Service Industry: Listen Up!
Bartenders, waiters, service industry peeps, listen up! This ones for you :)
This has been on my heart for awhile, and I've probably touched on it a time or two or ten before, but I wanted to dedicate a blog post to it, in the hopes that we can spread awareness, however, I'm gonna keep it short and sweet.
When you greet your guests at their table, and you say "Can I get you something to drink?" USUALLY you suggest a few things--like beer, wine, or a cocktail. PLEASE offer a non-alcoholic drink as well: "Can I get ya a beer, wine, a cocktail, or a mocktail?"
Oh how that would be music to my ears.
I had an interesting conversation last week with a friend of mine that's doing some consulting for an exclusive bar in Minneapolis. She inquired about the fact that they don't have one alcohol-free drink on their menu and was curious why. Their response? "People come to our bar to drink. We are known for our signature cocktails, that's what our customers want."
My response to that might have been..."how do you know?"
Your favorite female CEO from the office building around the corner has a business meeting at your establishment tonight and she wants to be on her A-game: she doesn't want to drink alcohol. BUT, you don't have anything on the menu for her to choose, your server hasn't offered anything alcohol-free, she really doesn't know what to order and doesn't want to draw attention to the fact that she's not drinking...so she orders a cocktail and proceeds to sip that Old Fashioned for the next 2 hours.
Do you see where I'm coming from?
When the only choice your guest has is to order alcohol, how do you know that's really what they want?
There are two simple things you can do to help your guests feel at ease and feel welcome:
Include alcohol free cocktails on your menu and Educate your staff so they know how to offer them.
That's all :)
See, we wanna support ALL people. We wanna be inclusive of ALL people. And this means we need to throw out ALL of the options. Especially when those options could literally be a life or death choice for your guests.
And here's the best news: WE'LL REMEMBER. When our friends want to take us out for our birthday where do you think we might go? Yep--the place that has the cool bartender that serves the best alcohol-free cocktail! And bonus: all of our drinking friends will be with us!
Comment below if you're wiling to pledge to offer an inclusive drink menu to your guests!