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House Policy Development Guidelines

When Developing House Policies…

  • You may have a company policy that does not conflict with existing laws (for example, no discrimination).
  • It is always good to obtain ideas from your managers and employees when writing new policies. They will be more supportive of policies they helped to create.
  • Make sure policies are clear and specific.
  • Provide all employees with a copy of the policies.
  • To ensure that employees have read and understand the house policies, have them sign an Employee Acknowledgement Statement (Appendix A). Keep this in each employee's personnel file.
  • Reinforce policies by giving regular training to employees.
  • Between trainings, hold regular staff meetings. At the meetings, discuss the rules, recent problem situations, and ways to prevent future problems.
  • Advise employees that you will spot check their compliance with the policies. Give them a regular performance review.
  • Reward employees who do a good job. Provide rewards to those who engage in anti-drug events. Remember: Written policies, good communication, and a supportive environment will go a long way toward the success of your business.
  • Review and update your policies regularly (annually if possible). This will ensure that your policies retain their relevancy and do not conflict with state law or administrative rules.
  • See all "Model" House Polices

Market Your Position

  • Explain and market your program internally with incentives and to customers (tent cards, posters, posted policies)
  • Indicate that you wish no customer to drink to intoxication
  • Develop a Mission Statement and post it prominently
    "Model" Mission Statement

"The goal of our establishment is to be successful by providing responsible, courteous, safe and professional food and beverage service. We will serve customers in a responsible, friendly, and professional manner. We are committed to adhering to all liquor laws while assisting customers in their decision to drink responsibly".

Monitor Your Door

  • Post a sign indicating that management reserves the right to deny entry to intoxicated and/or underage persons
  • Assign a staff member that is trained in responsible service practices to monitor the door at all times to:
    • Check for age and fraudulent identification
    • Deny entry to intoxicated people
    • Count the number of people on premise to prevent overcrowding and exceeding the legal capacity and provide for a proper customer to staff ratio
    • Allow free access to law enforcement personnel
  • See "Model" House Policy

Market Food Actively

  • Provide a range of food menu selections
  • Have low-cost, low-salt snacks or food at all times
  • Offer reduced food prices during late afternoon/evening
  • Provide incentives to servers for increased food sales
  • See "Model" House Policy

Responsible Beverage Pricing

  • Do not promote drink specials, happy hours or discounts
  • Do not serve the equivalent of several drinks in oversized glasses – use standard glassware
  • Price non-alcoholic products competitively with alcohol products
  • See "Model" House Policy

Promote Alternative Beverages

  • Stock a good selection of light and non-alcoholic beer and wine
  • Price non-alcoholic products competitively with alcohol products
  • Promote non-alcoholic drinks
  • Serve alcohol-free drinks in containers that are easily distinguishable from alcohol drinks
  • Evaluate servers on total sales including non-alcoholic products
  • See "Model" House Policy

Train All Staff

  • Have all staff trained in a good responsible-server class
  • Provide all staff with a copy of the establishment's house policies and train them on how to use it
  • Keep an incident log of problem situations (Appendix B)
  • Regularly review the policy and the incident log with all staff
  • Prohibit drinking on the job by all staff and managers
  • See "Model" House Policy

Adopt a Safe Transportation Plan

  • Identify and rank transportation options
  • Confirm necessary arrangements with outside companies
  • Ensure your employees feel comfortable in their understanding of when to use the program
  • Advertise your program
  • See "Model" House Policy

Never Serve Underage Individuals

  • Verify that all servers are legally old enough to serve beverage alcohol
  • Ensure that staff understand their legal duty regarding service to underage and intoxicated individuals and provide them with clear guidelines on how to deal with these individuals
  • Establish with staff when to ask for identification
  • Train staff on how to identify underage customers
  • Identify what forms of identification are acceptable
  • Train staff on how to recognize a fake ID and what to do when one is presented
  • Serve alcohol-free drinks in containers that are easily distinguishable from alcohol drinks
  • See "Model" House Policy

Monitor Drinking of Customers

  • Provide staff with guidelines for recognizing the signs of intoxication
  • Promote the service of one standard drink at a time and in a reasonable time frame (i.e. one standard drink per hour)
  • See "Model" House Policy

Manage the Intoxicated Individual

  • Deny entry to intoxicated customers
  • Monitor consumption of customers to avoid intoxication
  • Deny further service to intoxicated customers
  • Ensure staff are aware of effective ways to deal with intoxicated individuals
  • Reinforce policies by giving staff incentives for effectively discouraging and managing intoxicated individuals
  • See "Model" House Policy

NH Liquor Commission, Division of Enforcement
57 Regional Drive  |  Suite 8  |  Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-3521