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What on-site and online TABC certification says about cutting people off

August 29, 2014
Pouring shot into glass

Let’s face it: Cutting people off or refusing a sale is one of the most difficult, awkward things you’ll have to do as a seller-server. So what does our on-site and online TABC certification course say about it?

According to the TABC, here’s what you need to do when cutting people off, refusing a sale, or generally attempting to prevent intoxication:
If you see that a customer is drinking quickly, they may become intoxicated quickly as well. In this case, you can:
    • Slow down service
    • Avoid going to the table as often
    • Offer food or non-alcoholic beverages


    • If a person is intoxicated in your establishment, refuse to serve/sell or continue to serve/sell them alcohol, and state the law and/or your company policy. Make sure that you are firm, fair, and friendly.
    • Keep your temper under control, even if the situation is annoying. Show the customer you won’t change your mind.
    • Remove the alcohol out of reach of the customer and offer to call a friend or cab to take them home.
    • Express your concern for their safety and let them know you would like to see them return to your establishment.
    • Don’t make judgmental statements such as “you’re drunk.” Be courteous and firm about your refusal to serve them any more alcohol and walk away.


    • Do not stay and argue and do not bargain or back down once you make the decision to stop service. The intoxicated person does not have normal use of their mental faculties and arguing will escalate the situation.
    • Make sure other servers and management know and will back up your decision to stop service.

This is obviously easier said than done and odds are, your intoxicated customer will not be friendly and understanding about your decision. Your challenge as a seller-server is not allowing fear of confronting this situation to cloud your judgment. It is what it is, simply part of the job, and you must always remember your tremendously important responsibility of considering the safety of your customer and anyone who they may come in contact with. These are all things we go over in great detail in our on-site and online TABC certification course.

TABC On The Fly is an official provider of on-site and online TABC certification approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. 
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