A recent report on Medscape News Today notes that teen drinking is down in 2011 - in fact, underage drinking has fallen to its lowest point in 3 years. This is good news for law enforcement and those in the alcohol industry who have been vigilant in attempting to crack down on underage drinking. Selling alcohol to minors can result in criminal charges, fines and most likely the loss of your job. For alcohol, it is your legal responsibility to make sure the person is 21 or older. If you intentionally help someone under 21 obtain or attempt to obtain alcohol, it's considered "aiding and abetting." This means you cannot help an underage person buy alcohol, you cannot buy for alcohol for them or give them any alcohol.
Reducing the number of underage drinkers can be as easy as knowing what to look for on a customer's ID. At America's Alcohol Certified Education Association, we provide alcohol server training that teaches prospective bartenders and servers how to quickly identify proper identification as well as spotting intoxicated customers, and knowing just how much alcohol is in a beverage. With the widespread use of fake IDs, it can be difficult to make sure you're serving to an of-age customer. There are a few guidelines for spotting fake IDs though:
Compare the person in the picture to the one who is presenting it. Often, this is the biggest clue.
Feel the ID for cuts in the birthdate and/or picture area. They can be subtle.
Compare the identification document to the ID checking guide.
Look for different types of ink on the ID, color contrasts, smudges and misprints.
Overall, trust your instincts. Servers have the right to refuse sale to anyone for any reason.
To enter, comment on our Facebook Page, or tweet @lenriggs on twitter, and use the hashtag #freealcoholservertraining.
For example, you could say “@lenriggs - I want to become a bartender because I make excellent flaming Dr. Peppers! #freealcoholservertraining” and you’re entered to win. It’s that easy!
The contest will be open until April 25 and if you win, you will experience free mandatory alcohol server training courtesy of Len Riggs and Americas Alcohol Certified Education Association. You can post on both FB and Twitter for 2 contest entries. You also get one entry for sharing our contest with YOUR friends on Twitter and one entry for sharing our contest on Facebook. That’s 4 chances to win – total!
If you need Washington alcohol server training, AACEA provides online alcohol server training courses that you can take from the comfort of your own home. Imagine getting your bartender certification in your pajamas, and heading to work later that day. It's that easy. Find out more at www.aacea.com.
Thanks to Contest Hound for helping us spread the word!
Consumption of alcohol hit a 25-year high in 2010, when 67% of Americans reported drinking alcoholic beverages, according to a Gallup poll. That's a level unseen since the late 1970s, when 71% of Americans said they drank.
It's interesting to note:
Americans drank more wine than ever last year, 2.3 gallons apiece. That's up 35% since 1994. Spirits climbed 18% to 1.5 gallons per person for the same period, while beer intake dropped 7% to 20.7 gallons, says the Beer Institute.
What does the increase in alcohol consumption mean for certified alcohol servers? 1. Your establishment may be busier! Due to economic downturn, many people are looking for ways to blow off steam, or to get some valuable socialization time if they've been recently laid off. This might translate to an increase in customers who are looking for a cheap drink. 2. You may see an increase in intoxicated customers. Americans are consuming more alcohol on a whole - and more alcohol generally means more intoxication. It's important to have tactics for dealing with intoxicated customers and it's important to know when to say no. 3. You may see an increase in attempts at underage drinking. It's best to scrutinize scenarios in which you think your patron may be underage. It helps to familiarize yourself with local drivers' licenses and to adopt a policy for dealing with underage drinking. If you're looking to become a certified alcohol server and take online alcohol certification classes to get your Washington Server Permit or your Oregon server's permit, visit www.aacea.com. Each month, we raffle off $100 to a lucky student - put your name in the hat today by signing up for your mandatory alcohol server training with America's Alcohol Certified Education Association.
