Pizza Today - April 2018 - 34

license," says Harry Luhrs, manager of
Finelli Pizzeria.
While law enforcement can help
-- and should, in situations with
belligerent customers -- calling the
police has its drawbacks, as well. "It's
a bit of a catch-22 because they keep
records of alcohol-related calls, and
too many could lead to suspension or
loss of your license," says Jeff Ambrose,
Woodstock's Pizza co-owner and CEO.
Bottom line: If you're going to serve
alcohol, you need to keep an eye on
your customers. High-dollar lawsuits
are rare, but patrons' safety, your
employees' safety and the longevity of
your business depend on your oversight.
UP TO SPEED

Unless you work every evening shift
yourself, your servers, bartenders and
managers will ultimately be responsible
for keeping your customers safe. It's
imperative you train them accordingly,
and the National Restaurant
Association's ServSafe Alcohol program
is a great place to start. At only $30
per employee for a state-specific
online course, it's a cheap, reliable
way to ensure your staff is up to speed
on regulations, local laws and best
practices.
Depending on your shop's
atmosphere and sales volume, you may
want to offer your own training, as well.
"We have alcohol 101 and 201," says
Ambrose. "The former is simply about
checking IDs and not overserving
people. The latter is extra information
for shift managers, cashiers and
bartenders."
POLICIES IN PLACE

Training aside, it helps to have a few
hard-and-fast rules employees can fall
back on. "Instead of letting someone
buy a round of beers for a group, make
sure the bartender serves each person,"
says David Mitroff of Piedmont
Avenue Consulting. "You might also

3 4 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / A P R I L 2 0 1 8

have different spots in the restaurant for
ordering alcohol and ordering pizza to
help monitor the situation," he adds.
While they're not for every
restaurant, hard-drink limits might also
suit your crowd. "I only serve craft beers
and wine, and the rule is for every two
hours, no more than three beers," says
Luhrs. Doesn't that rule generate some
push-back? "Absolutely, and I tell them
my liquor license is more important
than them getting another drink,"
Luhrs adds.

DAVID LAMARTINA is a Kansas Citybased freelance copywriter who specializes
in the finance, food and health industries.

COVER YOUR BASES:
5 TIPS FOR SAFETY
AND COMPLIANCE
1.

Leverage technology. "We've
recently rolled out an app that
scans the driver's license and tells
whether they're legit or not," says
Jeff Ambrose of Woodstock's
Pizza. AGE ID and similar programs
are cost-effective and can keep
you and your underage customers
safe.

2.

Set a limit. If you're serving spirits,
wine or high-ABV beer, consider a
hard limit on the number of drinks
customers can order per hour.

3.

Raise drink prices. "You might up
the price of your shots, or not do
such a cheap happy-hour special,
if you notice it's upsetting your
regular customers," says David
Mitroff of Piedmont Avenue
Consulting.

4.

Manage your inventory. The bar
is by far the most common spot
for employee theft, and free
drinks or overpours can quickly
lead to a rowdy crowd. "Inventory
management systems typically
pay for themselves as theft
dramatically decreases," Mitroff
adds.

5.

Find free training. Local, lawenforcement sponsored programs
such as California's LEAD (Licensee
Education on Alcohol and Drugs)
offer helpful tips and information, and they may even reduce
your liability in lawsuits involving
alcohol.

TACTFUL SOLUTIONS

While your goal should be to prevent
customers from going over the top,
you'll eventually need to deal with those
who've exceeded their limits, and whose
safety becomes a concern. "If you're
worried, call them a cab and even pay
for it," says Luhrs. "It pays off in terms
of people knowing you care, and we
want that person to leave happily and
come back another day."
What if someone's mid-sip by the
time you've realized they're past their
limit --- even if it's their first drink
at your bar? "If we recognize they've
arrived drunk, we'll refund their money
and tell them they've had enough," says
Ambrose.
In addition to cut-offs and cabs, it
pays to support designated drivers.
"Offering them their non-alcoholic
beverages for free is a good policy and
much-appreciated," says Camillo. The
driver decides where the group goes,
after all, and if you can help them have
a good time, you'll secure more than
enough business to offset the cost.
Ultimately, whether a customer
is satisfied with your policies or not,
ousting them is rarely a good idea. "It's
never a good idea to simply 'throw
out' a customer who's had too much to
drink," says Camillo. "What they do
next could be tragic for themselves and
the restaurant." n


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - April 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - April 2018

Pizza Today - April 2018
Commentary
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
At Your Service
Destinations
Knead to Know
The Overserved Customer
2018’s Hottest Toppings
Regional Toppings
Portion Control
Street Food Pizza
Promoting From Within
Writing a Best-Selling Menu
Pizza Today on the Road: A Tavola Cincinnati, Oh
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - April 2018 - CT1
Pizza Today - April 2018 - CT2
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Pizza Today - April 2018
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Cover2
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Commentary
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 4
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 5
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 6
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 7
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 8
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 9
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Contributors
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 11
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 13
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Interact
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 15
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Conversation
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 17
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 19
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 21
Pizza Today - April 2018 - At Your Service
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 23
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Destinations
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 25
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 27
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 28
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 29
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 30
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 31
Pizza Today - April 2018 - The Overserved Customer
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 33
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 34
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 35
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 2018’s Hottest Toppings
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 37
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 38
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 39
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Regional Toppings
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 41
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Portion Control
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 43
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 44
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 45
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Street Food Pizza
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 47
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Promoting From Within
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 49
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 50
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 51
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Writing a Best-Selling Menu
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 53
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 54
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 55
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Pizza Today on the Road: A Tavola Cincinnati, Oh
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 57
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 58
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 59
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 60
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 61
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 63
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 64
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 66
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 67
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 68
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 69
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 70
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 71
Pizza Today - April 2018 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 73
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 74
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 75
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 76
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 77
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 78
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 79
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 80
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - April 2018 - 82
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Cover3
Pizza Today - April 2018 - Cover4
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