Page last updated: Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Bar Training helps Sensible Drinking
A new Swedish study has shown that server-training programmes for bar tenders can reduce drinking problems in student pubs. A randomised control trial was set up to assess the impact of an educational programme given to bartenders in student pubs. In order to ensure accurate results blood-alcohol concentrations (BACs) of the patrons was measured before and after the intervention. The aim of the server-intervention programme was to decrease alcohol consumption among the patrons in student pubs.

A total of 40 student bartenders participated in the bartender educational programme where a version of the Alcohol Skills Training Program (ASTP) and the Swedish version of Responsible Beverage service (RBS) were used. Bar customers were asked to rate the pub’s atmosphere as ‘cosy’, ‘high’ or ‘rowdy’ since the social atmosphere in the pub might influence alcohol consumption.

A more accurate assessment of drinking behaviour is given by measuring BACs directly than self-reports of binge drinking. This feature along with the randomised controlled design, make the findings of this study particularly reliable. These findings provide strong evidence that that such server-training programmes can indeed, decrease alcohol consumption among patrons in student pubs.

The programme is continuing to be used at several universities in Sweden and is now an integrated part of the new, annual bartender’s education.

Source. Education of key personnel in student pubs leads to a decrease in alcohol consumption among the patrons: a randomised controlled trial. addiction (2203), 98, 627-633. Johnsson, K.O. & Berglund, M., Clinical Alcohol Research, Lund University, Malmo University Hospital, Sweden.

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