Changes in alcohol policies and practices in bars and restaurants after completion of manager-focused responsible service training

Kathleen M. Lenk, Darin J. Erickson, Toben F. Nelson, Keith J. Horvath, Dawn M. Nederhoff, Shanda L. Hunt, Alexandra M. Ecklund, Traci L. Toomey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction and Aims: Irresponsible and illegal serving practices at bars and restaurants, such as sales to obviously intoxicated patrons, can lead to various public health harms. Training managers of bars and restaurants in the development and promotion of responsible alcohol policies may help prevent risky and illegal alcohol serving practices. Design and Methods: We implemented a training program for managers of bars/restaurants designed to establish and promote responsible beverage service policies/practices. The program included online and in-person components. Bars/restaurants were randomised to intervention (n = 171) and control (n = 163) groups. To assess changes in policies/practices, we surveyed managers prior to and at 1 and 6 months post-training. Logistic regression models assessed changes in policies/practices across time points. Results: The proportion in the intervention group that had written alcohol policies increased from 62% to 95% by 6 months post-training while the control group increased from 65% to 79% (P < 0.05). Similarly, by 6 months post-training 70% of managers in the intervention group reported they had communicated to their staff how to cut off intoxicated patrons, a significant increase from baseline (37%) and from the change observed in the control group (43%–56%). Prevalence of other policies/practices also increased post-training but differences between intervention and control groups were not statistically significant. Discussion and Conclusions: Our training program appears to have led to implementation of some policies/practices. Additional studies are needed to determine how training can be combined with other strategies to further improve establishment policies and ultimately reduce alcohol-related harms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-364
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: R01AA018169-01A1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs


  • alcohol outlet
  • manager
  • policy
  • responsible beverage service
  • training


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