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Best Practices for Serving Alcohol at a Corporate Event

If you are planning a corporate event, one determination you will need to make is whether or not you will serve alcohol. Alcohol can help employees relax and socialize, but there are liability issues to consider. Companies must serve alcohol responsibly so that they are not seen as a responsible agent in the event of a drunken brawl or a drunk driving accident. Fortunately, there are steps you can take as host to reduce your risk while still serving alcohol at your next function.

Set A Specific End Time For Your Event

Set a specific end time for the planned event to keep the situation from getting out of control. An early end time sends the message that you are planning a fun social gathering, but not a wild college-style party. Setting an end time keeps the party from becoming too rowdy.

Hire Professional Bartenders

Another way to keep your event classy and prevent guests from becoming out of control is to hire professional bartenders. Guests allowed to serve themselves (or friends) are more likely to pour strong drinks and keep the beer flowing freely. Trained and licensed bartenders know how to diplomatically but firmly cut off an overly-intoxicated guest. Professional bartenders are an easy way to keep alcohol consumption moderate.

Issue Drink Tickets

Some companies issue drink tickets before an event to limit excessive consumption and help them budget appropriately. Keep in mind that employees who do not drink will give away their drink tickets to those who do. If you need to be strict in your enforcement, print each ticket with the employee’s name and caution them before the event that drink tickets are non-transferable.

Facilitate Safe Transportation

Finally, you can ensure that your guests arrive safely at their homes by arranging transportation. You could hire a van service to provide rides to employees at the end of the event. This can be a costly option, however, but there are alternatives. You could offer an incentive to employees willing to serve as designated drivers. Designated drivers might be allowed to come in late the next workday, for example. Another option is to make sure that guests know the number and contact information for local cab and car service companies in the area.

Although there are risks associated with serving alcohol at a corporate event, if you follow these tips your guests should be able to enjoy themselves thoroughly without putting either themselves or the company in legal or ethical danger.


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