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
In Texas State it is illegal to sell or serve alcohol to someone who is intoxicated, and observing customers for signs of intoxication is a server’s best course of action for preventing alcohol from being served or sold to an intoxicated customer.
Let’s review some Keys to Customer Observation for preventing alcohol sales and service to intoxicated individuals below!
Keys to Customer Observation for Alcohol Servers
- First thing’s first, always pay attention to how your customers look!
- Are their eyes red and watery?
- Do they look overly tired?
- Are they looking a little disheveled? (e.g. tussled hair, untied shoes, untucked shirts, etc.)
- Do they smell strongly of alcohol?
- Next, observe what your customers are doing!
- Are they struggling to keep themselves balanced when standing still?
- Has walking become a challenge for them?
- Do they slur their words when they speak?
- Are they being overly loud or excited?
- Are they taking frequent trips to the restroom?
- Then, observe how your customers are reacting to various stimuli.
- When you ask them a question, does it take them a long time to formulate an answer?
- Do they respond to your questions slowly and with great effort?
- Are they giggling or laughing at your jokes in an overly-animated way?
- Lastly, keep tabs on how much alcohol has been purchased or consumed by your customers!
- This shouldn’t be your only method for determining a customer’s level of intoxication since they will often begin drinking at home or in another establishment before frequenting yours, but counting drinks can still provide you with a general idea of where a customer may be at on the BAC scale!