As part of the TIPS program, I teach my students to FEAR fake IDs.
- Feel the ID for cracks, tears, and other damage.
- Examine the ID. Check the birth date and expiration dates. Compare the photo to the person presenting the ID.
- Ask questions to verify that the ID belongs to the guest.
- Return the ID to the guest.
This simple memory tool can help prevent underage drinking (and more important, keep YOU out of trouble).
Since I am a certified TIPS trainer it is only natural that the employees of my cigar bar are trained as responsible vendors. On Saturday night, the training proved its worth.
A guest entered the lounge and picked out a cigar and approached the register to pay. The employee on duty asked for ID. The guest handed her an ID stating a 1991 birth date. Because the guest had a different hairstyle than the ID photo she asked him what his birthday was. He gave the month and day, but when asked for the year he replied “1992.” She then said “Are you sure? Because the ID says something different.” She handed him back his ID and he tried a different ID that had a 1994 birthday. She obviously didn’t make the sale and he skulked out of the shop. She then called the two other bars nearby and warned them about a guy with bogus IDs.
Maybe the guest was 18. Maybe he wasn’t. As a responsible vendor, we owe it to the community to do everything we can to prevent underage consumption of tobacco and alcohol. The important lesson is that the employee asked questions to verify the ID belonged to the person presenting it. Kudos!
When In Doubt, Don’t Serve!
What would your employees do? When you hire someone to serve alcohol (or in this case tobacco) at your establishment, you effectively give them your checkbook and the keys to the building. If you do not have a responsible vendor training program in place, please contact me so we can work together to limit your liability, provide better customer service, and increase your bottom line.
TIPS® (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) is a dynamic, skills-based training program designed to prevent intoxication, drunk driving and underage drinking by enhancing the fundamental “people skills” of servers, sellers and consumers of alcohol. TIPS gives individuals the knowledge and confidence they need to recognize potential alcohol-related problems and intervene to prevent alcohol-related tragedies.
Mark Woods aka TikiTender spent 9 years anchoring the bar staff at The Golden Lion in Flagler Beach, FLA. He is currently managing partner of Flagler Cigar Company (featuring fine wines, craft beers, and premium cigars at The Humidor Cigar Bar & Lounge) and owner of Fun Coast Bartending (providing training & event based bartending services). Visit http://www.tikitender.com to find out more about him.