Responsible beverage alcohol service is an essential component of any restaurant’s operating philosophy. In an effort to reinforce the importance of responsible service and praise the best of the best, the VIBE Vista Awards team selects one operator each year to recognize with an award. The VIBE Vista Operator Award for Best Responsible Alcohol Service Program marks the winner’s commitment to educating their staff when it comes to this area of service. The 2015 winner of the Best Responsible Alcohol Service Program award, Dave & Buster’s, has created the Dave & Buster’s University online training module, which helps to keep staff aware of the hazards of overserving guests.
The online continuing education program is scenario-based and presents Dave & Buster’s staff members with a number of situations in which they may encounter guests who appear to be intoxicated. These include impaired guests who decide to leave a D&B’s property by driving themselves rather than taking advantage of alternative transportation or what to do when a guest reports another party member who appears inebriated. This training, required for all front-of-house employees, is based on the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe program and is intended to create a solid foundation of responsible alcohol knowledge. The information is then reinforced on a daily basis through various in-house developed continuing education modules.
“We felt it was important to create an environment where responsible alcohol service (RAS) is simply part of our culture,” says a Dave & Buster’s representative.
By establishing consistent reviews of RAS facts, policies and procedures, the Dave & Buster’s staff is required to have a full understanding of the chain’s service expectations. Those who fail must review all policies and procedures and retake the test. A bi-weekly RAS quiz, completed through an internally created computer-based testing vehicle, covers drink recipe knowledge, drink counts, ServSafe facts and other service topics. At the end of each year, each member of the Dave & Buster’s management teams must also take an RAS review that consists of scenario-based questions as well as ServSafe information. The successful restaurant chain also offers staff various pocket-sized tools that can assist them in drink counts, reminders of ServSafe guidelines and Dave & Buster’s own policies and procedures.