can bartenders drink on the job

can bartenders drink on the job

Can Bartenders Drink On the Job?

The short answer is “No”. As you would expect, state laws and health regulations usually prohibit bartenders and other food and beverage servers from drinking alcoholic beverages while on the job. This makes sense, since servers are expected to handle orders and money, as well as make sure their patrons are following the law while they’re on their premises.

Why Can’t Bartenders Drink on the Job?

A few reasons include:

  • Server’s safety -bartenders could be drinking and become incapacitated or unable to properly handle their duties.
  • Legal liabilities – a server could make misrepresentations to customers about the potency or availability of certain drinks.
  • Customer safety -a bartender who is drinking could make a mistake when calling in orders, negate any alcohol restrictions from customers, or simply not be able to monitor a customer’s level of intoxication.

What Can We Do?

It’s important to make sure you enforce policies regarding drinking on the job. Written and verbal reminders that serve as a warning can be good tools to discourage potential violators. Additionally, it can be beneficial to note that while customers can be served alcohol while in the bar, they must not be served amounts that would be excessive or lead to intoxication.

Finally, you can use high quality surveillance systems to monitor staff on and off the premises. These can include CCTV cameras with facial recognition software, to ensure that staff members aren’t drinking on the job or otherwise behaving inappropriately.


In conclusion, bartenders should never drink while on the job. The consequences could be detrimental to their reputation, job security, and bar’s success. Knowing the legal and moral repercussions, bars should have policies in place to ensure that bartenders are not drinking alcoholic beverages while serving customers. Additionally, high quality surveillance systems can be used for monitoring staff on the premises and ensuring the safety of both customers and staff.


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