Coffee shop beer servers to keep tabs on drinkers

Coffee shop beer servers to keep tabs on drinkers
APB’s head of corporate relations says the responsible serving of alcohol is essentially good customer service that will benefit both society and businesses.

ONE year after Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Singapore introduced an overseas course to train alcohol servers at nightspots, it has developed its own programme to train beer servers at coffee shops to know when enough is enough.

It is training coffee shop beer servers to serve alcohol responsibly, with a programme catered to the local context.

More details will be released at a programme launch later this month.

Its head of corporate relations Shannen Fong said: "APB Singapore believes that there's opportunity in encouraging alcohol responsibility at coffee shops via RSA training."

She added that the coffee shop environment is different, and would need customised content to facilitate and promote responsible service of alcohol (RSA).

The APB Singapore programme involves role-playing sessions and is conducted by its staff.

Coffee shop beer servers will learn how to spot the sobriety level of customers based on cues such as the lack of coordination.

They will know how to intervene to prevent customers from getting drunk, by keeping tabs on the amount of alcohol consumed.

They may also suggest that patrons consume some food and water.

The notion that responsible serving of alcohol is essentially good customer service that will benefit both society and businesses needs to be further embedded in people's minds, Ms Fong said.

"We hope that such proactive training will bring about a healthy ecosystem of responsible sale and consumption of alcohol that will, in turn, encourage a stronger momentum for RSA training in Singapore," she said.

The overseas programme that APB Singapore brought in last year - Training for Intervention Procedures (Tips) - was well received by some 100 trainees, said Ms Fong.

The training helped them to "deal better with alcohol-related problems and customer-service related issues", and they felt more confident intervening in alcohol- related situations, she added.

The programme, which is part theory and part role-playing exercises, is conducted by the Association of Bartenders and Sommeliers Singapore.

Tips, which was developed by United States-based company Health Communications, has certified more than 3.5 million participants globally and has been taught in over 40 countries.

RSA training has become commonplace in other countries.

In Australia, for example, RSA training is compulsory for all people serving alcohol, including airline staff and people serving at catered events.

This article was first published on Apr 1, 2015.
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