Quick announcements…and a failure in training.

Quick notes this time around as we are moving some things!

PODCAST – The Tao of the Velvet Rope Podcast has a new home!

We have switched Podcast hosts to Libsyn. This gives us a few more options for outreach, commentary, and tracking, as well as a few behind the scenes improvements.

TRAINING –  We will be conducting a seminar in Missouri on April 23rd. It’s a great chance to learn something new, do some networking, and ask all the questions you’ve been holding onto for the past few years!

Hospitality & VIP Training for Nightclub & Bar Security

Follow the link for all of your information!

FAILURE IN TRAINING?

I don’t want to devote an entire post to this video but please take the time to watch it and think of what you or your Staff would have done differently. And then ask yourself, “Are my guys ready to deal with a situation like this?” If the answer is no…scroll back up the TRAINING link!

 

 

Don’t let them Drink and Drive

On Thursday, December 7th, 2013, a young bartender by the name of Mallory Rae Dies was crossing the street. She was struck by a driver who fled the scene. He was apprehended a few blocks away after crashing his car into a tree. Mallory was taken to the hospital.

On Wednesday, December 11th, 2013, Mallory Rae Dies succumbed to the injuries that she sustained in the accident. She was 27 years old.

When the driver of the vehicle was apprehended, his blood alcohol level was .17 – twice the legal limit for the state of California. This was his third DUI offense.

REALITY

The reality is that bars and nightclubs thrive on people having a good time. The reality is that some of these people will get drunk. The reality is that some of these people will have too much to drink. The reality is that a percentage of these people – both slightly buzzed and heavily intoxicated – will get into vehicles and drive. The tragic reality is that a percentage of these drivers will injure, maim, or kill someone else.

Does this mean that bars, restaurants, lounges, and nightclubs should stop serving alcohol?

No.

But the reality is that keeping your Patrons safe and trying to keep them from driving drunk or getting into trouble is something that should be emphasized as much as possible.

LEGAL LIABILITY & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Most businesses want to reduce their liability as much as possible. In the litigious world we live in, you can be sued for almost anything. Slips, falls, fights, injuries – you name it, your establishment can be sued for it. As such, businesses like mine are called to help reduce the liabilities and keep businesses like yours in business. When it comes to over-intoxication and drunk driving, many states are now enacting laws that state, “Social hosts and business establishments may be held statutorily liable for the actions of a drunk driver according to the law in the jurisdiction where the accident took place.”

What does this mean? In short, your establishment can be sued for the damage that an intoxicated individual MAY cause. I can already see business owners sweating and fretting over “yet another thing I have to worry about”. Well, at the risk of sounding a bit callous, maybe this is something you should really be thinking about…and not just for the simple reason that you “might get sued”.

Regardless of your legal liability, I think it is important that we look at how we handle the issues of over-intoxication and drunk driving as SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES. I want your Patrons to have fun. You want your Patrons to drink. Everyone wants to have a good time. But we owe it to each other as human beings to look out for one another. And we must realize that sometimes that means extending yourself beyond the reach of the Front Door of your establishment.

HOW CAN MY STAFF AND I BE MORE RESPONSIBLE?

First and foremost, every individual on your Staff should undergo some type of Alcohol Awareness Training. In some states and countries, this is mandatory and in my opinion it should be that way everywhere. Your Staff might grumble and gripe, but invariably seminar attendees walk out with useful information and many times learn things that they did not know before.

Teach your Staffers to be aware of levels of intoxication and know how to spot Intoxicated Individuals. Make sure that they know how to deal with over-intoxication and mitigate its effects. Tell your Staff to communicate any issues with possible over-intoxication. That means that EVERY member of your team – from Management to Busboys – be on the lookout for issues and be willing to speak up if they spot a problem. Servers and bartenders should know that they ALWAYS have the power to stop serving alcohol if they believe an individual has had too much to drink.

Anyone working the Front Door should be assessing both arriving and departing Patrons for their intoxication levels. Refuse entry to those too drunk to enter and ALWAYS offer assistance to those leaving intoxicated. Call taxis (and pay for them!), offer to call the Patrons’ friends, flag down a Police Officer – just make sure that you are not letting someone stumble off into the night with no idea of what will happen to them. These aren’t just Patrons, they are someone’s sister, brother, cousin, aunt, uncle, mother, or father. I would hope that someone would look out for my loved ones if they were in trouble. And I would be eternally grateful if I found out that an employee from your bar was the one who helped to keep them safe.

