Dine In Catering

Lessening the Risks of Serving Alcohol at Company Events

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Managers and owners must be aware of the risk and reward of serving alcohol at company events. The risk is the possible legal liability that the organization may have to deal with, particularly in terms of the host liquor liability. The rewards are many with moderate alcohol consumption among employees, such as a deeper sense of camaraderie among them.  

Here are the things that you can remember when balancing the risk of legal liability and the reward of stronger relationships with and among your employees.  

Consider the Insurance Coverage

Be sure to read your company insurance, specifically the part about host liquor liability. Many general liability policies include it but you should check, nonetheless, just to be sure. If it doesn’t cover host liquor liability, then you should consider purchasing a separate coverage; it’s relatively inexpensive but it will go a long way toward your company’s protection.

If you’re having your event catered by a restaurant, such as Hooters, you may also ask its manager about providing your company with additional insured status. The caterer’s policy will be useful in lawsuit protection on your end.  

Consider the Company Culture

Each company has a unique corporate culture that determines what’s acceptable and what’s unacceptable behavior within work premises and situations. As early as possible, the owners, managers and employees should discuss these things so that reasonable expectations can be made.

Of course, drinking to excess and letting alcohol adversely affect good behavior are unacceptable with corresponding penalties. The code of conduct should ideally include rules and regulations about alcohol usage during work and at company events, such as Christmas parties and the like.  

Adopt Sensible Measures

But even with the stringent rules and regulations about alcohol usage, there will be instances when the combo of alcohol and adults become evident.  You should then adopt measures in minimizing the risk including:

  • Always serve food with the alcoholic drinks since it minimizes the effects of alcohol consumption.
  • Avoid making the food and drinks as the primary focus of the gathering. Instead, you should provide entertainment, presentations and even short speeches part of the program. The less emphasis on eating and drinking, the less risk for drunken behavior.
  • Consider the types and amount of alcohol provided to the guests. Liquor has a stronger effect than beer and wine so you may reconsider including it in the drinks menu.
  • Hire experienced bartenders to mix and serve the drinks.
  • Limit the bar’s operating hours, such as from 5 to 9 in the evening only.  

And don’t forget to plan the event so that everybody can get home safely without driving under the influence. You can, for example, have the event near terminals of public transportation.  

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