Serving It RightServing It Right

BC’s Responsible Beverage Service Program

Distributed by go2Distributed by go2

Implementing Responsible Beverage Service


Importance of a House Policy

In order to be effective, a house policy must be written, communicated to and understood by staff, and supported by management. Staff members must know and feel confident that the management will support their decision to deny service to an intoxicated customer or ask an unruly guest to leave.

effects of alcohol

A house policy is one of the most powerful ways of ensuring responsible beverage service. In a survey conducted by go2HR in December 2013, 51% of respondents frequently slow down service to someone suspected of intoxication because of their establishment's written house policy. On the other hand, only 33% slow down service where there is no house policy. When an establishment has a house policy, research shows there is a significant increase in how frequently employees assess patrons for intoxication.

Effective enforcement of a house policy increases an establishment's potential for success and decreases the risk of legal action. The key to success is to take all reasonable precautions to care for your customers by maintaining control over activities in your premises.

Keep in mind what you learned in Section 3 about your legal duties in serving alcohol. It is only by proper and consistent implementation of the house policy that you ensure responsible beverage service and protect your establishment from unwanted lawsuits.

Guidelines for writing a house policy, a list of suggested topics and a sample house policy are contained in the Resources section.