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH

Finally, if you are going to enforce rules at your bar, make sure you enforce them at your parties, at your friend’s parties, and when you are out on the town. Offer your fellow human beings assistance and let’s make sure that we all get home to enjoy the holidays with our loved ones. The few moments that you spend getting someone (maybe yourself!) into a cab or calling their roommate to come pick them up could literally save a life. Sometimes a little inconvenience on your part can save a lifetime of tragedy.

Stay safe. Keep each other safe. We’ll all be better off for it.

The Right to Refuse Service

I know that I’ll probably cause a stir in writing this but here it goes:

The customer is not always right.

I can almost hear the rebuttals, see the heads shaking, and visualize open-mouthed gapes of disbelief. For most people – alright, pretty much all people – working in the customer service industry, this belief in the customer’s all encompassing power to be in the right – no matter what the situation – is an unbreakable tenet. Well, I disagree with it and you should as well. The customer is NOT always right. The Patron who gropes your hostess is not in the right, the Patron who threatens your Security Staff is not in the right, and the Patron who demands entry to your establishment is not in the right. People can be as loud, abusive, and just plain rude as they want. That doesn’t make them right and it doesn’t mean that you and your Staff have to take it.

Now, all of that being said, I am not advocating your Hostess punch a groping Patron (though I would press for sexual assault charges) or your Security Staffers pick up threatening Patrons and heave them bodily out the door. It is up to your Staff to be the bigger person – so to speak – and respond to even the most negative of situations in a professional manner. Which leads us to the concept of Refusing Service.

“We Have The Right To Refuse Service To Anyone”

I can’t think of any business establishments where this sign has not been posted in some iteration. But what does it actually mean? Do you really have the right to refuse service to anyone? Well, yes…and no. Businesses are considered private property, which allows the owners to dictate to whom they will or won’t provide service. However, the majority of businesses are also considered places of “public accommodation” which means that their primary purpose is to serve the public in some way.

How does this affect your bar, restaurant, or club? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits “discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” in places of public accommodation. That means you can’t turn someone away on the basis of any of the things listed above. More recently, laws prohibiting the denial of service on the basis of sexual orientation have been passed in many US states.

“Well, heck!” some of you may say, “It doesn’t sound like I can refuse anyone service without getting sued for some sort of discrimination.”

Well, yes…and no. First off, if you are trying to deny service to someone based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, you may want to re-examine your business model. And if you are denying service based on these things, you WILL get sued. Second, if you want to refuse service based on more realistic or potentially liability-creating issues, you need to develop a set of rules and guidelines for your Staff to follow and let your Patrons know what they are.

First and foremost, develop a Dress Code. We’ve discussed this in detail in previous posts but long story short, if you make people dress nicely, odds are they won’t misbehave. And if they don’t fit the dress code, they can’t get in the bar. Your refusal of service has just gone from “We’re not going to let you in, just because.” to “I’m sorry we can’t let you in, we follow a strict dress code.” Over-intoxication is another easy out. If your Patron – or potential Patron – is too drunk to speak or walk, they need to go. Or they can’t get in. Boom…service refused.

Some scenarios can lead to future refusal of service. Take for example a group of Patrons who consistently get into fights or harass other Patrons. Management can easily say to these individuals that based on their behavior and your desire to keep your other Patrons safe, they are no longer welcome in your establishment. The same goes for people caught drinking underage or sneaking drinks into the bar or climbing over the wall to get in. If you break the rules, you can’t come back.

It is important to keep in mind that your refusal of service cannot be arbitrary! There must be a reason for you to refuse service and IT MUST BE CONSISTENT. For example, let’s say your Dress Code says “No athletic gear”. You cannot deny entry to a Patron for wearing a basketball jersey and then let in another Patron who is wearing the same basketball jersey but is “a friend of the owner”. Nor can you deny entry to an Asian woman for wearing baggy clothes but then let in an African American woman wearing the same outfit. The rules have to apply equally, to EVERYONE. In addition, you can’t set a policy that may exclude a particular group i.e. no headscarves or skullcaps allowed. This could potentially discriminate against Muslim and Jewish patrons and, in turn, lead to a discrimination lawsuit.

The key is to present your Patrons with options for attendance that put everyone in the same boat of expectations. Dress nicely and act nicely? We’ll welcome you. Dress poorly and act rudely? Please find another establishment. Set a policy, apply it equally to everyone, and deliver your message in a professional manner. That way, when a customer is wrong, you have a viable reason to refuse them service. And always, always, always, explain your reasoning to the Patron. They may not agree, but you’ve shed some light on your rationale and given yourself a foundation to stand on should they argue the policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Let Them Drink and Drive

1467450_10102866756713397_1893859367_nOn Thursday, December 7th, 2013, a young bartender by the name of Mallory Rae Dies was crossing the street. She was struck by a driver who fled the scene. He was apprehended a few blocks away after crashing his car into a tree. Mallory was taken to the hospital.

On Wednesday, December 11th, 2013, Mallory Rae Dies succumbed to the injuries that she sustained in the accident. She was 27 years old.

When the driver of the vehicle was apprehended, his blood alcohol level was .17 – twice the legal limit for the state of California. This was his third DUI offense.

REALITY

The reality is that bars and nightclubs thrive on people having a good time. The reality is that some of these people will get drunk. The reality is that some of these people will have too much to drink. The reality is that a percentage of these people – both slightly buzzed and heavily intoxicated – will get into vehicles and drive. The tragic reality is that a percentage of these drivers will injure, maim, or kill someone else.

Does this mean that bars, restaurants, lounges, and nightclubs should stop serving alcohol?

No.

But the reality is that keeping your Patrons safe and trying to keep them from driving drunk or getting into trouble is something that should be emphasized as much as possible.

LEGAL LIABILITY & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Most businesses want to reduce their liability as much as possible. In the litigious world we live in, you can be sued for almost anything. Slips, falls, fights, injuries – you name it, your establishment can be sued for it. As such, businesses like mine are called to help reduce the liabilities and keep businesses like yours in business. When it comes to over-intoxication and drunk driving, many states are now enacting laws that state, “Social hosts and business establishments may be held statutorily liable for the actions of a drunk driver according to the law in the jurisdiction where the accident took place.”

What does this mean? In short, your establishment can be sued for the damage that an intoxicated individual causes. I can already see business owners sweating and fretting over “yet another thing I have to worry about”. Well, at the risk of sounding a bit callous, maybe this is something you should really be thinking about…and not just for the simple reason that you “might get sued”.

Regardless of your legal liability, I think it is important that we look at how we handle the issues of over-intoxication and drunk driving as SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES. I want your Patrons to have fun. You want your Patrons to drink. Everyone wants to have a good time. But we owe it to each other as human beings to look out for one another. And we must realize that sometimes that means extending yourself beyond the reach of the Front Door of your establishment.

HOW CAN MY STAFF AND I BE MORE RESPONSIBLE?

First and foremost, every individual on your Staff should undergo some type of Alcohol Awareness Training. In some states and countries this is mandatory and in my opinion it should be that way everywhere. Your Staff might grumble and gripe, but invariably seminar attendees walk out with useful information and many times learn things that they did not know before.

Teach your Staffers to be aware of levels of intoxication and know how to spot Intoxicated Individuals. Make sure that they know how to deal with over-intoxication and mitigate its effects. Tell your Staff to communicate any issues with possible over-intoxication. That means that EVERY member of your team – from Management to Busboys – be on the lookout for issues and be willing to speak up if they spot a problem. Servers and bartenders should know that they ALWAYS have the power to stop serving alcohol if they believe an individual has had too much to drink.

Anyone working the Front Door should be assessing both arriving and departing Patrons for their intoxication levels. Refuse entry to those too drunk to enter and ALWAYS offer assistance to those leaving intoxicated. Call taxis (and pay for them!), offer to call the Patrons’ friends, flag down a Police Officer – just make sure that you are not letting someone stumble off into the night with no idea of what will happen to them. These aren’t just Patrons, they are someone’s sister, brother, cousin, aunt, uncle, mother, or father. I would hope that someone would look out for my loved ones if they were in trouble. And I would be eternally grateful if I found out that an employee from your bar was the one who helped to keep them safe.

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH

Finally, if you are going to enforce rules at your bar, make sure you enforce them at your parties, at your friend’s parties, and when you are out on the town. Offer your fellow human beings assistance and let’s make sure that we all get home to enjoy the holidays with our loved ones. The few moments that you spend getting someone (maybe yourself!) into a cab or calling their roommate to come pick them up could literally save a life. Sometimes a little inconvenience on your part can save a lifetime of tragedy.

Stay safe. Keep each other safe. We’ll all be better off for it.

Dealing with gangs in nightclubs and bars

A cursory Google Search of Gangs in Nightclubs will give you a myriad of search results and as such reveal that this is indeed a serious issue that is dealt with by many bar and nightclub owners. The common thread to many of these stories is that the gangs had already set up camp within the establishment or were regular Patrons when issues arose. I have heard many people offer solutions to this particular problem, but in my experience the best and most effective way to deal with a gang problem in a venue is to prevent it from becoming a problem in the first place.

Dress Code

There is not a gang in existence that does not display its “colors” in one way or another. This is done as a form of identification both within the gang and to its rivals. It is important to note that in some circumstances a style of dress can also be a form of uniform. And that is where Dress Code comes into the equation. It is important to remember that your establishment is private property and as such you can adopt any dress code you wish. As mentioned previously on this blog, your Dress Code will dictate your crowd. An associate of mine once noted that, “People will act to the level of their dress.” This is an incredibly accurate statement. You will very rarely see people acting badly when dressed nicely. Why? Because people don’t want to ruin their nice clothes. Will there be exceptions? Always. But for the most part: nice clothes = nice behavior.

By instituting and enforcing a Dress Code you are removing the most visible (pun intended) option that gangs have in terms of identifying themselves, something that very few gangs will want to do. Remember, that if you are going to institute a Dress Code you MUST enforce it equally across all of your Patrons. If you do not, I can guarantee that you are opening yourself up to angry Patrons in the short term and lawsuits in the long run. “Out of Dress Code” means just that, regardless of whether the Patron is a college kid or the owner of the bar next door. Post the Dress Code at the door and stick to it!!!

Enforcement of Rules

I’m big on enforcing rules in any environment that has the potential for massive liability. Rules keep you, your Staff, and your Patrons safe from themselves, others, and lawsuits. Occasionally, venues will bend the rules for one reason or another and that may or may not be fine. Remember, you have to always consider the worst case scenario if you do decide to bend a rule. When it comes to removing problematic Patrons – in this case, gangs – from a venue, strict enforcement of the rules is the next step in the equation. Let’s say that a gang decides to comply with your Dress Code but when they enter the bar they constantly get into fights or harass the Staff. Enforce your rules. Fights = ejection. Harassment = ejection. Over intoxication = ejection. Not only do these things equal an ejection from the bar, they should also equal permanent expulsion from a venue. Once a few people in a group start to be denied entry to an establishment, the rest of the group will follow.

I worked with an establishment that had a few problem Patrons. These Patrons would generally behave well, but their “friends” would regularly start fights. The establishment started banning the troublemaking “friends”, but the regulars would always bring new friends or cousins or brothers. What did the establishment do? They 86’ed the problem Patrons with a very simple explanation, “Your friends ALWAYS cause trouble and unfortunately we are going to have to deny you entry.” The Patrons were not happy with the decision, but the bar didn’t have any more issues. Remember YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE TO ANYONE.*

Law Enforcement

What if you have enforced Dress Code and your Rules, but still have a problem with gang members in your bar? Well, for one, if they are well-behaved and well-dressed, it doesn’t sound like you have a gang problem. But for the sake of argument, let’s say your well-dressed, well-behaved gang members are just plain intimidating your customers. If they have been willing to comply up to this point, have a direct talk with them and let them know what the issues are. Should this go no where, a very direct response is to involve Law Enforcement.

I am not talking about threatening to “call the cops” or “file a report”. Act in more subtle and effective ways. Let the police department know that you believe you have gang members in your bar and you would appreciate some advice on dealing with them. Next, ask law enforcement to do a nightly walkthrough of the bar. IF you are dealing with gang members who are involved in illegal activity, seeing police officers several times a night will definitely make them want to switch locales. Another option is to hire off-duty police officers to work your security. Known gang members will NOT want to be around off-duty police officers. The rules in your particular State regarding hiring of off-duty police should absolutely be consulted before you take this step.

THE LAST RESORT

If you somehow find yourself ignored by law enforcement or they don’t see the issue as major and you have exhausted all of your other avenues…CLOSE THE VENUE. It seems like a drastic step, but if you are already losing money and clientele, a short closure (2-4 weeks) can’t be much worse, right? During that time, reformat the bar: new dress codes, new rules, new seating arrangements, and if necessary: all new Staff. You need to hire people who are on board with your Zero Tolerance towards gangs stance. When you re-open, you must state in no uncertain terms, that the individuals who were frequenting the bar previously ARE NOT WELCOME. Period. End of Conversation.

Dealing with any unwanted Patrons is a matter of cautious patience. You must be very aware of your attitude and technique as the wrong approach can land you in very hot legal water. Take your time, figure out what the problem with your unwanted guests actually is (dress code violations, rule breaking, intimidation, etc.) and take a slow, measured approach.

Until next time…

*More on this in the next post!

Ending Circular Conversations

“You’re drunk!”

“No, I’m not!”

“Yes, you are!”

“NO, I’M NOT!!!”

Does this sound familiar? I would hope that you haven’t gotten caught up in too many Circular Conversations, but chances are you’ve had to deal with at least a couple of intoxicated individuals. And if one thing stands true, it is that intoxicated individuals have a tendency to push you into Circular Conversations.

“A Circular Conversation* happens when both parties have opposing positions on an issue, dig in, and reiterate the merits of their position ad nauseum. It doesn’t end with resolution, it ends either with one or both people giving up from sheer exhaustion.” In the case of those working in nightclub and bar environments, it usually ends with the Patron being ejected or in the worst case scenario, the Patron being arrested.

As I mentioned in our post on Attitude and Approach, “Your attitude and approach will always dictate a Patron’s response to you. EVERY TIME.” Should you notice a situation that you think deserves your attention, be it an intoxicated Patron or a potential fight, your should ALWAYS enter it calmly and objectively. Remember, what you see is NOT always what you get. Take the time to figure out the problem BEFORE you try and solve it. On those occasions when – for whatever reason – your clear head and objectivity fall by the wayside and you get sucked into a Circular Conversation, keep the following in mind:

  • Don’t repeat anything you have already said – Continuing to tell someone that they are drunk and they have to leave will only reinforce their desire to prove they are not drunk and make them want to stay.
  • Don’t explain or respond to a question that you have already answered – Telling someone over and over “The Reasons Why…” does absolutely NOTHING to bring a conversation to an end.
  • Don’t engage in aggressive acts – Don’t touch people unless you need to move them. No fingers in the chest, no getting in their space. Give them room – literally and figuratively – to hear you out.
  • Don’t try to get the last word – You will never get in the last word. Ever.
  • Don’t try to change the other person’s mind – Their thoughts and beliefs and feelings are their own. An intoxicated individual is not only trying to maintain face. They are also trying to prove you wrong and NOTHING you do will change that.
  • Don’t spend airtime describing the other person’s behavior, feelings or actions – You might have to tell them that they fell over into a table full of drinks, but spending time listing every single thing they did wrong is going to elicit an opposite response (i.e. “No I did not!) to every accusation.
  • Don’t wait for agreement or consensus to end the conversation – YOU are the individual in charge. YOU are going to make the final decision as to whether they stay or go. And YOU have the right to end the conversation.

I often equate dealing with intoxicated Patrons to having an argument with a 4 year old. No amount of RATIONAL explanation is going to work. Why? Because 4 year olds have not developed the ability to think critically and intoxicated Patrons have lost the ability to think critically.

“Well, that’s great,” you say, “But what CAN I do in this situation?”

  • Recognize the pattern – The sooner you see that you are going around in circles, the quicker you can cut off the pattern.  Acknowledge that you are in a conversation that is just going around and around.
  • Switch from stating facts to stating feelings – Empathy actually works both ways. “I’m a little concerned that you aren’t hearing me out” or “I’m not happy about this decision but…” Tell them where you are coming from and why you are uncomfortable with your decision to remove them/break up the fight/whatever. The point is to make them empathize, which makes them listen, which makes them stop talking, which (hopefully) makes them walk with you, which gets them out the door.
  • Walk and Talk – Carry on your conversation as you move the individual towards the door. “You know I can’t hear you that well. Let’s step over here/outside/off the dance floor for  a second.” Once someone is moving, keep them moving.
  • End the conversation, calmly and with your dignity intact – “This is my final decision/I’ve done enough talking/There is nothing more to discuss.” Bring finality to the discussion and DO NOT GO FURTHER, even if they keep talking.

Once the conversation has been shut down, it then becomes a matter of either moving the individual by force -which has hopefully been avoided by you talking them out the door or handing them off – or giving them an opportunity to prove you wrong through their actions. Believe it or not, some Patrons will listen to you and follow your rules.

Always remember that you are the adult the in room. And the adults make the rules.

* This post is an expansion on a great web article:  http://onlinecounsellingcollege.tumblr.com/post/30472844323/circular-conversations-and-arguments

Don’t (Let Them) Drink and Drive

1467450_10102866756713397_1893859367_nOn Thursday, December 7th, 2013, a young bartender by the name of Mallory Rae Dies was crossing the street. She was struck by a driver who fled the scene. He was apprehended a few blocks away after crashing his car into a tree. Mallory was taken to the hospital.

On Wednesday, December 11th, 2013, Mallory Rae Dies succumbed to the injuries that she sustained in the accident. She was 27 years old.

When the driver of the vehicle was apprehended, his blood alcohol level was .17 – twice the legal limit for the state of California. This was his third DUI offense.

REALITY

The reality is that bars and nightclubs thrive on people having a good time. The reality is that some of these people will get drunk. The reality is that some of these people will have too much to drink. The reality is that a percentage of these people – both slightly buzzed and heavily intoxicated – will get into vehicles and drive. The tragic reality is that a percentage of these drivers will injure, maim, or kill someone else.

Does this mean that bar, restaurants, lounges, and nightclubs should stop serving alcohol?

No.

But the reality is that keeping your Patrons safe and trying to keep them from driving drunk or getting into trouble is something that should be emphasized as much as possible.

LEGAL LIABILITY & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Most businesses want to reduced their liability as much as possible. In the litigious world we live in, you can be sued for almost anything. Slips, falls, fights, injuries – you name it, your establishment can be sued for it. As such, businesses like mine are called to help reduce the liabilities and keep businesses like yours in business. When it comes to over-intoxication and drunk driving, many states are now enacting laws that state, “Social hosts and business establishments may be held statutorily liable for the actions of a drunk driver according to the law in the jurisdiction where the accident took place.”

What does this mean? In short, your establishment can be sued for the damage that an intoxicated individual causes. I can already see business owners sweating and fretting over “yet another thing I have to worry about”. Well, at the risk of sounding a bit callous, maybe this is something you should really be thinking about and not just for the simple reason that you “might get sued”.

Regardless of your legal liability, I think it is important that we look at how we handle the issues of over-intoxication and drunk driving as SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES. I want your Patrons to have fun. You want your Patrons to drink. Everyone wants to have a good time. But we owe it to each other as human beings to look out for one another. And we must realize that sometimes that means extending yourself beyond the reach of the Front Door of your establishment.

HOW CAN MY STAFF AND I BE MORE RESPONSIBLE?

First and foremost, every individual on your Staff should undergo some type of Alcohol Awareness Training. In some states and countries this is mandatory and in my opinion it should be that way everywhere. Your Staff might grumble and gripe, but invariably seminar attendees walk out with useful information and many times learn things that they did not know before.

Teach your Staffers to be aware of levels of intoxication and know how to spot Intoxicated Individuals. Make sure that they know how to deal with over-intoxication and mitigate its effects. Tell your Staff to communicate any issues with possible over-intoxication. That means that EVERY member of your team – from Management to Busboys – be on the lookout for issues and be willing to speak up if they spot a problem. Servers and bartenders should know that they ALWAYS have the power to stop serving alcohol if they believe an individual has had too much to drink.

Anyone working the Front Door should be assessing both arriving and departing Patrons for their intoxication levels. Refuse entry to those too drunk to enter and ALWAYS offer assistance to those leaving intoxicated. Call taxis (and pay for them!), offer to call the Patrons’ friends, flag down a Police Officer – just make sure that you are not letting someone stumble off into the night with no idea of what will happen to them. These aren’t just Patrons, they are someone’s sister, brother, cousin, aunt, uncle, mother, or father. I would hope that someone would look out for my loved ones if they were in trouble. And I would be eternally grateful if I found out that an employee from your bar was the one who helped to keep them safe.

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH

Finally, if you are going to enforce rules at your bar, make sure you enforce them at your parties, at your friend’s parties, and when you are out on the town. Offer your fellow human beings assistance and let’s make sure that we all get home to enjoy the holidays with our loved ones. The few moments that you spend getting someone (maybe yourself!) into a cab or calling their roommate to come pick them up could literally save a life. Sometimes a little inconvenience on your part can save a lifetime of tragedy.

Stay safe. Keep each other safe. We’ll all be better off for it.

Until next time…