Rethinking our drinking

Pace yourself!

We all have the best intentions when we face a night of drinking and educating our patrons about responsible drinking is often easier said than done. As tavern owners, we know that serving alcohol comes with great responsibility and being a responsible trader includes taking responsibility for those we serve. One of the easiest ways to drink responsibly is by practising pacing.

Pacing can be defined as encouraging people to adopt a more moderate style of drinking by promoting the benefits of a slower pace. Alternating alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic drinks is a sure way to a more enjoyable drinking experience without the risks related to excessive alcohol consumption.

Keep these tips in mind and share them with your patrons.

As tavern owners, we know that serving alcohol comes with great responsibility and being a responsible trader includes taking responsibility for those we serve.

Choose a “spacer” instead of a chaser

A “spacer” is a non-alcoholic drink that you take in between alcoholic ones when you space them out. It will slow down your drinking. Always have non-alcoholic alternatives ready to offer your patrons choices.

Drink more … water!

Placing a jug of water on each table or near patrons will encourage them to pace – and it is free! Staying hydrated can reduce the negative effects of alcohol as alcohol is dehydrating. Replacing lost fluids with water combats dehydration and discourages drinking more alcohol.

Encourage smaller sips. It is not a race to finish your drink first. Another good tip is to put your drink down between sips. If you keep your drink in your hand, you’re more likely to sip it more often.

Encourage eating

When you consume alcohol, it sits in your stomach while it waits to be processed. If you don't have food in there, the alcohol will process faster and lead to that drunk feeling. If you have food in your stomach, the alcohol will enter your system more slowly and at a slower pace, lessening the effects of alcohol. Make sure that you have a menu to offer your patrons which includes meals and snacks so they can be tempted to eat.

Make them singles

The lower the alcohol concentration in a single drink, the slower the rate of alcohol absorption. Top the singles up with non-alcoholic mixers, making sure you add more mixer than you have spirits.

Don’t mix your drinks

Your body takes in alcohol much faster if you mix drinks – rather alternate with water or non-alcoholic beverages.

Encourage socialising

Don’t make drinking the only activity – encourage your patrons to fill their time at your tavern with socialising with other patrons by chatting, dancing, and so on.

As tavern traders who support responsible drinking, we have to encourage good behaviour and responsible alcohol consumption from our patrons as part of complying with our operational licences. Traders have to unite to join the fight against all patterns of irresponsible consumption such as binge drinking and refuse to sell to visibly intoxicated people. Being a responsible trader is in the best interests of the communities in which we operate.