As October turns into November, and planning for the company holiday party kicks into high gear, you’re wondering how, or even if you can mix business and pleasure, to serve alcohol at the annual shindig. The answer is yes, with a little careful planning.
Emphasize that drinking to excess at an company event is unacceptable, and will be met with zero tolerance. Include information about alcohol usage in your company code of conduct, and be clear on your expectations (e.g., Is drinking at lunch discouraged? What is the policy for drinking at company events where clients are present?)
For no reason should you require that your employees attend events where alcohol will be served, nor should they be recommended to attend. All social gatherings should be strictly voluntary.
This goes hand-in-hand with your policy prohibiting excess consumption. Give each employee a set number of tickets (Say, two.) for drinks; once those tickets are gone, they’re gone. Serve non-alcoholic beverages — such as juice, soda, water — on an unlimited basis.
Liquor and spirits almost always have a higher alcohol content, and are harder to regulate.
That being said…
Never allow your employees to serve themselves, nor each other. Professional bartenders are trained to portion drinks appropriately, and make a living out of cutting people off when they’ve had too much.
Event guests who choose to remain sober can help identify co-workers who may have had too much to drink, and who might need a ride home.
Do so to ensure that you are properly covered, and aware of any exclusions in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong.
Your employees will be more comfortable and have more fun, and you will be less liable for damages if the event is held at a club or a restaurant, during nonworking hours.
Provide entertainment; arrange for a guest speaker; schedule games, dancing, raffles, team-building events, or other activities for your employees to participate in. The alcohol is just a bonus!
Boulevard Café Catering will provide hot or cold appetizers, entrees, salads, and/or dessert to whet your employees’ appetite, and to make sure no one drinks on an empty stomach.