Reduce Your Bar’s Liquor Liability

Written By Charlotte Insurance on May 21, 2019. It has 0 comments.

a bartender serving an appropriately sized drink to reduce their liquor liability risk

A bar is supposed to be a fun place for people to hang out, celebrate, and have a good time. But alcohol doesn’t always bring out the best in people. You opened your bar to give people a good time and a place to have fun, but you know all-too-well that it can also lead to tragic problems. This means establishments that serve alcohol face a lot of liability for what happens after you serve someone a drink. 

You can’t prevent everything bad that happens from one too many drinks, but you can reduce your liability. Here’s what you need to know to keep your patrons safer and reduce the risk for your bar. 

Food and Water 

Even if your bar doesn’t regularly serve food, make sure snacks or specials are offered so patrons can eat while they drink. Make water readily available, too. One option is to automatically serve a snack like pretzels or nuts and water to any patron, before they even order. You can’t force someone to eat or stay hydrated but you can make it easier for them to do.

Card Everyone

Make sure you have a zero-tolerance policy for underaged drinking and card everyone. If you serve alcohol to a minor, you’ll be responsible for whatever happens next. You may want to invest in an ID scanner to make it easier to spot the fakes.

Serve the Right Amount of Liquor

Some bartenders get a little heavy-handed with the liquor to increase the size of their tip. Put a policy in place against this. This helps your bottomline and keeps customers from getting inebriated too quickly. If it’s found that your staff over-served alcohol, this won’t help a liability claim. 

Be Prepared to Refuse Service

Everyone on staff needs to know the proper procedure and what to do when it’s time to refuse someone service. You want a stated policy that you train your staff on to ensure that it’s applied consistently. This way you can prevent tragic accidents later and reduce your own liability.

Get a Ride

Numbers should be posted around the bar that people can use to call themselves or a friend a ride. But your staff should also be prepared to get someone an Uber, Lyft, or cab if it’s apparent they can’t drive themselves. The expense of the ride is minimal compared to the claim you may be forced to pay after a DUI accident.

Big Days and Busy Crowds

There are certain days of the year that you know will be big ones — the Super Bowl, St. Patrick’s Day, big college game days. Plan for these times by beefing up server staff and security staff. Extra servers will be able to better monitor alcohol consumption and security can help prevent problems before they happen. Not only will you reduce problems, but you’ll also show that you actively tried to prevent a problem if something happens anyway. 

Liquor Liability Coverage 

Despite your best efforts, anything can happen once alcohol is involved. Make sure your bar has liquor liability coverage and enough of it. This will help cover legal fees, assault and battery expenses from fights, employee claims, and claims that may happen after a DUI. Your liability prevention policies will also show that you actively try to reduce problems stemming from your bar and the alcohol you serve.

Need a liquor liability policy? Not sure you have enough coverage? Contact Charlotte Insurance, and we’ll review any existing policy and give you a free estimate for a new policy.

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