September 18, 2016

We recently wrote a blog about bartenders dealing with over-friendly customers and rightfully, drunken behaviour fell into this category.

Calming the person and making everyone in the bar feel comfortable is your priority – as is safety. It’s easier said than done when you’re starting out or the customer is causing problems in the bar.

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So we wanted to hear how budding and expert bartenders deal with drunken customers.

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How Bartenders Calm Drunken Customers

How These Bartenders Deal With Drunken Customers                         

Here’s the fictionalised story these bartenders were given:

Let’s say the customer has come into the bar and is sitting on their own, but they’ve clearly had too much to drink.

As such, they’re approaching strangers and trying to be friendly and make conversation, but are being a nuisance to others and a little rowdy.

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How would you solve the situation?

John Kelly:

“Take them aside and talk to them in a calm voice. I’d explain that they’ve had too much to drink. You wouldn’t be doing your job properly if you gave them more”.

Karen Hendry:

Stop serving them drinks and politely ask them to leave whilst explaining they have had enough and it’s bedtime.

I’d gently escort them to the door and ask them if they need me to ring a taxi so they get home safe. They are welcome back anytime, but today, they have reached their limit.

At all times, it’s important to speak nicely to them as any aggression could make them aggressive.

Once they’ve left, I’d detail the situation in the refusal book to make other staff aware in case it becomes a regular thing”.

John Laing:

“I’d try to get their attention and start a conversation with them.

It’s best that they’re annoying you and not everyone else. Plus, as bartenders, we are used to drunks!

Offer them a glass of water and explain that they’ve had a bit too much. Keep their spirits high by making a joke about it, all the while keeping everyone safe”.

Katrina Mac:

“I’d approach them without making it obvious.

I’d speak to them and explain that you have their best interests at heart, but you have other customers to keep content too.

Ask them to leave as you feel they have had enough. It’s all about public safety inevitably”.

Kaden Pool:

“Anger comes from when drunk people feel that they’re made to look stupid, so don’t be obvious or undermining”.

Direct the conversation and give them power to make their own decision to leave.

Role play this situation with staff so you can deal with this the best way that’s suitable to your venue”.

Donna Manclark:

“It’s what you do, not what you say. I’m a people person, so if you treat the drunken customer well, they’ll always be back… but sober”.

Many of these bartenders have over 20 years’ experience, but to those starting out, dealing with drunken customers can be frightening and intimidating. Take the advice from above and choose an option which best reflects your abilities and bar’s ethos.

How would you calm the situation? We want to hear your answer. Tweet us or write to us on Facebook.