to our blog post, “Are Minors Using Fake IDs and Sneaking Past You?” Most establishments also have a guidebook, like the I.D. Checking Guide, for validating various forms of identification. Ask your manager if you have a guide like this in your establishment and refer to it if needed. The I.D. Checking Guide can be purchased from TAM® here.
To learn more about safe beverage service, take the Techniques of Alcohol Management (TAM) ® course offered by TAM® of Nevada. Do you think this incident could have been prevented? What types of procedures does your establishment have in place to prevent these types of accidents from happening?
Toddler’s Alcoholic Drink Prompts Changes at Applebee’s – The Detroit News
Applebee’s Corporate Statement on Incident in Madison Heights, MI – Applebee’s
© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada
Often imitated, never duplicated, TAM® of Nevada has been the sole provider of official TAM® Cards to the Las Vegas community for over 25 years. There are several providers of credible and effective alcohol awareness training and drink cards, but TAM® of Nevada is the only authorized provider of the official TAM® card. Also, more employers recommend TAM® of Nevada for their employees’ alcohol education than any other provider. Wonder why? You can learn more about what sets TAM® of Nevada apart and makes our training unique here.
Make sure whatever training program you choose is approved by the Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education, and be wary of any company other than TAM® of Nevada that promises to sell you a TAM® Card. All training is not created equal, and working with a fake alcohol awareness card can land you, and your employer, in serious trouble. If you already have your TAM Card®, it is easy to check to make sure you’ve received a legitimate drink card and training program. Check out the sample TAM® Card shown here, and make sure yours has the same or similar look. Look for each of the following identifying characteristics which can be found on every card:
- TAM® name and registered trademark. Your card should have ‘TAM®’ written across the top in the title with the registered trademark symbol.
- Official TAM® logo. Look to the bottom left corner of your card, underneath your photo, and make sure you see the TAM® logo.
- Unique Control Number. On the front of your card, you should see a chain of numbers which begin after the letters OE. A different control number is issued to each TAM® Card holder, and is unique to you. Older TAM® cards may have “LVMPD#” followed by a chain of numbers.
- Signature on back of card. The back of your card should have the official TAM® logo along with a pre-printed signature.
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. Remember, alcohol education is mandatory for almost all service professionals in Southern Nevada, and you can learn more about alcohol awareness education requirements by reading our blog, “Call It What You May … But There’s Only One TAM Card!”
© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada