How to Step In When You Suspect Sexual Harassment at Your Bar
Your bar should always be a safe place where patrons can step in for a drink, comfortably socialize, and leave with good memories of the evening.
While that’s the ideal situation for any owner, the truth is that we are in a business that sells a primary catalyst for sexual assault and other physical crimes. Although alcohol isn’t the direct cause of sexual assault, this is still a point to keep in mind.
Never think that it can’t happen at your bar or restaurant. Know the signs of sexual harassment or a person in an uncomfortable situation and above all, know how to take action.
Follow our tips to help mitigate the risk of a sexual assault that stems from your property.
Always Let Guests Know You’re Present
This may be a simple practice but is extremely effective. Whenever a person approaches the bar, after you’ve taken their order, a quick “I’m here if you need anything,” lets guests know that you are present and watching them throughout the night.
Not only can this make vulnerable guests feel more comfortable with approaching you with any issues, but it also lets those with ill-intent know that you are on the lookout and will likely catch any predatory behavior they present.
Intervene Before You’re Approached
Sometimes guests in a visibly bad situation that could result in assault may not feel brave enough to approach you for help. No matter what, if you see something suspicious or overtly abusive, step in and break up the parties before the altercation becomes a problem at your establishment.
Never wait to be approached, always take action when necessary.
Check-In on Suspect Parties
If you witness what could possibly be predatory behavior but aren’t certain, there are a couple of covert ways you can check-in without raising a full-blown alarm:
- Make eye contact with the member of the party you suspect may be uncomfortable. Give them a questioning thumbs up and gauge their reaction. If they present everything being fine, simply keep a watchful eye on the group. Any gesture that hints at a bad situation requires your intervention.
- Approach the party and just ask how everyone is doing that night. This lets everyone know, once again, that you’re watching and predatory behavior won’t go unnoticed.
Always Ask Before Sending Over Someone a Drink
When someone buys someone else from across the bar a drink, it isn’t always a grand gesture of friendship. So, in order to ensure your patron’s safety, always let a person know that someone wants to buy them a drink. If they accept, carry on with the order. If not, the purchasing patron will have to respect the other person’s polite refusal of their advances.
Learn the Signs of Harassment, Intoxication, and More, With TABC On The Fly
Knowing when a night for your patrons can quickly go south is essential for ensuring your business remains a safe place. At TABC On The Fly, our online course is dedicated to helping you and your employees stay up-to-date on the latest alcohol service regulations and tips.
Register online today to help keep your guests safer through excellent service and watchful eyes.Back to Blog