When you are charged with the task of putting together a corporate event, either as a one-off or because it is your career, a lot of components go into making the event a success. The menu, amenities and guest list are all items that must be checked and crossed off your to-do list. As you are planning the menu, you have to decide whether to cater alcohol to your corporate event guests. It is odd that you have to think twice before you make this decision because you are catering to adults. Most professionals have at least one story to tell involving a corporate event attendee and alcohol, though. Here’s What You Need to Know About Catering Alcohol for Your Corporate Event.
Hire a Professional
Hiring a professional bartending staff for your corporate event is a great way to accomplish limiting the amount of alcohol that your guests consume. Professional bartenders are trained to spot the signs of a person who has had enough to drink for the night. Additionally, you can always consult with the bartenders regarding your concerns. They can inform you about their best practices, and then you can move forward with a plan.
Know What You Will Serve
Deciding which drinks to serve is helpful so that you can avoid providing the types of alcohol that cause magnified results, especially when they are mixed together. Wine is a popular option when a meal is going to be served to guests. Plus, wine is a tamer alcohol option. It also sets the tone of the event. Beer is another popular option because, although it raises the blood alcohol concentration level of the drinker, it does not do so as quickly as hard liquor would. It is generally a good idea to stay away from serving hard liquor at corporate events.
The reason why a corporate event planner has to take into consideration the amount of alcohol that will be served is that if something goes sideways, the planner, corporate sponsor and even the venue could be liable. Limiting consumption is one way to limit liability. You can set up something similar to Happy Hour and have a window of a few hours to serve alcohol. If the event ends at 11 p.m., and you cease serving alcohol by 9 p.m., it gives guests two hours to sober up. You could also hand out drink tickets so that each guest is limited to the number of tickets they are given. Two is a popular number.
Open or Closed?
Some corporate events do provide open bars, usually due to the size, magnitude and total amount of days the event will last. For an event that will be just a single evening, you might want to consider taking the closed bar route. First, it cuts down on your costs since guests will be paying for their own drinks. Second, if guests do not have unlimited drinks at their disposal, they are more likely to consume less. When people drink less, there is a decreased risk of something going sideways due to too much alcohol consumption.
There are many ways to limit your company’s liability against any guest who decides to consume more than enough alcohol during the event. If it is a casual company get-together, a memo can be passed around addressing etiquette. You can also request that guests sign waivers. If it is a more formal gala with a wider scope of guests, making it impossible to pass around a memo, you are encouraged to procure the necessary insurance to cover anything negative that may result due to excessive consumption of alcohol. Guests who have had too much to drink could get rowdy and not necessarily cause harm to themselves, but they may damage the property, which puts you on the hook for the bill.
Help Attendees Get Home
At the end of the event, even after doing all you can to limit the consumption of alcohol, some guests will probably still require assistance getting home or to a hotel. Therefore, be prepared to help them secure alternative transportation methods. Even though there are many methods at your disposal, you still have to be careful to choose the best one. Taxis are the most popular way for people to get home. One suggestion is to pay a couple of taxi drivers to wait outside the event’s venue in case their services are required. Another option is to try and hold the event near public transportation stops. You can also hire a designated driver program for the evening.
A successful corporate event depends on many factors. Carefully planning regarding the amount of alcohol to serve is an essential consideration. If alcohol consumption will be a part of the event, ensure that you are prepared to handle any potential incidents that could occur.
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Featured image via Denver Microbrew Tour