4 Tips When Cutting Someone Off
Having occasional customers try to go a little overboard is, unfortunately, a reality of serving and selling alcohol. In these situations, it’s your responsibility as a BASSET certified seller-server to protect your customers, your establishment, the community at large, and yourself, by refusing to sell or serve alcohol to a customer who’s had too much.
Here are a few dos and one big don’t for the unpleasant task of cutting someone off:
Do Practice Early Intervention
As a server, bartender, or store clerk, one of the things you have to always be aware of is how much your customer has had to drink. Remember, you don’t know what they drank before arriving, and you don’t get to play dumb if they’re showing signs of intoxication. Watch their behavior from the first to the last interaction. If you see any signs of intoxication, it’s a solid “no” to any more drinks.
One benefit of catching behavior early is that interactions are a bit easier if they take place before a customer is completely inebriated.
Do Remember Professionalism
Even when your customer is obnoxious and rude, remember to keep your cool, if for no other reason than for the other customers observing the situation. Staying calm when refusing to serve gives you an air of authority. You’re the trained expert, and you know what you’re talking about. Firmly but politely inform the customer that the law will not allow you to serve them any more alcohol.
If they persist, don’t worry. You’re going to win this argument. Reaffirm your refusal and start looking around for their friends or your manager for help. If push comes to shove, call security.
Do Get Them Out The Door Safely
If you know someone is intoxicated, you’ll need to help them leave your place safely. Here are some ideas for accomplishing that:
- Ask if they have a ride home.
- Inform their party that it’s time for them to leave due to public intoxication.
- If all else fails, call them a rideshare service.
Don’t Give in to “One More Drink”
If you remember nothing else from this post, remember this: If a customer you served causes harm after leaving, YOU will be in trouble for it. Whatever social pressure a customer may apply isn’t worth assuming that risk!
If you have reason to believe that your customer is intoxicated or that one more drink might cause them to be, then you’re legally prohibited from selling or serving them more alcohol. That includes even half a glass of wine.
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