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How To Say 'No' To a Drunk Customer

There are certain days during the year when your bar can get a lot of business. But it's also important to be aware of the dangers that come with too much business - like intoxicated customers. You and your staff need to know how to cut off a customer in a way that keeps everyone safe and avoids any problems.

Here are a few tips on how to say 'No' to a drunk customer:

Stand Your Ground (Politely)

Remaining calm and polite is important when refusing service to a customer. Not every customer will get angry or offended when you refuse them service. However, it is especially important to remain composed when dealing with an intoxicated customer, as they are more likely to become agitated or violent.

When you have decided that you do not want to serve a customer any longer, tell them in a calm way. Try to keep the conversation private. Stand your ground and be firm in your decision. It is a good idea to make the decision more about you and less about the customer. You can do this by telling them that you don't want to put the restaurant at risk by serving them alcohol.

Offer Options

When you are trying to calm a situation down, look for solutions to your decision. This could mean letting them come back tomorrow, giving them a glass of water, or suggesting that they get something to eat. If the customer isn't causing any problems, tell them that they can continue to enjoy the celebration, but you won't be serving them any more alcohol.

There are a few solutions you can try if someone is being too loud or causing problems in your establishment. If they are causing issues and disturbing other customers, the best solution might be to offer to call them a taxi and escort them out of the building. If you have a bouncer, they can help escort the customer out.


It is important to inform all staff members when you are cutting a customer off. This will help make sure that no one serves that customer after you have already communicated with them that they are not welcome.

You should tell your employees about your decision before telling the customer. This will help them stay calm and handle the situation if it gets bad.

Keep a Record

If something bad happens in a bar, like someone getting cut off or getting kicked out, it's a good idea to write down what happened and what you did to try and deescalate the situation. If something bad were to happen to your customer after they left the bar, the authorities might come to you for help, and you'll be grateful you have notes.


If the situation gets too complicated or dangerous, trust your instincts. If someone is drunk and acting out, it's possible the situation will get heated quickly. And if you or your staff feel unsafe, move away from the person or situation and call the authorities.


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