If you want any sort of job that requires you to serve alcohol in the state of Texas then you will want to get an TABC Seller Server Certification. While a TABC certificate is not mandatory it may be requested by an employer as a condition of being hired.
Who Might Need a Texas Alcohol Permit?
There are a couple of people who might need an alcohol permit in Texas including bartenders, servers including waiters and waitresses, and clerks.
What is a TABC Certification?
A Texas alcohol permit or TABC certification is the permit put forth by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to promote responsible serving. This certifies that you have been trained in identifying minors who are drinking or attempting to purchase drinks illegally, in serving in a way that does not facilitate inebriation, and not serving to those who are already drunk or disorderly in any way. Essentially the certification ensures that you are fully aware of Texas law pertaining serving alcoholic beverages so that if you break that law, you know which responsibilities you assume. It also teaches you about responsibility such as not serving to someone with an alcohol dependence, not serving too much at any one time, and learning when to say no to a drunk patron.
How to Get a Texas Alcohol Permit
Once you’ve decided if you need a Texas alcohol permit, you can very easily take the test and get your certification. It is possible to get your TABC certification online so if you have a few hours of free time, a good internet connection, and $14.95, you can take and earn your certificate at any time. The Texas alcohol permit course from AACEA takes just two hours to complete and then you can print your certificate and begin legally serving alcohol. If you want to brush up on your terminology before taking the test, you can check our definitive glossary here. Want to know more? Comment below and we’ll try to answer all of your questions about the TABC Texas alcohol permit in the next blog post.
If you’ve earned your TABC certification then you’re probably working as a bartender or a server. In either case, the majority of your income is probably from tips, so you have to learn to make the most of your time and earn the most tips possible. But how do you do it? You most certainly shouldn’t ask, or even hint that you need money as most people will be affronted by the request and your employer might frown on it. Instead, try using these quick tips. Remember Names Did you know that asking someone about their name and then remembering it when they first sit down is almost a sure way to get a tip? While you’re not going to get a huge tip from just remembering their name, it is likely to convince them that you are a better bartender. Obviously you don’t have this luxury if the place is packed and you’re constantly moving, but at that point you probably won’t have to worry about tips anyway. Get someone’s name by telling them yours and introducing yourself with a smile. Remember Drinks What’s the next best thing to do to get a tip? Remember their drink. If you see an empty glass, walk up and say ‘Would you like another (insert drink name here).’ If they had anything special like ‘on the rocks’ or ‘salted’ make sure you smile and ask if they would like those changes again, or if they would like to try it another way. Just remember to ask first as some people like to switch drinks and try different things. Notably, as you probably learned when taking your TABC certification, you should probably also try to remember how many drinks each person has had. Not only will it help you to judge the persons level of intoxication, a fun comment like “You’re fifth already!” might earn you some points. Don’t Hover There is nothing more annoying than a bartender or server who is always there. Instead, try to make yourself look busy. If you’re not serving another customer, wipe down the counters, clean the glasses, or whatever else needs to be done. Not only do you make yourself look good to your employer and the customers, but you’re more likely to get a tip because you look busy, and because you weren’t annoying. Part of this goes in to say that you should never butt into anyone else’s conversation unless they invite you, in which case you might still be best off saying that you weren’t listening, could they say it again, so you don’t appear to be eavesdropping. Compliment It is most definitely okay to offer compliments as freely as possible across the bar. Whether male or female you can complement both genders, and even flirt a little with those of the opposite sex (although this should be very subtle, especially if that person is with a partner). Offering complements on clothing or ‘great choice of drink’ or even facial features is perfectly fine, and likely to make the customer happy. Just remember not to complement everyone where each person can hear you as it might come off badly if they see you’re doing it to get tips. Don’t Talk Too Much Did you know that talking too much can be annoying? Try politely answering questions when asked, talking to the customer at first, and then unless they look lonely or bored, mostly leaving them to their own devices. While it can be tempting to chat up everyone on a slow night, it’s probably not a good idea, especially if those people want to be left alone. If you want to talk, try finding an equally talkative person to chat with and then do so. Be Attentive Last but not least, pay attention, just not too much. Taking away empty glasses, offering refills or another drink, and talking to someone who is bored can all earn you a lot of brownie points towards getting tips. Part of this includes wiping down the bar in front of each person before you set down the glass, paying attention to them and their drink, and of course, to their attitude. As a bartender, your tips can be a large part of your income, and the best way to earn tips is to be friendly, attentive and good at your job. Before you get a job as a bartender, you will of course also need your TABC certification if you do not already have one.
If you are currently in the hospitality industry in Texas and have already received your TABC Certification, you are probably aware of your responsibility to prevent intoxicated customers from getting behind the wheel of a car and driving away from your establishment.
In an ideal world, your customers would be aware of their drinking limits and would cut themselves off well before becoming intoxicated if they were planning to drive. Better yet, they wouldn’t have any alcohol if they were planning to drive. And if they did accidentally go over their limit, they wouldn’t even consider driving. Unfortunately, this ideal is far from the truth as there are 95,000 DWIs issued a year in Texas State, which amounts to approximately 260 DWIs per day.
Given your position, it is likely you will come across intoxicated customers while working and it is in your best interest to prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a car for a few reasons:
If you work in (or are planning to begin working in) the hospitality industry in Texas State, there are some basic Texas Alcohol Laws that will be helpful for you to know or freshen up on! We have simplified the most basic must-know Texas Alcohol Laws below for your reference.
(Please note that some bars and restaurants have their own house policies which may be even more strict than the laws mentioned below)
How old do I need to be in Texas State to bartend?
How old do I need to be in Texas State to serve alcohol as waitstaff?
How old do I need to be in Texas State to conduct alcohol tastings?
How old do I need to be in Texas State to enter a bar?
18The only exception is if your legal adult parent/guardian or spouse is with you
If you are working for (or own) an establishment in Texas State that serves or sells alcohol, you may be curious about your legal responsibilities and how to prevent yourself, your employees, and/or your establishment from getting into any trouble with the law. One way to become more knowledgeable about this is to take a TABC Certification course that is approved by the TABC in order to get a TABC License for selling or serving alcohol.
If you’re hoping to better inform yourself without taking a course, we have provided some helpful information for you below!
One of the biggest concerns you will have as someone who sells or serves alcohol, or as someone who owns an establishment that sells alcohol to the public, is providing alcohol to intoxicated customers. If alcohol is served or sold to an intoxicated customer who then causes an accident or otherwise finds themselves in an accident, you could find yourself knee deep in a Dram Shop Lawsuit.
If you have already taken your Alcohol Seller Server training course and received your TABC Certification from AACEA, you may want to know how your certification can be revoked. Ideally, we would like to prevent this from happening to you so we have provided you with a few preventative measures below!
Preventative Measure 1:Don’t sell or serve alcohol to a minor or intoxicated person! If you do, you’ll not only have to deal with criminal charges and complaints being held against you, but you’ll also face consequences related to your TABC Certification:
First Offense: You will have to take the course and exam over again to become recertified within the first 30 days of the offense, otherwise your certificate will be revoked.
Second Offense: If you receive a second violation within 12 months your certification will be revoked and you will not be able to get recertified for 90 days after the offense. Once the 90 days are up you will be required to retake the course and exam again.
Thirst Offense: If you receive a third violation within 12 months your certification will be revoked and you will be unable to get recertified for 12 months.
We may be a little biased here, but we strongly encourage anyone and everyone whose job involves selling or serving alcohol to get their TABC Server Certificate, and here’s why:
Knowledge is power! Understanding Texas’s laws regarding the sales and service of alcohol to intoxicated individuals and minors, and learning how to effectively intervene when you come across an intoxicated individual or minor (or, heaven forbid, an intoxicated minor), is EXTREMELY valuable for playing your part in ensuring that perfectly preventable alcohol-related mishaps and tragedies do not occur. In other words, by becoming certified you will become an even better citizen! Sure, people may not like you very much if you cut them off, but there is honor in upholding your responsibilities as an alcohol seller or server and making decisions with the intention of keeping people safe.
If you’re planning on taking your TACB certification online, then you need free time, a printer, and patience. If you’re ready to take the test, you should start out by finding a certified TABC website online such as America’s Alcohol Certified Education Association or the AACEA. The following five tips can help you get started, and help you pass your test.
Check to Make Sure the Website is Certified Getting your TACB certification online is great, but only if you’re getting it from an approved website. The AACEA is approved by the TABC and you can check to see it listed at the top of Section II: Internet Training resources on TABC.state.tx.us. If you get your certification from a website that isn’t listed, it might not be legit.
Prepare to Sit Through the Course The TABC online certification is approximately 2 hours long plus a test, so you should prepare. Make sure you have free time, no interruptions, and a glass of water handy. Taking a bathroom break beforehand can also help.
Take a Short Break Before the Test After taking the two hour course, you should get up, stretch, and if necessary visit the bathroom. A quick ten minute break will allow you to relax so that you do better on the test. If you don’t think you need the break, you can of course skip it and go right from the lesson to the test.
Have a Printer Handy You can print your certification as soon as you pass the test, so try having a printer handy. If you don’t have a printer in your home, you can also schedule your test so that you can go to the library or anywhere with a printer immediately after finishing.
Study at a Time Best For You Studies show that we learn better when fully rested and not distracted by thirst, hunger, or stress. If you schedule your study time and test for a time when you aren’t going to be tired, you are likely to do better on the test and therefore pass more easily. Depending on your personal preferences this could be in the morning, night, weekends, or even weekdays. The best part about taking your TABC certification online is that you can take it any day of the week, 24/7. Try finding a time that suits your needs.
AAECA offers a fully certified TABC test and course, and we’ve gotten a lot of great reviews on our lessons. Some of the course material includes video, activities, and a bit of humor so that you can study more easily. All that we recommend is that you come comfortable, have the free time, and don’t have any distractions. Those with kids who are studying in their home should try to get a babysitter for the period so that they can focus on the lessons.
If you are currently serving alcohol with your TABC certification then you probably know that it is only good for two years after issue. If you plan on keeping your job, and it is nearing an expiration date, you will have to get a TABC certification renewal. While you do not have to renew your certification until your current TABC license is up, you should definitely consider a renewal any time in the week before your certification is up.
What is a TABC Certification Renewal?
The first thing to consider is that the TABC does not actually offer a certification renewal. The certification lasts for 2 years because laws and rules are frequently updated. You will have to take the course again at the end of the two year period, but the fee is still relatively very low at $14.95. The class takes roughly two hours and then you can take your renewal course afterwards. When you print your certification, you will be qualified to serve alcohol for another two years. You can typically choose to take your course online or at a certified training location, although the former is usually more convenient, and more entertaining.
Asking Your Boss
If you are employed as an alcohol server, or anyone who helps to oversee the serving and sale of alcohol, then you need an alcohol server’s permit. As such, your employer should be able to pay for the fee. Usually this fee is tax deductible so they should not mind paying for it for you. If not, you can deduct it from your own wages at the end of the year.
If you’re lucky and you ask on a slow night, you might even be able to take your certification during working hours. You would of course have to use a computer at your bosse’s work place, but this can save you a two hours of valuable personal time if he or she agrees.
Choosing an Online TABC Certification Renewal
Choosing to take your TABC certification online is definitely a better option than going to take it in person. Usually this will save you time because you can do it at home or in your employers workplace rather than having to drive to a specific location. You can also take it at any time 24/7 because online classes are always available. Finally, taking your TABC online also allows you to print your new license immediately after passing so you can go back to serving.
While you cannot get a TABC renewal in the traditional sense, it is very easy to renew your license by simply getting a new one. Check out AACEA TABC Certification for more information.
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