View the entire Server's Guide in PDF here (also available in French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Thai).
The aim of this guide is to cover the basic laws and responsibilities required of staff serving alcohol. This may be in an on-license environment, where the alcohol is sold and the customer drinks it in the place where it was bought, or an off-license one, where the alcohol is sold and the customer takes it away to drink elsewhere. Read more
It will of course be of relevance for others who come into contact with alcohol as part of their work in the hospitality or retail industries.
Selling alcohol requires many skills and involves legal responsibilities - that is, the things you have to do as part of your job in order to comply with the laws. You also need to be aware of your social responsibilities - that is, the things you should do to run a good business and have a positive impact on your community.
In serving alcohol, there are several different aspects to your job:
- to be a “police officer” ensuring no one breaks any laws
- to be a sales person knowledgeable about your products
- to be a cleaner making sure premises are clean and tidy
- to be a good host helping to create a friendly atmosphere
- to be a safety officer thinking about the well being of customers and reducing any risks
The theme of this workbook is the “responsible service of alcohol”, but what does this mean?
Alcohol is mainly consumed responsibly but can cause harm if misused. It is therefore important to sell it in a way that minimizes any potential harm. This means thinking about who you are selling to, how much you are selling, and the well being of the customer. Many countries have adopted laws to help make things clearer. There is also a lot of established good practice that you can put in place.