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Holiday Merriment and Compliance Adherence

The holiday season is off to a ferocious start. Black Friday deals; festive trimming of city streets and local coffee shops toasting with merriment. Many restaurants and bars are joining in the celebration by hiring extra staff to meet increased demand. This is good news, of course, but what do you do with the influx of college students looking for jobs while home on break? Is it legal for people under 21-years of age to serve and sell alcohol? What special considerations do you need to make if you do hire underage bartenders and servers? 


Rules for Underage Servers 

Many states allow servers and bartenders who are over the age of 18 to serve and sell alcohol, so long as a manager is on the premises. At The BARS Program, we recommend checking with your local restaurant association for more specific rules and regulations. In certain instances, underage servers may be permitted to take orders, but prohibited from pouring and delivering drinks. 


Don’t Jeopardize Compliance 

Between holiday parties and feelings of good cheer, you’re likely gearing up for a busy few weeks. Don’t let compliance slip by the wayside…while you don’t when or where government-backed stings will happen, they will happen at some point and their frequency typically increases during the holiday season. Be sure to emphasize the importance of adherence to the steps outlined within your store or restaurant’s compliance training platform among all employees, new and old. Some may feel uncomfortable asking for ID from older customers; it’s critical they feel empowered to do so and that they understand the consequences of a failed sting. 


Between the merriment, onboarding of seasonal employees and successfully sailing through stings, you’re sure to be focusing a bit of your energy during the last few months of the calendar year planning for the year ahead. As you look to 2019, don’t forget to prioritize compliance training across your entire operation. Better to be proactive and safeguard against eventual stings now, while new year planning is top of mind. 


Contact The BARS Program if you have questions about enforcing a compliance program during the holiday rush. You can reach us at or 1-877-540-5500.

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