MAST certification - AACEA

"Prohibition" Series Looks at Illegalizing Alcohol

From 1920 to 1933, the US 18th Amendment, or Volstead Act banned alcohol countrywide. Now, a new series on PBS titled "Prohibition", and produced by filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick shows the motives, methods, and melee that occurred when alcohol was banned in the US according to Zap 2 It.

Alcohol was considered one of the original sins of America, spurring the movement to ban the substance. Burns and Novick's series highlights the consequences of the Volstead act, including the criminalization of the alcohol industry and the rise of violent gangs as a result. Its prohibition gave rise to gangsters like Al Capone, and police were paid to look the other way. Speakeasies popped up, around the country, and in the more elite populations, cocktail parties became popular.

The support of and opposition to Prohibition represented competing strains of American thought. Where the "Roaring Twenties" introduced more progressive thought, the Temperance Movement which supported Prohibition, looked to take away certain American freedoms. The filmmakers note that while alcohol can cause social problems, it has also been a large part of human society for ages.

Says Novick, "There were many, many problems with Prohibition, but one was a fundamental misreading of the place of alcohol and also the fact that alcohol, inherently, is not bad for everyone."

"It coincided with this great liberation of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties economically," Burns says. "The only thing that's going backwards is Prohibition. Everything else is going forwards; half the country becomes lawbreakers. It is a descent into hell paved entirely with good intentions."

At AACEA, we're committed to bring you news and reviews on events in the hospitality and beverage industry. AACEA provides online alcohol server training and certified bartending classes. To get your mandatory alcohol server training certificate today vist www.aacea.com. Each month, AACEA raffles off $100 to one of our MAST students.

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. bartender 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 AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

Increased Menu Prices Could Mean More Money In Your Pocket

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!

Inspections in Indiana Find Fewer Sales to Minors

Indiana recently passed a law requiring all carry-out alcohol customers to show ID when purchasing alcohol, regardless of age. The law was largely ridiculed; however, after the law was enacted, officers completed inspections on underage sales of alcohol, saying that sales to minors was down over 40% since 2009. During the inspections, people ages 18 to 20 accompany officers and try to buy alcohol. Indiana business owners are "getting the message about not serving to minors after being hit with citations and fines," said a Courier Press article. Indiana Excise Police Officer Travis Thickstun said that along with laws mandating certified server training, the tougher ID requirements helped improve compliance. The mandatory server classes, which last about two hours, cover not over-serving to intoxicated customers, how to spot fake IDs, and basic alcohol laws in the state. "Liquor store owners supported the stricter ID law," says the Courier Press article. "...It wasn't that inconvenient and it led to a drastic drop in attempts by minors to buy alcohol because they knew clerks had to card all customers." Laws like these help reduce the risks of alcohol, from service-to-minors to drunk driving. Like Indiana, Washington state also requires mandatory alcohol server training. This spring, Indiana revised their card law so that store clerks are no longer required to card customers who reasonably appear older than 40, similar to laws in Washington state. If you're looking to take bartending certification classes, or to complete your mandatory alcohol server training, AACEA has an easy online alcohol server training program to fit your needs. 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.

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.

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

Oscar Party Prep: Champagne Punch

The Oscars are upon us! Whether you're hosting a party at home, or serving alcohol at a well-loved bar, choose a delicious bubbly drink for your Oscar Party attendees. A champagne punch is a festive addition to any occasion!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup triple sec or Grand Marnier
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup Chambord, or other raspberry flavored liquor
  • 2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 quart chilled ginger ale
  • 2 chilled (750 ml) bottles dry Champagne
  • 2 cups raspberries
1. In a large bowl or pitcher, combine the triple sec, brandy, Chambord and pineapple juice and chill covered for at least 4 hours or overnight. 2. In a large punch bowl, combine the triple sec mixture, the ginger ale, Champagne and ice cubes if desired. 3. Garnish punch with raspberries and serve. If you need a recipe that's more tailored to the individual, but still packs a punch, try a French 75!

Ingredients

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 tsp sugar (superfine if possible)
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 5 oz Brut champagne
1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, sugar and lemon juice and shake well with cracked ice. 2. Fill a Collins glass partway with ice and strain the gin mixture into it. 3.Top off with champagne.

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America’s Alcohol Certified Education Association provides online alcohol server training – you can get your Washington State alcohol server‘s permit in only 3 hours, and you can be at work in the service industry that day! Check out our online training to take alcohol server training classes in Washington and Oregon from the comfort of your own home. Visit www.aacea.com.

State Liquor Pilot Project Allows Alcohol Tastings

30 state, pilot and tribal liquor stores in Washington are testing a pilot program to allow spirit or hard alcohol tastings in-store. Sampling will be limited to a 1/4 ounce with four samples maximum. Only product sponsors, such as a distiller representatives, may serve samples. These alcohol servers must have the WSLCB-Approved Mandatory Alcohol Server Training Permit. The pilot program starts today (September 1st) and is a year-long program, intended to introduce premium products to store customers. Details of these 30 stores which allow spirit tastings can be found on the events page of the stores and products section of the WSLCB website at www.liq.wa.gov. Stores are permitted one tasting event per week. The tasting events will be either Fridays or Saturdays from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m "The spirits sampling pilot is a win for both consumers and producers,” said Carrie Tellefson of the Distillery Representatives Association of Washington. “With so many products available, the tasting events offer consumers a valuable opportunity to taste spirits in a controlled environment, learn about new, premium products and provide valuable feedback for distillers." The Distillery Representatives Association of Washington is an organization committed to representing the Alcohol Beverage Community in a manner that advances the understanding of the issues and challenges that affect our industry. DRAW works with the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the State Legislature to eliminate underage drinking and promote responsible alcohol consumption. Of the pilot program, WSLCB Chair Sharon Foster said, “We are excited to have this opportunity for our customers to taste new and interesting products in our stores. With more than 1,100 spirits products available in state stores, customers can now enhance their product knowledge by trying something they may never have considered before and learn first-hand about the products from distillers’ representatives.” Stores were selected based on retail sales volume, locations, and appropriate in-store space for sampling, as well as traffic accident data and proximity to churches and schools. At AACEA, we provide alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington or to get your alcohol servers permit in Oregon, visit www.aacea.com. Sign up today and you’re eligible to win our monthly $100 raffle, from AACEA and Len Riggs.

There's still a chance to win $500 through the AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives!

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 AACEA Scholarship 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 scholarshiptosavelives@aacea.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."

Find out more about AACEA at: https://aacea.com/.

Washington Liquor Board Considers Extending Hours of Alcohol Sales

As part of our initiative to drive responsible alcohol sales, and provide certified alcohol servers with information in the industry, we've been following a new proposal that will extend alcohol service past 2:00 a.m. Washington state law says that alcohol cannot be sold past 2:00 a.m., but soon local governments may be able to change that time, according to a new proposal from Seattle's Mayor and City Council. The proposal would allow local governments to decide what time bars should stop selling alcohol. The hours would allow establishments to sell alcohol between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. at their discretion. The proposal's advocates say the change would help the city’s nightlife industry, and argue there are public safety merits to not closing bars at the same time - which puts a high volume of drunk drivers on the roads all at once. However, some owners say they don't want later hours because nothing good happens after 2:00 a.m. Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson warned, "There could be higher levels of intoxication associated with longer hours of operation, more drunk drivers on the road during peak early morning commute times, and greater demand for law enforcement services over that extended period of time." Many opponents say that changing this law will cause a burden on law enforcement due to limited department staffing during those hours. What does this mean for staff with a class 12 permit? It would potentially mean longer shifts, and more sales. It could mean more tips - but not necessarily better tips. It will require MAST permit holders to be more vigilant about not overserving customers and about making sure their clients have access to transportation if they've been drinking. To get your liquor permit, take our online alcohol server training from the comfort of your own home. Visit www.aacea.com for more information.

Where Do Liquor Sales Tax dollars Go?

With all this talk about liquor tax dollars, it's interesting to know where your tax dollars have been going. The WSLCB provides this graphic as a breakdown of the typical bottle of liquor:

In the 2011 fiscal year, Washington State collected $22,482,821 in liquor taxes. The site notes:

The revenue flowing to the state General Fund is used for education, healthcare and other related programs. Revenue returned to local governments is used for prevention programs, law enforcement, emergency medical services and many other local needs.
The retail price of liquor currently being sold in state and contract liquor stores is determined by five elements:
  1. Distiller's, brewer's or vintner's price to the Board
  2. Federal taxes - excise tax rates on all liquor, plus custom duty rates on imported liquor
  3. Freight costs
  4. Markup (see table below), which is controlled by the Board. Markup covers operating costs of the state liquor control system and provides a yearly profit that is shared by the state and local government. The Board's markup is comparable to the wholesale and retail markup applied by private businesses and is also expressed as margin on sales for comparative purposes
  5. State sales taxes (see table below), which is set by the state Legislature
To recoup much of the income WSLCB loses on the sales of alcohol after I-1183, the state is mandating a 10% fee to distributors and a 17% fee to retailers. These costs could be transferred on to patrons of these establishments. A Washington State fiscal report noted, however:
The fiscal impact cannot be precisely estimated because the private market will determine bottle cost and markup for spirits. Using a range of assumptions, total State General Fund revenues increase an estimated $216 million to $253 million and total local revenues increase an estimated $186 million to $227 million, after Liquor Control Board one-time and ongoing expenses, over six fiscal years. A one-time net state revenue gain of $36.4 million is estimated from sale of the state liquor distribution center. One-time debt service costs are $5.3 million. Ongoing new state costs are estimated at $158,600 over six fiscal years.
Governor, Christine Gregoire has argued that expanding sales would help generate more revenue for the state but cautions that more sales may generate new costs to the state - for example, in treatment for drug and alcohol abusers.

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Americas Alcohol Certified Education Association provides online class 12 permits and online class 13 permits. Together we can help promote responsible alcohol sales and service. If you’re looking to get your mandatory alcohol server training certificate, choose online alcohol classes that you can take from the comfort of your own home with AACEA. Sign up for one of our convenient classes at www.aacea.com!

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