We did not know if it would be a football season this year, but here we are! BIG Ten has even revoked its previous decision, and now games will start in October … GO BUCKS! COVID-19 has changed the way we look at these games with smaller gatherings and social distancing in our favorite sports bars. If you own one of these facilities, you are likely to focus on meeting security measures / requirements, but your servers still need to be prepared to serve and sell alcohol responsibly, whether fans come to your facility, pick up transportation or order
Game Days is good for business, IF you have the right alcohol responsibility and controls in place. Most places recognize the need for this coverage, but many do not realize the need for all their servers to implement a certified alcohol awareness training program called TIPS, Training for Intervention ProcedureS .
Here are three key reasons why all servers need this important training:
- Security for customers and employees. Employees should have a sense of confidence and empowerment to make the best decisions in all situations. Knowing signs of intoxication can reduce the risk of many things, including abuse and battery. The last thing anyone needs is a rowdy, funny fan that gets to fight or break bottles. This situation can lead to potential compensation claims for workers and bodily injury and leave your company with a bad rap.
- Reduce the risk of fines and penalties. The information in the training includes how to correctly check age-verifying identification. Municipalities routinely create "sting" activities by intentionally submitting an undercover minor protector. If the minor protector is served, the server and facility will usually be fined. When a claim for alcohol liability is submitted, the investigation often shows that the alleged intoxicated person visited several facilities (aka pub crawling or bar-hopping). There have been circumstances where the investigation cannot determine a timeline that determines how many drinks were served at each facility. By having the right controls and training, your facility will be able to prove how many drinks were served and what signs of intoxication were present (if any). If the other facilities can not provide the same evidence, you can avoid becoming a goalie. A good argument can be presented to move responsibility away from you.
** TIPS has also made more options and resources available to ensure your staff is prepared for this COVID pandemic, including "eTIPS Off Premises and Delivery" training focused on facilities that offer alcohol for transportation or delivery . "It is a very popular program to reduce liability and prevent the sale of alcohol by minors." Read more on their website.
Overall, this dynamic, skills-based training is designed to prevent the intoxication, alcoholism and drinking of minors by improving the basic "folk knowledge" of servers, salespeople and alcohol consumers. Some customers express that the cost of training all servers is prohibitive, but the cost of TIPS is very reasonably priced. In addition, some of your servers may have already received training in their previous employment – so it is always important to ask. Compared to the possible consequences and cost of not providing education, it can, indeed, sober .
For more information on alcohol awareness training and its benefits, contact your independent agent or loss control representative.
The information above is of a general nature and your policy and coverage may differ from the examples. Read your insurance policy in its entirety to determine your available coverage.
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