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Do All Employees Need to Be RBS Certified?

Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) certification is a crucial component of training for employees who serve alcoholic beverages. This certification ensures that staff members are knowledgeable about the laws, regulations, and best practices related to alcohol service, helping to create a safer environment for both customers and the community. But do all employees need to be RBS certified? Let’s explore this in detail.

Need to Be RBS Certified

What is RBS Certification?

RBS certification is a program designed to educate alcohol servers on responsible beverage service. The training typically covers:

  • Laws and Regulations: Understanding state and local laws regarding alcohol sales and service.
  • Identifying Intoxication: Recognizing signs of intoxication and knowing how to handle intoxicated customers.
  • Checking IDs: Learning how to properly verify identification to prevent underage drinking.
  • Conflict Resolution: Techniques for de-escalating situations and managing difficult customers.
  • Liability and Penalties: Understanding the legal and financial consequences of improper alcohol service.

Who Needs RBS Certification?

The requirement for RBS certification can vary depending on local laws and the specific policies of an establishment. Generally, the following employees are typically required to be RBS certified:

  1. Bartenders: As primary servers of alcoholic beverages, bartenders must be well-versed in responsible serving practices.
  2. Servers and Waitstaff: Any staff members who take drink orders and deliver alcoholic beverages to customers need to understand responsible service protocols.
  3. Managers and Supervisors: Those who oversee the operations of an establishment that serves alcohol should be RBS certified to ensure they can properly train and manage their staff.
  4. Hosts and Hostesses: In some cases, hosts or hostesses who handle reservations and greet customers may also need certification, especially if they are involved in checking IDs or managing customer interactions related to alcohol service.

Why RBS Certification is Important

1. Legal Compliance Many states mandate RBS certification for employees who serve alcohol. Ensuring that all relevant staff members are certified helps the establishment comply with local regulations and avoid legal issues.

2. Reducing Liability Certified employees are better equipped to handle situations involving intoxicated patrons or underage drinkers. This reduces the risk of incidents that could lead to liability for the business, such as accidents or alcohol-related injuries.

3. Promoting Safety RBS-certified employees contribute to a safer environment by preventing over-serving and managing difficult situations effectively. This promotes the well-being of both customers and the community.

4. Enhancing Professionalism RBS certification demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and responsible service. This can enhance the reputation of the establishment and build trust with customers.

Do All Employees Need Certification?

While RBS certification is essential for employees directly involved in the service of alcohol, not all employees in an establishment need to be certified. For example:

  • Kitchen Staff: Cooks, dishwashers, and other kitchen staff typically do not require RBS certification as they do not handle alcohol service.
  • Maintenance and Cleaning Staff: Employees responsible for cleaning and maintenance usually do not need to be certified.
  • Administrative Personnel: Office staff or employees who handle administrative tasks unrelated to alcohol service do not need RBS certification.

However, having a broader base of certified employees can be beneficial, especially in smaller establishments where roles may overlap, or during busy times when additional help is needed.

RBS certification is vital for employees who serve or manage the service of alcoholic beverages. It ensures that they understand the laws and best practices related to alcohol service, which helps to promote a safer environment and reduce liability risks. While not all employees in an establishment need to be certified, those directly involved in alcohol service, such as bartenders, servers, and managers, should definitely obtain RBS certification. By doing so, they can contribute to a safer, more professional, and legally compliant establishment.


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