Should You Allow Alcohol at Your Catered Holiday Event?

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Holiday parties are the perfect time for a festive glass of bubbly, but make sure the event you host doesn’t land you on Santa’s naughty list.

Employers hosting work events especially want to avoid the potential risk of accident, injury, or inappropriate behavior by controlling guest access to alcohol.

Some things to consider when deciding whether or not to serve alcohol at your holiday party:

  • Hire a bartender: Professionals are trained not to overserve and know how to deal discretely with guests consuming in excess.
  • Avoid an open bar: Offer only beer and wine or consider controlling the amount of alcohol served by providing drink tickets, limiting serving time. Supply plenty of non-alcoholic beverages like sparkling water or soda.
  • Distract the crowd: Dancing, performers, and activities like a photo booth, games, or prize drawings keep guests busy and away from the bar.
  • Keep the food flowing: A steady stream of passed hors-d'oeuvres or a carefully-timed buffet will keep guests’ attention and their stomachs full, reducing the effect of alcohol.
  • Arrange alternatives: Provide transportation or overnight accommodation for guests who have over-indulged. Near the end of the evening distribute cards with driver service links and numbers.
  • Check IDs: If there will be minors at your event, you may want to take extra steps to monitor the access to alcohol by using a hand stamp or wristband. Liquor liability laws vary by state and hosts may be held liable for under-age drinking.
  • Be Alert: Station sober observers who can move quickly to quash conduct that could threaten the festive atmosphere of your event.

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