Sep 10, 2015

TIPS: Promoting Responsibility this Holiday Season

TIPS_logo-01By Trevor Estelle, vice president of Sales & Marketing for the TIPS Program

It is the time of year we all count on to promote our businesses, particularly our spirits, wine and beer sales. As people start feeling more festive, they want to consume and we want to be the first to offer the drinks. As we prepare for the holiday rush this year, let’s not forget that we want to keep our guests safe and prevent over-service. When you serve alcohol, you know the risks: You risk lawsuits if you over-serve; you risk lives if you serve a drunk driver; you risk your livelihood if you sell to a minor.


Here are a few tips that may protect both your patrons and your establishment this
holiday season:

1.  Request identification from anyone who appears 35 years of age or younger. Guests who cannot present a valid form of ID should not be given any alcohol. *Remember FEAR when inspecting any form of identification:
    • Feel – Check for tears, frays or other damage.
    • Examine – Compare the ID with those listed in an ID Checking Guide.
    • Ask – Communicate with the guest by asking questions to verify that the ID belongs to the guest (year of birth? year of high school graduation?) and look for signs of hesitation.
    • Return – Return the ID to the guest.

2.  Control access to the alcohol you provide:
    • Use standard-size glasses and measure the alcohol in mixed drinks.
    • Count drinks.
    • When serving a guest previously served by a co-worker, check with your colleague to find out how many drinks the guest has already been served.

3.  Offer soft drinks, fruit juices, bottled water and coffee so that your guests have an alternative to alcohol.

4.  Allow guests to have only one drink at a time. Discourage competitive or
rapid drinking.

5.  Offer appetizers, snacks and other food to slow down the absorption of alcohol, especially if you notice a guest showing signs of intoxication.

6.  Look for behavioral cues to determine if a guest is approaching intoxication or is already intoxicated:
    •  Lowered Inhibitions – Talkativeness or loud behavior.
    • Impaired Judgment – Inappropriate behavior or increased rate of drinking.
    • Slowed Reactions – Slurred speech, glassy or unfocused eyes.
    • Loss of Coordination – Stumbling or swaying.

7.  Make sure that anyone who is visibly intoxicated receives no more alcohol and is not left alone. This is important even if the guest is not driving; an impaired guest can be injured or may injure others in ways other than through an automobile collision.

8.  When necessary, provide alternate transportation for impaired guests. Either call a cab or enlist the help of sober friends to take the impaired guest home.

9.  Get your staff certified in Training for Intervention ProcedureS! For more information about TIPS, please visit


Trevor Estelle, vice president at the TIPS program

Trevor Estelle, vice president at
the TIPS program

About TIPS
(Training for Intervention ProcedureS)

TIPS® (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) is the global leader in education and training for the responsible service, sale and consumption of alcohol. Proven effective by third-party studies, TIPS is a skills-based training program that is designed to prevent intoxication, underage drinking and drunk driving. Over the past 30 years, TIPS has certified over 3.5 million participants. TIPS has certified participants in all 50 states and over 40 different countries. Establishments who use TIPS benefit immediately by reducing risk and creating a safer, more responsible work environment.

TIPS training can:
•  Reduce exposure to alcohol liability lawsuits
•  Lower insurance premiums
•  Improve customer service and satisfaction
•  Ensure compliance for state and local laws

To learn more, visit