Serving alcohol at your Houston restaurant has a lot of advantages. Not only can it add to a fun atmosphere and provide your client base with what it wants, but it can also make you a lot of money. On the flip side, serving alcoholic beverages comes with its own set of responsibilities, and failing to serve alcohol responsibly could result in fines, the loss of your Texas beer license, lawsuits and more. Fortunately, following a few tips can help ensure that the fun goes on for everyone who is involved without any major problems popping up.
Follow the Law
First of all, you should make sure to know all of the laws in your area in regards to holding an alcoholic beverage license. Do your research, and make sure that you obtain your license through a reputable company that offers license services. Also, make sure that you periodically do your research to stay abreast of current Texas alcohol laws after you have initially gotten your license. Along with understanding the laws that you are expected to follow as a business owner who serves alcohol within your restaurant, it is also important to learn the laws that your patrons are expected to uphold.
The first and most crucial aspect of serving alcohol responsibly is learning how to check IDs. No matter how convincing a customer might seem, you should check the identification card of anyone who looks younger than 30 years old unless you know for a fact that the person is old enough to consume alcohol.
When checking IDs, make sure that you always keep an eye out for fakes. The ID card should have all of the state seals and holograms on it, and you should check carefully for any alterations or modifications.
Along with making sure that the ID is valid, you should also ensure that the ID actually belongs to the person who is carrying it. Make sure to compare the picture to the face of the customer, and look for a valid signature and date of birth.
One option is to invest in an electronic scanner that checks ID cards. Although these can be a bit costly, they are often worth the cost and can save a lot of headaches.
Maintain Responsible Serving Practices
Remember responsible serving practices at all times, and make sure that your employees are trained in them as well. If someone seems too intoxicated, do not be afraid to cut them off; also, make sure to log your refusals for future reference. It is also a good idea to offer inebriated customers a few glasses of water or a food menu. If someone seems to be getting too intoxicated too quickly, you should consider a “resting period” before serving more drinks, and it is best to err on the side of caution when gauging a customer’s condition.
Do Not Be Afraid to Refuse
As a restaurant owner, you have the right to refuse to serve alcohol to anyone for any reason. If you think that the person’s ID might not be legitimate or if you think someone has had too much to drink, you should not be afraid to say no. Instead, offer water or other non-alcoholic beverages, and invite the customer to order from your menu. If the person becomes hostile, it might be a good time to ask him or her to leave.
Although all of the responsibilities of serving alcohol responsibly might not be fun, it is essential to be careful. By doing so, you can help protect your business and ensure that those who are old enough and who drink responsibly are able to have a good time at your place of business.