Serving It RightServing It Right

BC’s Responsible Beverage Service Program

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Implementing Responsible Beverage Service

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Tips for Retail Liquor Store Employees

A retail store establishment should take measures to ensure that the customers, staff and members of the community at large are not harmed because of liquor misuse or criminal activity in the store. Reasonable measures must be taken to prevent disturbances in and around the store. Examples of reasonable measures include:

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Installing adequate lighting outside your store and in the parking lot
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Supervising your parking areas, and/or
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Posting signs asking your patrons not to disturb your neighbours.


Retail store staff should greet customers as they walk into the store and spend some time talking to them in order to assess their behaviour. A quick conversation can help identify problem customers including minors or intoxicated persons. It is the legal responsibility of all employees of a retail liquor store to ensure that liquor products are not sold to minors or intoxicated persons. If you suspect or have knowledge of a customer who appears to be purchasing alcohol for a minor or someone who is intoxicated you should refuse the sale.

Keep an eye out for activity that indicates customers are purchasing for minors. Note any of the following:

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Minors hanging out near the store, usually in groups.
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Customers who are talking to minors outside the store. These customers may tell an employee directly that minors are asking them to purchase alcohol.
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The same product purchased or attempted to be purchased within a few minutes. For example, a minor without ID or with an invalid ID is refused service, and another customer is purchasing the same products that the minor had attempted to buy a few minutes earlier. Usually, these products are the most inexpensive and are high in alcohol content.