How to Handle an Intoxicated Customer

Dealing with an intoxicated customer can prove challenging at times. Stay aware of the intoxication levels of your guests to avoid worst-case-scenario situations. Below are a few tips in how to deal with a customer that has a bit too much to drink.

Determine Levels of Intoxication
As a server, you need to maintain constant awareness of the intoxication levels of your customers. This requires a little bit of communication skill, but it is not rocket science. If their words are slurred, they seem unsteady on their feet, or act confused, it is time to cut them off. make every attempt to offer to call a taxi for a safe trip home.

Provide Non-Alcoholic Drinks and Food Items
You can buy some sobering time by offering unlimited non-alcoholic drinks and snack foods. This generally helps the customer sober up quickly. This can be simple items, such as potato chips and soda. Attempt to keep them focused on getting sober enough to make it home safely, without incurring a DUI, or getting involved in an accident.

Slow the Service Down
There is no rule against getting busy and slowing the service down to someone that appears to be getting more intoxicated than is acceptable. It is a friendly way to allow them to continue enjoying the evening without getting booted from the establishment.

Know the Cutoff Point
Some customers are wise to the technique of slowing down service and will sometimes have friends continue to buy them drinks. Stay aware of the situation and know when to cut the customer off. You may need help in getting the customer into a cab if they become irate. Do not hesitate to contact a member of management for assistance.

Ask Friends of Customer to Assist Their Safe Trip Home
The better option for dealing with an overly-intoxicated customer is to recruit their friends and family in getting them to do what is needed to sober up, or give them a safe ride home. Most friends and family will appreciate your concern for their loved one.

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