Keeping Staff Cheer In Check

With the holidays right around the corner, our VSAG team began thinking about keeping cheer in check as staff collectively starts to celebrate the season.

We at VSAG believe that guiding our hospitality consulting and restaurant consulting clients to create crystal clear policies regarding alcohol consumption by off-duty employees is vital.

Our experience has proved that companies can find a balance between allowing team members to enjoy the privilege and camaraderie of a beverage (or two) while still ensuring everyone’s safety. But, this balance will not occur on its own. It takes policies, training and enforcement of this very important activity, not only during the holiday season but throughout the year:

Putting Policies in Place: For example, allow staff to consume no more than two beverages off-duty when they are in the restaurant. This includes dining in the restaurant on their day off or after their shift. Also, having employees continually keep an updated check in front of them will help keep everyone honest – the manager on duty will be able to validate that the current check is accurate to what they witnessed, and if employees know managers are keeping a watchful eye they will be more apt to stick to the two-beverage policy.

Training is Crucial: Develop in-house training for staff (from line cooks to bartenders to managers) about alcohol awareness, identifying the signs of intoxication, and creating a support system to ensure the safety of an intoxicated individual (this might include: offering only food, water or coffee if they appear intoxicated, or by calling a taxi or friend to pick up the overserved guest).

Enforcing Policies: Over consumption will never represent your brand positively. Therefore, maintaining a zero tolerance stance if policies are abused is a must. For your establishment, that may mean termination after the first or second offense, but make sure your policies are clear to not only those who consume the alcohol, but also for those who serve it.

Some simple and clearly understood guidelines will make everyone’s holidays more enjoyable!