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5 Steps to Properly Remove a Drunk Guest from Your Restaurant

5 Steps to Properly Remove a Drunk Guest from Your Restaurant

Today we are going to talk about a process
that hopefully your business never has to deal with, but unfortunately,
too often is a reality for restaurant, bar, and tavern owners. And that
is, how to properly remove a belligerent patron from your establishment. The first step in this process is actually
preventing ever having to remove the patron in the first place, and that begins
with having a very observant staff. So teaching your staff how to look
for the signs of intoxication or someone who is looking for trouble, really
just having your staff, teaching your staff, training your staff to have open
eyes and open ears to what’s going on inside your establishment, from whoever
is watching the door, to hostesses, to wait staff, bartenders, the
people who clean up the dishes. Everyone on staff should be listening and
watching what’s going on inside your establishment. We don’t want the staff looking for trouble.
At the same time, if we can stop a situation before it actually happens
by addressing any complaints or unruly behavior before they get to a point
where they cause a serious problem, often this is the best method. So,
make sure you are talking to your staff about watching patrons, watching
what’s going on inside your establishment, listening to what people are
saying, how they are behaving, and if you can find someone who may be kind
of “looking for trouble” before they actually cause that incident, then you
may be able to have ownership or management talk to them and bring the situation
back under control. The second step is to actually have a visible
authority present on the floor of your establishment at all times.
That may be security, that may be ownership and management, someone who is walking
around, watching what is going on, so that people inside the establishment
know that there is an authority figure on the premise and if anything
were to happen, that would be the person who would address the concern.
Just by knowing that there is an authority figure in a restaurant, in a
bar or a tavern, often will keep people from allowing themselves to get out
of control, because they know that there will be consequences if they do. The next step is, we want to actually have
documented processes in place for warning and ultimately, cutting off patrons
that may have been over- served. So, if there is a patron who is starting
to become loud and a little obnoxious, we want to be able to go
over and warn them, and have a documented process for that, so that every
employee, every staff member is doing it the same way, and that they are notifying
management and bartenders and servers that that patron has
been warned. And then ultimately, we will cut that patron off if
they have gotten to a point where they are going to become a problem,
we can stop giving them more alcohol to hopefully bring them back under
control. If a patron does become belligerent or loud or unruly and we need
them to leave the establishment, the first step that we’re going to take in
actually removing them is to ask them to leave very politely. So, we want to
be courteous, we want to be kind, we want to take our time, we want to
be very discreet about that. Many times, individuals who become belligerent,
don’t actually know that they are being loud or obnoxious. They’re
drunk, they’ve been over-served of some sort, they may be angry, but they
might not necessarily realize that they are annoying or causing a problem
to the other patrons inside the restaurant. So, if you can be very discreet,
nice, polite to them, ask them to leave, let them know that they have been
warned and that now they have reached a point where they need to leave.
Many times the embarrassment of actually being asked to leave an establishment,
the patron will do so in a very non-violent way. We don’t want to exacerbate
the situation by trying to rush them out or being loud or purposely
trying to embarrass them. So step one of removing a patron is do absolutely
everything you can. Kill them with kindness in trying to get them to
go, so that they don’t take the situation to the next level. If you do reach the unfortunate situation
where a patron is beginning to show signs of violence or has already committed
an act of violence, then we do want to address the situation immediately,
and we want to do it with numbers. We never want to have a one-on-one
confrontation with a patron. If you can gather multiple staff, often the strength
in numbers will calm that patron down, or make them think twice about
continuing their violent acts. If that does not stop the person or calm them
down, what we’re going to need to do is try to guide them out physically
with the least amount of contact as possible. If we can do so without
using their hands, just by using our bodies to guide that person to the
door, then that’s the first case scenario. If we do, we do not want to
push, shove, grab that individual. Unfortunately, with the current laws and regulations
set up the way they are, assault and battery cases on staff members
inside of restaurants, bars, and taverns, who are trying to remove
unruly or belligerent patrons, is very common. So, in these cases, we never
want to escalate the violence level beyond that of the patron. If the patron
is just pushing and shoving and being loud and throwing their arms, we
don’t want to start throwing punches or using any kind of tasers or mace
or weapons of any sort. We never want to take the violence beyond the
point that the patron has gone, because that will be an immediate indicator
for a lawyer to file a lawsuit against you as the restaurant owner, and management,
the staff members, your business in general. It opens up a lot
of doors. And we can avoid that situation by always keeping violence at the
absolute minimum reasonable level. Remember, we have to think what would
a judge and jury find to be completely reasonable in that instance? And
even submission holds, any type of pinning down someone, these are often seen
as beyond what is necessary to remove a patron from your building. What is commonly seen as a very acceptable
method of removing someone in a situation where there is violence, is a bear
hug, taking our arms and wrapping them all the way around the individual
and removing them that way. No one is punching, no one is grabbing. We
are bear-hugging this person, restraining them, getting them outside the
building, and calling the police. That is seen as a level of violence
that is usually considered reasonable when a patron has shown violence
to initiate. To protect yourself, your staff, and your business, always
call the police in any situation where you have to remove a violent
patron, and there are insurance products that can protect you, specifically
assault and battery coverage, which is an endorsement onto your
restaurant, bar, or tavern policy. There are very few restaurant, bar,
and tavern package policies that come with assault and battery, it’s an
endorsement that you have to add. There is an additional cost to that,
so you want to make sure you are talking to your insurance professional about
assault and battery coverage if you are concerned about situations where
you may have to remove a patron, and there may be violence in your
business. If you have questions, comments, concerns
about your restaurant insurance program, or specifically assault and battery
coverage, I encourage you to visit the Murray Group website. You can use
the link above, or you can always call us at the number below. You’ll
see, 518-456-6688. That’s 518- 456-6688. and we will be happy to answer all
your questions, and if need be, provide you with a proposal for a restaurant
insurance program that will properly protect your restaurant.

  • Good advice. My only concern would be advising the use of a bear hug to remove problem individuals. Weight differential alone could cause injury when the customer is simply cantankerous and won't voluntarily move.

  • Preferably, two staff taking an arm each and escorting the person out would be much safer. A one on one use of force can be seen as a test of strength. Also taking an arm each prevents a punches being thrown. A third member of staff eg a Manager giving verbal commands only may also assist.

  • Bear hugπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    This video cracked me up so much, but bear hug πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ why would anyone behave so badly in public though, even when drunk πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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