Responsible beverage service – promoter of safety and well-being

Alcohol consumption is a socially significant issue that affects individuals, families, and society as a whole in various ways. Beverage service, meaning the sale and serving of alcoholic beverages in restaurants and licensed establishments, is part of a tightly regulated business under alcohol laws. Its purpose is to reduce the harms associated with alcohol consumption and promote safety. Responsible beverage service plays a crucial role in achieving this goal.

"Responsible serving is an essential part of a pleasant and safe restaurant environment."

Responsible serving in a restaurant

Alcohol laws and regulations precisely define how beverage service should be conducted. Beverage service refers to the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises or under the control of the seller. The law allows the sale of alcoholic beverages containing more than 1.2% and up to 80% alcohol. A license for beverage service is required for the sale of alcoholic beverages containing more than 2.8% alcohol.

Responsible beverage service begins even before commencing operations. When planning a licensed establishment, one must apply for a beverage service license from the regional state administrative agency. The license is specific to the business operator and location. A prerequisite for obtaining the license is the development of a self-monitoring plan, which outlines the operational procedures to ensure compliance with beverage service regulations.

What does responsible beverage service mean?

Responsible beverage service includes these topics:

1. Staff must follow alcohol regulations: no serving to those under 18, intoxicated individuals, or those displaying disruptive behavior.

2. Employers must make sure the staff understands responsible beverage service principles and the restaurant's self-monitoring practices.

3. The team should know how to prevent and manage conflicts and violence related to alcohol.

In a responsible restaurant, there's a skilled and customer-focused team that takes care of both customers and employees. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to difficult situations that need intervention. It's important for employers to maintain a safe workplace by keeping self-monitoring plans and safety instructions up to date.

But why is responsible beverage service so crucial?

  1. Helps prevent the harms associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
    Excessive alcohol use can lead to health problems, social consequences, and even serious accidents. Strictly monitored and law-abiding beverage service reduces the risk of alcohol-related issues arising and escalating.

  2. Promotes safety in restaurants and licensed establishments.
    When the staff is competent and responsible, possessing sufficient knowledge of alcohol laws, they can appropriately handle challenging situations. Preventing intoxicated or disruptive customers from remaining in licensed premises is essential for maintaining a safe environment for all patrons.

  3. Contributes to the well-being of society and reduces the burden on healthcare systems.
    Excessive alcohol use increases healthcare costs, affecting the entire society's economy. Responsible beverage service helps prevent alcohol-related health issues and saves healthcare resources.

  4. Enhances a positive business image and customer satisfaction.
    When customers can trust that their safety is a priority at the licensed establishment, they will enjoy their experience more and are likely to be more satisfied with the service. Satisfied customers are more likely to return and recommend the place to others.

All in all, responsible beverage service helps prevent alcohol-related harms, promotes safety, reduces the burden on healthcare systems, and increases customer satisfaction. Responsible beverage service is, therefore, beneficial to everyone – customers, business owners, and society as a whole.

The Alcohol Passport is a document issued by a hospitality institution indicating that a person is knowledgeable about and understands the regulations, guidelines, and legislation concerning alcoholic beverage service – in other words, they are familiar with the principles and importance of responsible beverage service.

Sign up for our Alcohol Passport tests here!


Serving of alcoholic beverages in licensed premises
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