We found a great piece in the Seattle Times Wine Adviser about alcohol levels in wines. Alcohol levels must be printed on wine labels according to Federal regulations. The Washington Wine Report notes that wines fourteen percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and under are allowed a 1.5% margin of error – provided the alcohol content does not exceed 14%. Wines over 14% are allowed a margin of error of 1%. In other words, a wine listed at 15% alcohol may be as high as 16% without running afoul of the feds. For this reason alone, there is a good chance that the percentage listed on the label is not entirely accurate. In this case, the printed numbers err significantly and still fall within the letter of the law. Wine Adviser, Paul Gregutt writes,
"So, what's too high? And what's wrong with high-alcohol wines anyway? "When a wine finishes with a burning sensation — that's too high. When the alcohol level is such that it must be masked by winemaking tricks such as massive amounts of new oak, or unwanted residual sugar — that's too high. When a wine loses all traces of varietal character or the more subtle elements that contribute to its aroma, complexity, texture and balance — that's too high. "Worst of all, when a wine reaches such ridiculous levels of alcohol that one glass makes you punch drunk — dry zinfandels pinning the meter at over 17 percent — that's waaay too high. "...When unfortified wines climb above 15.5 percent, they almost always lose subtlety and finesse. Nuances are gone, replaced by the dynamic trio of alcohol, fruit jam and lumber. Apart from the bludgeoning such wines give the palate, they are almost impossible to match with food."
In general, we've found the following to be a helpful guide:
Table wine: 8 – 14%
Sparkling wine: 8 – 12%
Fortified wine: 17 – 22%
Part of Responsible Alcohol Service is knowing how much punch a drink packs. It's important to pay attention to alcohol levels in various wines and liquors to avoid over-serving. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington 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 AACEAScholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.
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
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. When 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 AACEAScholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.
According to a recently published study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), many people misjudge volume based on the shape of the container into which it is poured. This phenomenon, often referred to as "portion distortion," specifically relates to the unintentional pouring of more alcohol into a short, wide glass than into a tall, thin glass. In some instances a cocktail in a short, wide glass contained as much as a quarter more alcohol than the pourer intended. The BMJ study investigated whether training and experience could correct this tendency by comparing the pouring habits of a group of students and a group of experienced bartenders. All participants were asked to pour 11/2-ounce shots from a bottle into one of two types of glasses: short and wide and tall and slender. The students poured 30 percent more into the short glasses than the tall glasses. The experienced bartenders also overpoured, placing 20 percent more alcohol into the short glasses than the tall glasses. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com
Restaurants may begin increasing menu prices next year without the fear of losing customers accustomed to deals and discounts, according to a recent report from Jeff Omohundro, a senior securities analyst at Wells Fargo Securities. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows inflation for food at home and dining out approaching the same rates. “With the rate of inflation for food at home increasing in recent months to 1.4 percent, in line with food away from home, we think restaurants may be better positioned to pass along menu price increases to consumers,” he said. We all know that increased menu prices leads to higher check averages, which leads to an increase in tips. Continuing to provide excellent service is key to taking advantage of increased menu prices. Add in an alcoholic beverage up sell and you are on your way! We all know the importance of server training in order to learn about responsible alcohol service. In order to get your bartending license or alcohol servers permit in Washington you must have an alcohol server permit. You can now take this class online at http://www.aacea.com. Len Riggs continues to offer this fun and informative class on alcohol server training and now from the comfort of your own home!
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.
The history of the popularity of St-Germain liqueur isn’t long - it is by many accounts the “it” liqueur right now, and its popularity seems to have come out of nowhere. Made from elderflowers grown in the French Alps, St-Germain is refreshing and mixes well with many different ingredients. It’s slightly sweet and a bit floral, and the St-Germain cocktail could be called the thinking woman’s Cosmo. In other words, if you've got a client you want to impress, having a bottle of St-Germain stashed away will up your stock. A good mixologist will have St-Germain on hand. There is no denying its prominent place on the best cocktail menus from L.A. to London. This is also a high-quality liqueur is made from delicate flowers and is best when used in a simple recipe. This recipe is the most straightforward way to appreciate St-Germain’s flavor short of sipping it straight. St-Germain CocktailIngredients: 2 parts champagne or dry sparkling white wine 1.5 parts St-Germain 2 parts club soda Instructions: Fill a Collins glass with ice. First, add St-Germain, then champagne, then club soda. Stir well, and garnish with a lemon twist. If you haven't got a bottle of champagne open, there are a few other ways to enjoy this delicious liqueur: Elderflower Collins (Cocktail) - Gin, Lemon Juice, Soda, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur French Apple Martini (Martini) - Lemon Juice, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Vodka Part of becoming a better bartender is being knowledgeable about your drinks. Thinking of becoming a bartender? AACEAprovides 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. 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 AACEAScholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.
Designated drivers are being rewarded for their sobriety by bars in Massachusetts. In an initiative to cut down on drunk driving, patrons who announce that they are the designated driver in their party receive free sodas from participating establishments. One of these establishments, Tinker's Son Pub in Norwell MA, began rewarding its designated drivers a year ago, after hearing about the initiative's success in other pubs in the area. Participating restaurants post a sticker near the door announcing their participation in the program. Many certified bartenders and certified alcohol servers ask large groups if they’ve designated a sober driver for the night. Police in the Norwell area encouraged this measure after a fatal holiday crash in 2002. At America's Alcohol Certified Education Association, we applaud this measure to cut down on drunk driving, which takes the lives of thousands of people every year. In fact, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported in 2007 that nearly 18,000 highway deaths were "alcohol-related." It's up to alcohol servers to help cut down on the number of fatal alcohol-related accidents by providing responsible alcohol service and sales. If you're looking for mandatory alcohol server training, AACEA provides online alcohol server training, which you can take from the comfort of your own home in only 3 hours. Start the New Year off right, with a program tailored to your needs. Find out more about our MAST classes at www.aacea.com.
A new study notes that aggressiveness while intoxicated could be due to a "here and now" trait within drinkers that regulates the ability to consider the future consequences of current actions. The study notes that alcohol would make present-focused people more aggressive. However, people without that trait don't get any more aggressive when drunk than they would when they're sober. If you carefully consider the consequences of your actions, it is unlikely getting drunk is going to make you any more aggressive than you usually are. Scientists who used the study to measure aggression noted that if drinkers are more present-thinking and not future-thinking, they may want to consider decreasing their alcohol consumption. This study comes in the wake of another recent study showing how alcohol dulls the "alarm" in your brain that monitors mistakes. In these situations, the brain's "alarm signal" in response to errors was much less pronounced in those who had consumed alcohol. In addition, those in the alcohol group were no less likely to realize when they had made a mistake than participants in the other groups, indicating that alcohol's reduction of the brain's "alarm signal" did not occur simply because those in the alcohol group were unaware of their errors. The findings also showed that those who had consumed alcohol were less likely to slow down and be more careful in the task following errors. It's important to know how alcohol affects the brain - especially when it comes to issues like your brain's alarm system, and the effects on aggression. At Americas Alcohol Certified Education Association, we teach each of our alcohol server trainees how to spot the effects of alcohol on their clients, as well as ways in which alcohol can affect us all. Our Online alcohol program can even be taken from the comfort of your own home. Find out more today at www.aacea.com.
We're giving everybody an extension, and a second chance to win $500!
Are you working in the Hospitality industry and 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 $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEAScholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.
To enter: Like the AACEA Facebook page and read the complete contest rules (find them here). Submit an essay, poem, song, or other piece of creative writing explaining what it means to you as a hospitality worker, to be the first line of defense in keeping drunk drivers off our roads. Send your submissions via email to email@example.com.
Need an example? Here's a Sample Entry From Len Riggs, founder of AACEA:
"When I first became certified by the WSLCB I can remember reading the approval letter and thinking "Now what?" I started out with a shoe string budget, rolled up my sleeves and went to work. I had one goal in mind and that was to become the number one provider in Washington. When I mentioned that goal I was met with a lot of skepticism.
"As I began my quest I found myself digging deeper into the culture of alcohol service and could see where I could make a difference by teaching those in my class with more than just enough information to pass the test and get their permit.
"When I teach a class or when I train a trainer for AACEA / LRAST, I do my best to get the fact across that they (the student) can make a difference and save lives. Many times I have been contacted by past students who either went through a class that I taught, or through one of our trainers to thank us for teaching us what we taught."
We've lost so many lives recently to addictions - especially alcohol addictions. With headlines decrying car crashes and binge drinking, and newspapers talking about the dangers of mixing drinks with medication, some may start to ask how to prevent these type of events. And accusations start flying at the bartenders that continue to serve and over-serve these clientele, who quickly become a danger to themselves and others. At AACEA we educate alcohol servers on how to serve alcohol responsibly and how to become a better bartender. We feel it's important to look at these cases of driving under the influence, and assess where we can do better. Our students at AACEA are the first line of defense against drunk driving. As an article on the Ryan Dunn incident suggests,
Bartenders across the country face the same challenges all the time. Whenever a person is in a car accident, especially a fatal one, it is natural for family and friends to want to point fingers, and police typically investigate the bartender to see if anyone was selling to an openly drunk customer. “We often get the question of what should bartenders do,” Sgt. Wayne Bush of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement says. “First, don’t serve a person to that point — shut them off. If they slur their words, stand and are wobbly, hold on to the bar, are nodding off or have trouble getting money out of their wallet, they’ve had enough. Don’t wait for them to puke on the floor or to pick a fight. That’s too late.” In the case of more experienced drinkers however, it isn’t that easy. “The bartender and wait staff have the obligation not to serve someone who is visibly intoxicated,” Bush said. “What they have to realize is that someone can be drinking and not appear to be intoxicated because the last drinks haven’t hit his system. It all depends on the person; someone who is a regular drinker will be able to drink more.” To make things more difficult, some people won’t take no for an answer. Someone who is cut off from a bartender can easily go to a table of strangers and beg a drink from them.
When dealing with experienced drinkers, it can be difficult to tell when to stop serving. You might be tipped off by either excessively loud or excessively withdrawn behavior. Your customer may not be able to completely focus on the task at hand, or may lose a little hand-eye coordination. You may be able to tell by rambling conversation or offensive language. Part of being a good bartender is knowing your clientele and being able to quickly spot those who may be under the influence.
AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEAis 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.
A former Seattle police officer, Deana F. Jarrett, of Woodinville, was charged last month with driving under the influence with the highest blood-alcohol reading ever recorded by a Washington state driver. Jarrett's blood alcohol level was 0.47 percent, which is almost 6 times higher than the legal .08 percent blood alcohol level limit. A blood-alcohol level above 0.40 percent is potentially lethal - "Most people black out at between 0.35 and higher," said Detective Tim Gately of the Redmond Police Department. Jarrett is approximately 5 feet 5 inches and 130 to 140 pounds — it would take about a fifth of liquor, 25.6 ounces, in a short period of time, to reach that blood-alcohol level. Five empty four-ounce plastic bottles of vodka and two empty 12-ounce cans of beer were found on the front passenger seat, according to a trooper's report. Washington State Patrol maintains records on all individuals who submit to a breath test in Washington. According to state records, thirty-five of the approximately 356,000 breath tests given since 1998 have registered above 0.40 percent. An average of 42,000 to 45,000 breathalyzer tests are given each year by all law-enforcement agencies in the state. Until now, no one had registered over 0.45 percent on a breath test in Washington. In our Alcohol Server Training we teach our students how to look for signs of intoxication – one of the basics of responsible alcohol service and sales. 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. 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 AACEAScholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.
Louisiana Bar Card and Washington State MAST permit. Arizona Title 4 Basic Training Online AZ DLLC Alcohol Server Approved Certification Course California Responsible Beverage Service RBS TIPS Certificate Program On Off Premises ABC Florida Vendor State Compliant Montana Ohio Seller For Sellers Servers Bartenders and Managers Get your TABC Certification for selling serving alcohol in Texas Your official can be printed online upon completion Utah Mobile Friendly valid Bartender School on off premise server training permit classes by Len Riggs