Serving It RightServing It Right

BC’s Responsible Beverage Service Program

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Implementing Responsible Beverage Service


Monitor Behaviour and Slow Down Service

1. Monitor behaviour and slow down service

The key to maintaining a safe environment is early intervention. The first step towards early intervention is to monitor guest behaviour and slow down service, if required. You should monitor and assess customer behaviour and look for signs that can help identify the level of intoxication. Remember what you learned in the Alcohol Effects and Intoxication section about signs and possible behaviours associated with intoxication, especially in relation to the combined use of alcohol and cannabis. Learn to recognize these behaviours in order to slow down service.

Working cooperatively is an important aspect of implementing intervention strategies. Here are the top 5 tips to work as a team and monitor customer behaviour:

Top 5 tips for monitoring customer behaviour

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Tip 1

Participate in cross training. The more jobs you are proficient at in your establishment, the better you are prepared to pitch in and help. Cross-training helps you gain an understanding of what is happening in your co-workers' average shift.

Tip 2

Exchange observations about guests as you start or end a shift to help identify potential problems. Share information with each other especially if there has been a change in house policy, or there was a recent new incident entered in the incident logbook the staff should all be aware of.

Tip 3

Be on the lookout for co-workers' non-verbal indicators that something is wrong in their section. Watch your co-workers' sections when they are on a break, and be prepared to report any unusual customer behaviour.

Tip 4

Tell each other if you notice a customer nearing intoxication or if someone has entered who is already intoxicated, whether by alcohol and/or other substances.

Tip 5

If a guest is changing sections (for example, was at the bar and is now sitting at a table), check with a co-worker as to how much alcohol has already been served to that customer. The guest may have been refused service and may try to get service in another section.

A quick chat with your customers before taking their next order can help you set the pace and tone of service. Communicate with customers and pay attention to their drinking pattern and general demeanour. Seek information from your co-workers about the customer and work as a team to share information about the customer's drinking pattern. If you find that the customer is ordering or drinking rapidly, and/or consuming cannabis outside the premises, slow down service tactfully. Serve one drink at a time and wait for the customer to reorder. Offer non-alcoholic beverage options and if possible, serve food to decrease the rate of drinking.

Alcohol poisoning can occur if a guest consumes too much alcohol in a very short period of time. If this occurs, critical organs such as heart and lungs are affected and a person can lose consciousness. If you believe someone is suffering from alcohol poisoning, seek immediate assistance and call 911.