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How to Prevent Your Restaurant and Bar Guests from Becoming Dehydrated

August 13, 2021
Gin and tonic on table

Even by Texas standards, this summer is gearing up to be a scorcher. However, despite the heat, people are still excited to get out and enjoy some fun in the sun.

If you are a restaurant that sells alcoholic beverages or are a bar owner, you’ve likely already noticed the influx of visitors to your establishment. However, as the temperatures begin to rise, it’s always best to look out for your guest’s hydration levels; both for their safety and your liability risk.

Here’s what you should look for on those hottest days of the summer and how you can give guests a quick boost that prevents them from entering the dehydration zone.


Does Alcohol Dehydrate the Body?

Yes, yes, yes! Alcohol is a diuretic. As people down their drinks, alcohol forces the body to remove liquids from the bloodstream, quickly pushing it through your renal system.

Many people notice that when they drink, they typically have to relieve themselves more often. This is due to your body forcing out toxins created by the alcohol, as well as the reduction it causes in antidiuretic hormones that help retain water.


Signs of a Dehydrated Customer

If a person doesn’t pay attention to the signs of dehydration and continues to drink the possibility of severe dehydration increases. Dehydration can be a life-threatening issue, and someone who has already been out in the sun and drinking may not be in the right state of mind to catch the symptoms.

As a member of the alcohol service industry, it’s your job to ensure that everyone on your property is imbibing safely. This summer, look out for these signs of a potential dehydration issue with customers:


How Can You Help a Dehydrated Customer?

Most customers displaying overt signs of dehydration like fainting spells and rapid heartbeats are in need of medical assistance. However, if you are able to catch the early signs of dehydration, there are several actions you and your staff can take to ensure that your guests stay safe.


Keep the Water Flowing

Always have water on-hand at your bar. In order to encourage proper hydration, serve up or refill water before they order their next alcoholic drink. The average person should drink at least 16 ounces of water per 12 ounces of beer to stay hydrated.

So, prevent the problem before it arises, and keep pushing water on your patrons; especially during the hotter days.


Offer Them Food

Alcohol that goes into an empty body is almost instantly sucked up into the bloodstream. If you feel like a customer is getting to the point where their alcohol consumption could lead to dehydration, encourage them to order some food off the menu.

Food boosts blood sugar and helps prevent the headache and wear that dehydration causes. Even if your venue doesn’t have a set food menu (which we encourage), you should still have some snacks on hand for emergency situations.


Store Electrolyte Drinks in the Back

If you notice that a customer is ignoring their water intake and is starting to express mild signs of dehydration, grab a drink filled with electrolytes and encourage them to drink it. Sports drinks, coconut water, and Pedialyte are all excellent sources of electrolytes and can help bring a person back from the brink of dehydration.


Learn Essential Alcohol Service Skills Online with TABC On The Fly

If you are a member of the alcohol service industry, you need to stay up-to-date on the latest regulations, tips, and tricks. Most industry professionals are busy fulfilling shifts and a classroom setting for TABC certification just isn’t an ideal situation for their schedule.

At TABC On The Fly, we present an online solution that is affordable, mobile, and works around your busy day. Register online and start your journey to renew or receive your TABC certification.

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