The Keys to Customer Intervention for Texas Alcohol Servers
If you sell or serve alcohol as one of your job duties in Texas State, you are likely going to find yourself in a situation where you will be required to cut someone off who has had a little too much to drink at one point or another.
We know this is not ideal, and the process can be a little uncomfortable if you don’t have much experience, so we put together some helpful strategies for you to use whenever you need to cut someone off in the future. Our goal here is to help you feel more confident in your ability to intervene when a customer has gone past their limit!
There are three keys to customer intervention you can use when cutting off a customer:
- Be quick
- Be clear & firm
- Be consistent
Let’s break down these strategies below:
- Be Quick! As soon as you notice your customer is becoming a little tipsy…
- Slow down your service to your customer
- Reduce how often you go to your customer’s table
- Offer your customer food or a non-alcoholic drink
- Suggest another activity – perhaps your establishment has games (billiards, darts, cornhole, arcade games, etc.) you can recommend that they play
- Be Clear & Firm when intervening!
- Keep your temper under control to gain your customer’s respect and to reduce the chances of an argument ensuing
- Try not to use the term “cut off” when speaking with your customer. Instead say something along the lines of “let’s slow up for a little while”
- See if you can get your customer off to the side (to keep from making a scene)
- If you need to, you always have the option to get your manager or a fellow server involved
- Try using the wipe and swipe method in order to take their drink. Swiftly pick up their drink as you wipe underneath it and then take the drink away with you
- Express your concern for the customer’s safety and let them know you would like for them to be able to come back to the establishment
- Try to refrain from using judgmental statements such as “you’re drunk”
- Be courteous and firm with your refusal to serve the customer any more alcoholic beverages and then walk away
- Be Consistent! Stick with your decision.
- It is important for you to stick with your decision to cut off your customer, otherwise your customer may lose respect for you and may see you as someone whose decisions they can easily sway
- Don’t argue with your customer.
- Continue to be polite and walk away if you need to, and again, you can always get your manager involved if you need backup!
These three keys to customer intervention offer a great foundation for you to use if (and when) you find yourself in the position of needing to cut someone off in the future. If you’re hoping to learn more and to receive a TABC License in the process, we welcome you to check out our TABC Approved Online TABC Certification Course whenever and wherever is most convenient for you.
Cheers, and Happy Training!