Beware of Binge Drinkers recently reported an uptick in binge drinking. Some speculate that it may be caused by the jobless rate and economic woes. Binge drinking can result in alcohol poisoning, which occurs when a lot of alcohol is consumed in a short period of time. With Vegas being the place where people go to let loose and go a little crazy, binge drinking can be a big problem. If you are serving someone who is college-aged or if you find out that your customer may have been playing drinking games or front-loading before going out, then take precautions when serving. Think about how much more to serve and how quickly. You might also want to suggest food or water to help slow down the rate of consumption and absorption.

Why should you worry about binge drinkers and watch for those who may be headed down the path of alcohol poisoning?

  1. Someone who drinks a fatal dose of alcohol will eventually stop breathing.
  2. People, who survive an alcohol overdose, can suffer irreversible brain damage.
  3. A person’s blood alcohol concentration can continue to rise even while unconscious. Even after someone stops drinking, alcohol in the stomach and intestine continues to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
  4. A person who appears to be sleeping it off may be in real danger.

Critical signs of alcohol poisoning include confusion, passing out and vomiting. The Mayo Clinic offers some additional symptoms and gives suggestions for how to help someone that may be suffering from alcohol poisoning.

Have you ever had a situation where you had to respond to alcohol poisoning? What advice would you give to your colleagues for handling binge drinkers and alcohol poisoning?

© 2010 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada 

Are You Serving Poolside? Five Ideas for Popular Vegas Pool Parties!

Extended exposure to the heat and sun can cause dehydration. In fact, experts will tell you to avoid drinks containing caffeine or alcohol while in the sun or heat. When a person is dehydrated, they actually have a lower volume of blood. With less blood in the system, it will take less alcohol to reach a higher blood alcohol content level.

So, add alcohol to the mix and party goers can quickly become even more dehydrated while drinking their poolside cocktails. So, how can pool party servers ensure that their guests have fun in the sun? Remember, the key word is fun. Hugging the toilet or being rushed to the hospital with heat exhaustion is not fun. When your guests are having fun, they are more likely to give better tips. Here are five ways to keep the party hoppin’ without your customers droppin’:

  1. With each drink order, remember to ask, “Would you also like a glass of ice-cold water?” By helping your guests to stay hydrated, you’ll offset the dehydrating effects of the alcohol and the heat and sun.
  2. Offer food. Food in the stomach keeps alcohol in the stomach for a longer period of time which means that it will be absorbed into the bloodstream at a much slower rate.
  3. Count drinks and monitor behavior. By keeping track of how much your guests are drinking, you can better judge when they’ve had enough. When in doubt, do not serve.
  4. Monitor moods and serve accordingly. Anxiety can slow down or stop digestion and absorption of alcohol causing people to drink too much too fast. Then, once they do relax, all that alcohol that is setting in their stomach will release and the person may seem to become “instantly intoxicated.”
  5. Suggest some shade and promote an alcohol-free beverage. You can say, “You know it’s really hot out here today. I don’t want you to miss out on the party. Let me find you a shady spot. I’ll hook you up with a nice drink and you can sit back and watch all the hotties.”

By following these steps, you up the FUN factor and you keep yourself, other guests and your establishment safe.

What other ways that you have been managing service at Vegas pool parties?

© 2010 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada