Controlling Restaurant Liquor Liability Risks

Liquor Liability Risks

Liquor liability risks are an important topic to discuss with your staff to prevent any incidents at your restaurant. There are many risks inherent to running a business. However, it is arguably even more dangerous when that business is a restaurant. If you own, operate, or manage an eatery, you are likely well aware of the risks of serving liquor at your restaurant. You’re also very aware of the massive profit it can provide. How can you maintain a lucrative business while mitigating your restaurant liquor liability? There are several strategies to address alcohol-related risk. Ideally, investing in prevention can reduce incidents of risk. Read on to find out how your restaurant can safely serve liquor.

Establish Specific, Written Policies

Clarity is the enemy of liability for your restaurant and its serving practices. The first step to mitigating risk is establishing clear written policies outlining the establishment’s protocol for serving liquor. The key here is to avoid any ambiguous phrasing. If your employee handbook instructs staff to ID patrons who look younger than 40, then they need to follow protocol. For example, serving liquor becomes an exercise in subjectivity — who decides what 40 looks like? Replace open-to-interpretation policies like this with clear, non-negotiable standards.

Invest in Preventative Staff Training

In addition to clearly written rules regarding liquor, it’s crucial to invest in a thorough training program for all of your staff. This training should focus on the prevention of improper serving practices and the management of risks that may emerge. It would be best if you discussed topics such as fake IDs, recognizing intoxication, and preventing drunk driving in detail with your staff. Familiarizing your team with these concepts will help them address risks head-on when they emerge. Additionally, it will prevent liabilities from escalating to incidents.

Monitor Business to Ensure Compliance

It’s not sufficient to merely train your staff or implement clear policies. You need to maintain awareness of liquor liability and monitor your business to ensure your team adheres to best practices. Your staff is often in the most danger of alcohol-related risks. Thus, you should develop a measurement of employee compliance that can identify any mishandling of liquor liability. Hospitality insurance offers vital protection against liquor liability, but violations can result in a hospitality insurance claim.

Address Guests’ Problematic Behavior

Liquor liability emerges from many sources in a restaurant environment, but it is primarily a problem involving guests. A customer who has had too much liquor might start to get rowdy. For example, an intoxicated person can cause physical damage to your restaurant or even injure another patron. It is a worst-case scenario, of course. However, staff should be able to intervene before an incident reaches this point. To curb guests’ problematic behavior, you need to equip your employees with the assistance they need to enforce boundaries with patrons. 

About The Hilb Group

Deciding what coverage you need and what limits and deductibles make the most sense can be tricky. Founded in 2009, the Hilb Group has been helping clients to make sense of their options and make the smartest choices for their circumstances. Whether you need Warehouse Insurance or any other type of business or personal coverage, we encourage you to contact our friendly, experienced, and capable team today. Call us at (800) 776-3078 for a consultation.