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liquor liability

Two glasses of white wine on a counter with people in the background

Hospitality means entertaining and receiving guests, visitors or strangers with generosity and friendliness.

Being hospitable is just one way to cultivate relationships. But if that stranger-turned friend takes one drink too many, you have several decisions to make. Whether you realize it or not, being prepared for what happens next may be the best business decision you ever make.

So, take action to prevent patrons from being over-intoxicated:

  • Protect someone from injury or death
  • Reduce liquor liability exposure to your business
  • Develop protocol to assist in claims defense
  • Comply with state regulations

Think “4E” – for everyone and use these four ideas to help keep everyone safe:

1. Educate: Employee education

Partner with a professional liquor liability training organization to provide new hire and ongoing training.

2. Empathize: Care for customers

Define detailed procedures that help care for the health and well-being of your patrons.

3. Expect: Employee performance

Set appropriate expectations for all employees both on and off the clock while on the premises.

4. Execute: Plan for the Unexpected but Probable

Define clear procedures and protocols that address any situation and show responsible management.

Many hotels host events – both large and small. And many hotels include their own event planning services and team. In addition to general liquor liability exposures and controls, consider:

  • Limiting open bars as an option for banquets. Allow your servers to manage alcohol services.
  • Tracking individual orders using special software to help you keep tabs. And limit patrons to one drink per order.

Private clubs, where friends and colleagues gather to have a good meal, celebrate a special occasion, swim a few laps or play a round of golf. Lots of business gets conducted at a club and lots of fun is had, too! In addition to general liquor liability exposures and controls, consider:

  • Not permitting board members to consume liquor on or off premises while conducting club business.
  • Requiring managers to stop serving alcohol to resistive members
  • Communicating your policies to club members - knowing that some may try to circumvent policies.
  • Offering additional support and training to drink cart drivers.