If you run a bar, alcohol sales are just a part of your day to day operations. However, you deal in an sensitive commodity. Alcohol costs money, and it could harm consumers and others around them if used incorrectly. What can you do to make sure you only serve alcohol safely within the confines of the business?
It generally isn't hard to put in place an alcohol safety plan. Indeed, many practical, simple steps can go a long way towards increasing safety.
Your Alcohol Safety Steps
Think of some of the ways alcohol can cause safety risks.
- As an expensive asset, alcohol is often one of the most-targeted items in a restaurant theft.
- Spoiled drinks or over-consumption might sicken customers.
- An intoxicated customer might cause harm to themselves or someone else.
In each case, the restaurant might be able to prevent such accidents. Some of the steps to take include:
- Keep alcohol in a secure storage area. In most cases, you should lock away your most expensive stock during after business hours.
- Keep alcohol at appropriate temperatures. While refrigeration is not necessary for many alcohols, other mixed beverages might require cold storage.
- Only hire reputable bartenders to serve and dispense drinks. You should never hire anyone not licensed or certified in alcohol sales. Most states require bartenders to be over 21 years old.
- Don't overserve. Many restaurants and bars do have a right to refuse alcohol service. If a customer shows clear signs of intoxication, you can often stop serving them. This is the case because further service might put the customer at risk to themselves and others.
- Always require ID checks to verify the ages of consumers. Never sell alcohol to someone under the age of 21.
How Insurance Can Help
Often, bar and tavern insurance can help restaurants protect themselves in case of problems involving alcohol.
- Property Insurance might help you cover stolen or lost stock.
- Spoilage Coverage can often help you replace stock in case of a hazard that causes alcohol to spoil.
- Liquor Liability Insurance is typically excluded on a general liability policy for businesses that serve alcohol, therefore if alcohol is determined to be the source of a claim make sure you have this coverage.
- General Liability Insurance complements your liquor liability insurance. This coverage can cover certain third-party losses not covered under your liquor liability policy.
Don't forget, if you knowingly serve an intoxicated customer, you could bear the ultimate responsibility for any losses. Therefore, your goal should be to prevent liquor liabilities at all costs. Let that be your first, and most secure, line of defense.