Late morning on a sunny Sunday, and who doesn’t love the idea of brunch? Offering brunch service is a great opportunity for restaurants to reach their client base and offer a unique selection of menu items and beverages. But remember, just because it’s the daylight hours, that doesn’t mean servers should be any less vigilant about safe beverage service. Bloody Marys and mimosas are standard brunch fare, and day drinking can still lead to over-intoxication. Here are a few tips that servers can keep in mind to help keep things safe, and make sure their customers still have a great experience.
- If customers are drinking, promote low-proof beverages or mocktails to go with their meals. A mimosa with orange or pear juice is a popular choice for brunch service. For recipe ideas for brunch-themed mocktails, head to the Martha Stewart website.
- Customers should eat and stay hydrated if they are consuming alcoholic beverages. If customers want to linger after their meal and continue beverage service, try suggesting a special brunch appetizer or snack to go with their beverages. Food helps keep 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. Try offering an appetizer to go with their drinks. A simple, “Would you like to try some of our brunch crostini or chips and salsa to go with your cocktail?” is always a good tactic.
- With each drink order, also offer to bring your guests a glass of ice water. Offering water is one of the easiest ways to help customers stay hydrated. That goes doubly for brunch served poolside or on the patio. The hot Las Vegas sun can speed up dehydration. Enjoying an alcoholic beverage on a hot day can be a refreshing treat, but it can also accelerate dehydration and can lead to heat-related illness.
- Remember, it is a myth that the caffeine in coffee will sober a person up faster. A person cannot consume multiple alcoholic beverages and then polish it off with a cup of coffee to ‘sober up.’ Coffee certainly goes hand in hand with eggs and potatoes, but it isn’t going to lower someone’s BAC. The body needs time to metabolize alcohol and then return to normal. There are no quick cures, only time.
- No matter what time of day, use the Techniques of Alcohol Management® to keep an eye on guests, use good judgement, and serve them safely. You have an obligation to serve responsibly. To and learn more and get your TAM Card®, register on our website.
What other brunch service and day-drinking tips would you share with hospitality workers? Tell us in the Comments below.
There is a common misconception that one must be 21 years old to obtain a TAM® Card, but in reality TAM® training is available to individuals ages 16 and up. Remember, anyone who works in sales and service of alcoholic beverages, or in security at establishments that serve or sell alcoholic beverages in Southern Nevada must obtain an alcohol awareness card (Nevada Revised Statutes). Many minors and young adults work in positions that may require them to have their cards. Examples include cashiering or clerking at grocery and convenience stores. Workers ages 16-17 may handle sealed alcoholic beverages such as wine bottles or beer cans if they are employed at these types of establishments, as long as they are supervised by an adult.
Rules are different for hospitality professionals working at on-premises locations, and this is often where the confusion about alcohol awareness training regulations comes in. One must be 21 years or older to serve alcohol for consumption on the premises. In other words, if you work in a bar, restaurant, casino or other establishment where you are responsible for mixing or serving open alcoholic beverages, you must be of legal drinking age yourself. Additionally, one must also be 21 or older to be allowed inside a casino. These rules are applicable to individuals in positions such as bartenders, waiters, cocktail servers, etc.
Need help making sure you or your staff is in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations? Learn more about laws and regulations for servers and sellers of alcoholic beverages in Nevada and complete your mandatory alcohol awareness training with TAM®. Laws and statutes can be confusing because they are at the state, county, and city levels; and yes, there are additional gaming regulations in some cases. TAM training will cover all of these laws with you and make sure you understand the ways to reduce your risk and liability. Also remember to follow the rules of conduct laid out by your employer. Many companies have additional policies to maintain guest and employee safety, so make sure to check with your manager or supervisor about any extra procedures in place.
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?
Teen’s Death on Party Bus Serves as a Warning – Las Vegas Sun
© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada