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Scholarship to Save Lives Runner Up Arieshia Watson

When I first began serving tables at eighteen, I was the youngest in my restaurant. I can remember going through the class learning about the dangers of serving alcohol to different types of people and being extremely afraid to take on the challenge. In my restaurant I trained for five days and at minimum three of those day involved liquor and its hazards. As I acknowledged the responsibility, I decided to take it on full force accepting the opportunity and the privilege that I was given.

Now at twenty, I can recall many incidences where my authority has been questioned because of my youth. But, every time I ask for a person's ID I remember that I could be the direct cause of an incident involving alcohol. Not only is it important for me to properly serve alcohol, but it runs even more crucial when I legally can't drink it myself. The risk of a federal offense seems to be more of an incentive to work hard, keeping drunk drivers off of the road. Most people don't realize how serious over-serving alcohol or serving to minors truly is. I am proud to say that I know the risks and I work exceptionally hard to maintain a safe environment during my time serving.

Giving this responsibility to young adults at my age can be very stressful because of the consequences that alcohol consumption can bring. I believe that my Liquor license is one of the most vital pieces of paper that I will ever have, and I feel rewarded as I can say that I earn it every day.

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Author, Arieshia Watson, is one of our runners up in the Scholarship to Save Lives competition. In addition to our $500 scholarship, we selected 3 recipients for a runner-up prize of $100. Thank you so much to Arieshia and to all of our entrants.

AACEA provides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEA is hosting a raffle for students enrolled in our alcohol server training classes – sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.

The Facilitation of Positive Experience in Food and Alcohol Service

I worked my way through my undergraduate studies in creative writing at Western Washington University through various jobs in food service, all of which included serving tables with alcoholic beverages: from aperitifs, to fine wines, to micro-brew beers. Jobs in the alcohol and food service industry allowed me the flexibility I needed as a student to balance work with studies, and without these jobs I wouldn’t have been able to support myself through school. I began with a job busing tables at Dirty Dan Harris’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Fairhaven just shortly after my twenty-first birthday, barely old enough myself to sample the fine wines we served, let alone know anything about how they paired with the offerings on our menu.

Since then, my palate has come a long way. As a server, I can appreciate how good wine is paired best with good company. As a writer, I appreciate how great stories are told best over a drink shared with an intimate audience of friends. The best of these stories are the incredulous ones--the ones where you lean across the table and demand of its teller, “Did that really happen?!”

As a server in the community of Bellingham, I had regular customers who I came to know and care for through their patronage of the restaurants in which I worked and served them drinks. We all have a need, on occasion, to be cared for. Through serving food to my customers with warmth and compassion, I could help meet a very basic and primal need for nutrition, and facilitate a positive experience for them to share with their friends and loved ones.

Reckless alcohol consumption, however, does not facilitate a positive experience. And it is here that the importance of a server’s role as facilitator is fulfilled. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a facilitator as one who “helps to bring about an outcome by providing indirect and unobtrusive assistance, guidance, or support.” As far as I am capable, I have tried my best to ensure my patrons’ positive experience dining out carries through the meal, from the moment they get up to leave the table, all the way through arriving safely at home.

Besides, there’s hardly a good story to tell when you can’t remember what happened in the first place. And like in any great story, a person (or a character) makes choices that have real outcomes they’ll carry with them through the rest of their lives (or narrative arc).

As a student at Western Washington University, it was important to me that I bridged the gap between being a college student residing in the town of Bellingham, who is bound to come and go within a few years, and a community member who makes a positive impact on the people she encounters in her time here, however short or long that time may be. The jobs I held in food and alcohol service played a large role in this. I graduated from Western in 2009, and decided to stay in Bellingham a few years more to work on my writing and continue working in the service industry. But the time has come in which I must move on. In the fall I’ll be starting as a first-year graduate student at Ohio University in the Master’s in Arts in Creative Writing program in Athens, Ohio.

As a graduate student at Ohio University teaching Freshman Composition courses, I will have the unique opportunity to reach out to entering freshmen as they begin their college experience in a new town--a small college town very similar to Bellingham. I view my objective as a graduate instructor in much the same light as that of a server: to facilitate a meaningful and rewarding experience, challenging my students and myself to bridge the gap between being a college student and being a community member. Many of my students will be pledging to sororities or fraternities while enrolled in my composition course. Through the instruction they receive in my classes, I hope to instill in them the knowledge, awareness, and sense of accountability that they are all responsible as individuals and as a community as a whole to facilitate positive experiences for themselves and their peers while at Ohio University and onward.

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The author, Melissa Queen, is one of our runners up in the Scholarship to Save Lives competition. In addition to our $500 scholarship, we selected 3 recipients for a runner-up prize of $100. Thank you so much to Melissa and to all of our entrants.

AACEA provides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEA is hosting a raffle for students enrolled in our alcohol server training classes – sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.

Scholarship to Save Lives Winner!

AACEA and Len Riggs want to send out a special thank you to everyone who entered our Scholarship to Save Lives competition. We picked a winner: Will Franz who wrote this original composition.

Click to listen to: Send a Friend-Will Franz

Verse 1 Just sittin' alone as I watch his expressions change Thinking only God knows if he's ever going to change his ways But he promised me it's the last time we'd be out on a school night A 34 old man should know what's right

Verse 2 A couple hours in and he's stumblin' pretty hard He polished off his last drink as I guide us out to the car But he claims he's fine to drive us home I just wish he'd call a cab instead An eight-year-old should be in bed

Chorus Oh lend a hand I know you hear me so please will you lend a hand Oh send a friend Please pretty Angel I need oh I need a friend Oh please don't forget me tonight

Verse 3 My tired eyes stayed glued to all the passing cars We kept drifting left and right but we've made it out pretty far And I know we were so close to home, there couldn't be a mile left Just please hear my prayer to live

Chorus Oh lend a hand I know you hear me so please will you lend a hand Oh send a friend Please pretty Angel I need oh I need a friend Oh please don't forget me tonight Oh please don't forget me

Bridge The man before me now is not the man I held so high He's got to give it up and gain control And become the dad I've been waiting for Maybe then we can start another life

Chorus Oh lend a hand I know you hear me so please will you lend a hand Oh send a friend Please pretty Angel I need oh I need a friend Oh please don't forget me tonight Oh please don't forget me tonight

We're truly amazed to have such talented entrants! Thank you to everyone who participated, and remember, AACEA provides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEA is hosting a raffle for students enrolled in our alcohol server training classes – sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com.

Become a Better Bartender: Know Your Customers

One of the best ways to become a successful bartender is to know your customers. Knowing your customers means using the customers names to build rapport, reading your customers, and anticipating their needs. Learn to remember names - if not long term, at least for the night. Pay close attention your customer when he walks in - and strike up conversation. The better you are at learning about and remembering your customers, the better you’ll be able to serve them.

bartenderWhen it comes to using and remembering your customers names, you might cringe; however, nothing captures your customer’s attention and confidence faster than hearing his own name. You don't need a stellar memory - just find a way that works for you and stick to it. You might try name association; for example, Stella likes Stella Artois, Jerry likes Jack and Cokes. You could also try repetition; such as, "Hi, Dave!" and later, "Is your drink okay, Dave?" "Dave, can I get you anything else?" It sounds sort of silly, but it definitely works. There's no way to remember every customer's name, but try either of these tricks and you'll be amazed when - a month later - you remember the name of that familiar face at the bar!

Learning a customer's name is a great way to get them talking, and talking with your customers clues you in to a few things. Are they chatty or reserved? A quick chat will put your customer at ease. Are they grumpy or do they seem happy? Alcohol seems to exaggerate moods, so you might be more cautious about how much you serve a sullen customer. Are they easy to talk to? You'll be better able to assess when enough is enough - for example, are they slurring? Has their reaction time dropped drastically? Pay attention to these clues and you'll know when to pour and when to say, "No more." Paying attention to these clues will also help you remember to check back in with your customers and anticipate their needs. You want bright, smiling faces around your bar and striking up conversation is a good way to engage your customers.

AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. Get your Washington alcohol permit online. For more information on Washington alcohol certification and to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com.

If you're working in the Hospitality industry and are currently enrolled or enrolling in college, tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win a scholarship for $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

Be the Best Server You Can Be and Provide Responsible Alcohol Service

Responsible service of alcohol is just one aspect of the job in the hospitality industry. What does it take to be a really good server?

In order to be a successful server, you have to have a good memory and be able to think fast. Having a positive attitude is key in dealing with the ups and downs of the restaurant business. Dealing with the kitchen and sometimes impatient guests, requires you to be engaging, accommodating and professional.

But first things first, learn the menu and learn it fast! When guests ask questions you want to have a knowledgeable answer ready. By knowing your menu you will quickly be able to identify opportunities to up sell and therefore increase your check average.

  • Learn your guests’ names and use them
  • Anticipate their needs and be there when you are needed
  • Remove plates, glasses and other used items promptly
  • Learn your wines and know what to offer with each menu item
Most importantly, know the signs of intoxication and how to deal with kindly and properly cutting a guest off. Get your manager involved and stay cool.

AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. Get your Washington alcohol permit online. For more information on Washington alcohol certification and to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com.

Help Prevent Underage Drinking

AACEA promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. During your alcohol server training you learn the importance of checking valid identification so that you do not serve alcohol to a minor. In Washington State it is illegal for minors to be in a bar. As a bartender in Washington it is your responsibility to ensure that you check the identification of everyone frequenting the establishment in which you work.

Underage drinking is illegal and destructive. The WSLCB has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the many excuses people, particularly some parents, use to perpetuate the myth that it's socially acceptable for those under 21 years old to drink beverage alcohol, whether it be liquor, wine, or beer. Adults must accept responsibility for preventing youth access to alcohol.

AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. Get your Washington alcohol permit online. For more information and to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com.

Be a Better Bartender!

Whether you bartend part-time or full-time, it is one of the most lucrative jobs in the hospitality industry. Even when the economy is not in great shape, many people will still go out drinking. As a bartender, you can make decent cash on the spot from tips, but the better bartender you are, the more cash you will make!

To be a great bartender, you need to have a great personality. Smile, have a sense of humor, be outgoing, and enjoy your job. These are the things that really make a great bartender. As a bartender, you have a responsibility to not over-serve your guests. Not only does it put your job and the community at risk, but a drunken guest does not equal better tips!

BE ATTENTIVE. It is important that you are attentive. Be aware of when your guest is getting low on their drink. Don’t wait until they are finishing the last drop to ask if they want another. The key here is still not to over-serve!

BE KNOWLEDGEABLE. It is important that you know how to make a good drink. Be aware of ingredients in a drink in case you have to substitute. Know all of your basic drinks and know your wines! Food pairing is important in any establishment and it is important to know which wine to offer with each item on the menu.

BE ABLE TO MULTI-TASK. Remember that you are in customer service. Multi-tasking is key. Being able to take someone's drink order while giving change to someone else is efficient and saves you time.

KNOW YOUR REGULARS. At the minimum, know people's first name. If a customer comes in and sits at the bar on a regular basis, you should learn his name, his drink, his job, and his spouse's name. Be attentive to his needs and take the time to talk to him or her.

KNOW THE LAW! You play an important role in keeping your guests safe by selling alcohol responsibly and ensuring liquor laws are followed. It is crucial to check IDs carefully, watch for signs of intoxication and create an environment that discourages disorderly behavior.

AACEA provides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com

New Food Service Requirements for Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

While food service violations are not among the most common violations, restaurants should be aware of the food service requirements for their liquor license type.

The WSLCB this fall adopted new food requirements for spirits, beer and wine restaurants. Highlights: * Expanded items that are considered an entrée to include hamburgers, salads, sandwiches, pizza and breakfast items as long as they include a side dish. * Entrees do not include snack items, menu items which consist solely of precooked frozen food that is reheated, or carry-out items obtained from other businesses. * Increased the number of complete meals required from four to eight. A complete meal is an entrée (steak, fish, pasta, etc.) and at least one side dish (soup, vegetables, salad, potatoes, french fries, rice, fruit, and bread). * Restaurants must serve complete meals for five hours a day, five days a week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Previously, the hours were between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Restaurants having problems meeting their food service requirement should look into the new spirits, beer and wine nightclub liquor license, which is for businesses that primarily provide live entertainment and serve alcohol with main hours between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. The license does not have a food requirement.

Available resources Restaurants should take advantage of the following resources: * Written business policies that describe expectations and how to handle various situations should be developed, and regularly shared with employees. * Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) is required by law for managers, bartenders and other employees who serve or supervise the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption. * WSLCB Responsible Alcohol and Tobacco Sales classes are offered regularly around the state by WSLCB enforcement officers. Class schedules. * WSLCB website has information on selling responsibly and public safety laws, educational videos and more. * WSLCB enforcement officers are available to help you understand liquor laws. Enforcement Customer Service: (360) 664-9878

In conclusion, restaurants can contribute to public safety and keep their customers safe by carrying out their work in a way that supports Washington's liquor laws.

AACEA provides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com

Sales to Apparently Intoxicated Persons

It is against the law to sell alcohol to an apparently intoxicated person or allow them to possess alcohol.

It is important to know the signs of intoxication - such as slurred speech, difficulty focusing, and aggressive behavior - when determining if a customer should be served alcohol. A list of signs can be found at here.

Employees should remember that customers may have already had several drinks before coming to their restaurant, so it is important to watch for signs before the first order is placed.

If a customer is showing apparent signs, employees should not serve them and remove any alcohol they have in their possession. While the customer can remain at the restaurant as long as they are not acting disorderly, employees must make sure they don't get alcohol from someone else.

When refusing service, employees can keep the situation calm by remaining polite, tactful and firm. The restaurant should have a policy about what to do after a sale is refused. Possibilities include offering complementary coffee or cab fare.

Conduct violations Restaurants should intervene immediately if they see people arguing or acting aggressively in order to prevent a fight. Customers that fight may not remain at your business.

When determining whether a disorderly conduct violation has occurred, the WSLCB looks at factors such as: * Did the restaurant create an environment that encouraged the behavior? * Did the restaurant allow the disorderly customer to remain at the business? * How did the restaurant respond to the altercation? * If there were injuries, were the police and medical aid called?

Also, owners and employees are not allowed to drink while working. In addition, employees and owners may not be at their restaurant while showing signs of intoxication, whether they are working or not.

Responsible service of alcohol should be your primary concern as a bartender or server. AACEA promotes responsible alcohol service and sales and offers online alcohol server training in Washington. For more information about your alcohol permit visit www.aaccea.com

Alcohol Sales to Minors in Washington State

Restaurants may not sell or serve alcohol to those under 21 years of age. While not required by law, checking identification is key to preventing sales to minors.

Restaurants should have a policy that dictates when an ID should be checked and what forms of acceptable ID are permitted at the business.

Acceptable forms of ID * A drivers license, ID card, or instruction permit issued by any U.S. state or Canadian province * A Washington temporary drivers license (paper license) * A U.S. Military ID * An official passport * A merchant marine ID * A Washington State tribal enrollment card A valid ID must show: * Date of birth * Signature (except U.S. Military IDs) * Photo * Note: If an ID has an expiration date, the ID must not be expired How to check ID: * Ask for identification. * Have the customer hand you the ID. Do not accept or handle a customer's wallet. * Check the expiration date. Do not accept expired ID. * Check the date of birth. For vertical Washington IDs, check the information to the left of the photo to make sure the customer has turned 21. * Verify the photo matches the customer. * Verify the IDs unique features (for example, on a Washington ID, a black state seal overlaps the photo).

AACEA provides alcohol training in Washington. It is important to know how to properly check ID to protect yourself when serving alcohol. To take your alcohol server training class and get your alcohol permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com

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