Underage drinking is a serious concern in Nevada, and police agencies are always hard at work to remind retailers, beverage servers, and teens that if they do not abide by the laws, they will face consequences. One of the front line defenses used to combat teen drinking is the issuance of driver licenses that not only contain standard information such as a photo and birthdate, but also contain additional clues that the I.D. holder is a minor. Do you know what to look for on a driver’s license to determine if you can legally and safely serve the card holder?
Like other states across the country, Nevada redesigned their driver licenses several years ago to make it easier to spot a minor. Nevada made it easier to spot a minor by switching from horizontal to vertical printing. While driver licenses and identification cards for drivers over the age of 21 follow the traditional horizontal format, driver licenses for those under the age of 21 are printed vertically on the front, and horizontally on the back. Additionally, the DMV imprints an age restriction notice on a minor’s license for any individuals who are aged 18 and under. If the card holder is under 18 at the time of issuance, the card will feature a red banner with the words “Under 18 Until” followed by the date the cardholder will turn 18. Cards issued at ages 18-20 are in the vertical format but do not include the red banner.
When checking a driver license, a hospitality worker should make sure not to always equate the vertically printed with minors only. Remember, 19 and 20 year olds will still hold a vertically printed I.D. card. While they may not be of an age to legally purchase and consume alcoholic beverages, they may still be legally of age to enter 18+ clubs and other venues. Your TAM training will teach you how to use proper diligent inquiry to determine if you’re looking at valid identification. Don’t send revenue somewhere else because you didn’t properly check I.D. Always refer to the birthdate on the front of an I.D. card, and determine if the license is expired or still valid, to correctly determine the card holder’s age, and if you are able to serve them.
For additional tips and tricks for checking I.D. and spotting minors using fake I.D., make sure to complete your mandatory alcohol awareness course with TAM of Nevada. Our seasoned instructors will teach you what to look for, and how to react. Also remember:
- When checking a customer’s birth date, don’t rely solely on the birth year to confirm someone is of legal drinking age. Minors may count on busy servers to only check for the year of birth on an I.D. and try to order alcoholic beverages months before their 21st birthdays.
- Would it be helpful to you to know what to look for on identification from all 50 states and Canada? 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 as needed.
The sunny days of summer are in full swing in Las Vegas! If you’re working poolside, you know that frosty mugs of beer and tropical cocktails are top sellers. 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.
Are you serving thirsty patrons responsibly? Extended exposure to the heat and sun can cause dehydration. In fact, many experts will tell you to avoid drinks containing 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. How can pool party servers ensure that their guests have fun in the sun? Remember, the key word is fun. Heading to the hospital with heat exhaustion is not fun. Here are some tips to keep guests safe, happy, and having a great time.
- With each drink order, also offer to bring your guests a glass of ice water. Drinking water is one of the easiest ways to help stay hydrated. By helping your guests to stay hydrated, you’ll work to offset the dehydrating effects of the alcohol, sweltering heat, and the sun.
- With drink orders, remember to encourage your guests to order food. 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 your bar patrons an appetizer or entrée to go with their drinks. A simple, “Would you like to try some of our famous sliders to go with your cocktail?” is always a good tactic.
- Don’t forget to keep an eye on guests and monitor their 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. You’ll learn all of the tips and tricks of save beverage service in your alcohol awareness course from TAM® of Nevada.
- Keep an eye on your guests, and use good judgment. 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.
By following these steps, you up the fun factor and you keep yourself, your guests, and your establishment safe. What other advice would you give to TAM® Card holders working at Vegas pool parties?
Do you love your job? Not everyone can say that they do! A career change could result in a number of benefits including increased job satisfaction, increased earnings, and a chance to try something new and expand your skill set. If you enjoy interacting with people, working in a fast-paced environment, and you love variety, you may want to consider looking for your dream job in the hospitality or restaurant industry. Hospitality professionals work in a variety of positions including bartenders, servers, managers, hosts, security professionals, clerks, business owners and more.
National Restaurant Association chairman Jack Crawford recently spoke to new graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, offering them advice as they begin their careers in the restaurant industry. Mr. Crawford’s speech was summarized in an article titled, “7 Tips for a Successful Restaurant Career,” and we here at TAM® of Nevada wholeheartedly agree with his suggestions! You can read the full article here, and check out a few more suggestions for TAM® Card holders that we’d add to the list:
- Passion for what you do can make you more successful and fulfilled in your career choices. “A passion for excellence is what makes a person tick. It helps you to work through the noisiness and find your success,” says Account Manager and Certified TAM® Instructor Sherry Cummings.
- Continually honing, improving, and expanding your skill set is important in any career. If you’re new to the industry, why not get a leg up on the competition with additional skills and techniques to set you apart from others? Likewise, if you are a restaurant veteran, consider adding to your skill set to stay competitive. Additionally, adding to your skill set isn’t just about remaining competitive. Learning and improving can be a generally enjoyable experience, and it can reignite your passion for your career.
- 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 and begin your hospitality career in a position to succeed!
Our most important advice of all of all? Remember to have fun and enjoy your new career! What is the best advice you would give to someone looking to start a career in the hospitality industry?
Note: If you need to obtain your TAM® Card, now is the time! Due to the upcoming fight weekend, we will be open until 7:00 PM Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, April 29, 30 & May 1st (this week only) to accommodate any last minute TAM® Card proctored exams. See you soon!
7 Tips for a Successful Restaurant Career – National Restaurant Association
If you’ve recently completed a TAM® class, did you remember to fill out the customer survey? As a token of thanks for our students’ participation, we enter survey respondents into a quarterly drawing for a $50 Amazon.com gift card prize. Congratulations to Valeria D., winner of our most recent quarterly gift card giveaway for filling out the TAM® of Nevada Customer Survey! Additionally, thanks to all of our customers for choosing TAM® and for letting us know about your experience.
If you’ve recently completed your TAM® course and haven’t yet completed the customer satisfaction survey, we invite you to access the survey and submit your response before our next drawing. Or, visit us on Facebook and tell us about your experience! Let us know your favorite part of the training, what you’ve learned, or ask us any questions you might have.
Our customer satisfaction survey is available to both online and classroom students. Thank you again to all of our customers for your patronage and for your helpful responses. Remember to visit us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.
© 2015 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada