How to Refuse Alcohol Service

Refusing alcohol service is a fundamental responsibility in the hospitality sector, transcending mere legal compliance to safeguard the well-being of patrons.

This guide provides practical advice on navigating the delicate process of denying alcohol service with a blend of legal insight and customer care.

In Australia, the responsibility of serving alcohol is accompanied by the duty to ensure a secure and positive environment.

This involves adhering to RSA laws, which includes denying service to those who pose a risk to themselves or others due to intoxication.

How To Successfully Refuse Alcohol Service To An Intoxicated Person

1. Recognise the signs

Be vigilant for intoxication signs. Evaluate if refusing service is necessary.

Identify potential intoxication signs promptly and politely let them know they might be nearing their limit.

Keep an eye out for wobbly walking, slurred speech, or glassy eyes.

2. Team Collaboration

Before taking action, discuss the situation with a supervisor or security personnel for support and advice.

Support your colleagues in these challenging decisions, and lead by example through regular RSA training and clear communication.

It’s more than just denying a drink; it’s about caring for and protecting your community.

3. Direct Communication

Politely and firmly communicate your decision to refuse service, using visual aids if available to support your explanation.

You can refuse service based on RSA regulations, provided the refusal is non-discriminatory.

Reference posters or venue policies to back you up. Think of it like explaining the offside rule – gotta be clear and fair.

Address patrons with respect and empathy. Humour can go a long way in diffusing tension.

Venue’s Refusal Protocol: Acquaint yourself with your workplace’s specific House policies on refusing alcohol service. Preparedness is key to managing these situations effectively.

4. Immediate Action

Once you decide to say no, stick to it. Offering “one last bevvy” goes against the rules and can muddy the waters.

Offering additional drinks, even as a ‘last call,’ is against RSA guidelines.

Don’t be afraid to stand your ground, but always be respectful. Remember, even if they disagree, you’re just doing your job.

5. Provide Alternatives

  • Offer Water: Suggest non-alcoholic options or water which helps with dehydration.
  • Offer a Taxi: A taxi ride home ensures their safety to get back home.
  • Food Can Help: If they’re willing, some food can help soak up the alcohol which can help sober up patrons.

6. Monitor Departure

Ensure that refused patrons exit safely and do not remain nearby, potentially causing further issues.

Don’t leave them alone, especially if they’re in a bad state. Ensure they are safely monitored until they leave the premises.

7. Incident Documentation

Log details of the refusal incident, including the rationale behind your decision, measures taken, and any notable patron behavior.

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