Topshelf Bartenders

The Art Of Bartending

Smart Service

What Is Smart Service?

Smart Service was formed in 2014 right here in Central New York. It’s local, which alone brings value. It is an alcohol training awareness program that is designed to present the most accurate, up-to-date information regarding the food and beverage industry. Even more important, this program is approved through the State Liquor Authority as well as the NYS Education Department. The primary focus during training is understanding the laws relating to alcohol service in the food & beverage industry. Each individual who completes Smart Service will receive recognition through the SLA and will be enrolled in the Smart Service database for future reference if needed. The certification is valid for 3 years. Once the three years is close to expiration the employer as well as the employee will receive notification and of course be offered the option to renew the certification.

Smart Service trains/teaches individuals the importance of alcohol knowledge. It teaches how to recognize the stages of intoxication so the servers/bartenders can make better decisions when offering service to the guest(s). The course trains on proper cut-off techniques, present BAC laws and risks of over-serving and serving to a minor. We give the bartenders/servers knowledge of SLA laws, risks and outcomes when professional service is not offered. Most important, Smart Service teaches responsibility, accountability and enjoyment, all of which when exercised correctly will allow for exceptional guest service and exceeding the guests' expectations every time.

What Will Smart Service Do For You The Employer?

Smart Service will maximize the potential for incredible guest service. Knowledge is the essential component in sales. The more the employee knows, the better they can sell the product. That's the easy part. But what if they don't know what their responsibility is behind selling the product? What if they don't know the effects of the product they are selling? What if they don’t know what the risks are if they sell too much of that product to a guest or if they offer service to an underage guest? What if your staff doesn’t know how to detect identity fraud (fake id)? What if you yourself don’t know the risks in over-service or service to a minor? The laws and penalties that are imposed by the SLA are critical in a restaurant/bar’s daily operations. To put yourself, your operation and your employees at minimal risk, you and your staff must know these laws. That's where we come in... Smart Service trainers have the most current information regarding all main factors involved in the food and beverage industry. The training, education and preparation involved in getting this course set up were rigorous. Well we did it!

Employers who use Smart Service receive the benefits immediately. Here's a brief list of the subject matter that is covered and the material your employees will receive extensive training on:

  • Responsible serving
  • Over pouring
  • Dram Show Law – who is protected
  • Policies & Procedures
  • Service to minors
  • Drinking age
  • ABC Law
  • New York Penal Code
  • Proper forms of identification
  • Recognize fraudulent identification
  • Serving underage – laws & penalties
  • Duty of reasonable supervision
  • New York General Obligations Law
  • NYS alcohol laws
  • BAC & DWI
  • Physiological & psychological effects of alcohol
  • Stages of intoxication
  • Bars/Restaurants liable for over service
  • Bartender/Server liable for over service
  • Legal limits
  • NYS Alcohol Beverage Control law

Once the employer(s)/employee(s) are signed up for the ATAP course they will have a seat “reserved” for training. Just before training begins the individuals will receive a training manual which contains everything that is going to be reviewed in class. There is a test that is given at the end that the individuals must pass. Once the course has completed each individual will be given a completion certificate that is valid for 3 years from the date that it's received. The individuals’ information will then go into a database that is maintained by Smart Service and the State Liquor Authority. It is the responsibility of the individual attending Smart Service to keep the completion certificate in a safe place. Make copies so you have some on hand.

Training can occur on-premises or off-premises. In past experiences, it is recognized that the trainees are more comfortable in their own environment and seem to be much more receptive to opening up with questions and group discussion so it is advised that the training take place at the establishment, however we also have training taking place at our host location.

The benefits of Smart Service are absolutely priceless, but it may actually save the employer money as well. Some insurance companies feel that specialized training and education warrant a discount in their insurance, so make sure you ask your insurance carrier about educational discounts. And even more important, if you and your staff are ATAP certified it greatly reduces the penalties for alcohol related violations and greatly reduces the likelihood of an alcohol liability lawsuit.

What Will Smart Service Do For You The Employee?

Smart Service will maximize the potential of incredible guest service. Each individual who takes Smart Service will be trained by a real trainer. It does not take place online or through a power point demonstration. It does not take place in a classroom or lecture hall. It is face to face training at its best. Of course the benefits to the employee are incredible. They receive all the benefits that are listed above, and will discover that this business is not to be taken lightly. Bartenders and servers are responsible for the actions to follow every beverage served. Through the hands-on training we provide, they will all be made aware of just how imperative it is to have a responsible business ethic while in the service industry. Below are just a few benefits the employee will receive from taking Smart Service:

  • Increases staff professionalism
  • Increases overall company teamwork
  • Understanding of ABC, SLA and Penal Law
  • Avoid alcohol related infractions and costs
  • Laws regarding Dram Shop and BAC levels
  • Recognizing drunk & disorderly behavior
  • Trigger words
  • Risks of over-serving
  • Age verification
  • Results of service to a minor
  • Punishment by law to the bartender/server
  • Physiological & psychological effects
  • Ensures that employees comply with state and local regulations

Having an employee serving alcohol to the general public is ALWAYS a risk. The proper way to minimize the risk is through education. Not nearly enough establishments are educating their employees on modern law and responsible serving. It starts with the employee, which is your front line. Make sure you are preparing them properly for the responsibility they have. Give them every tool possible to work with. And most important, protect yourself by having educated employees.

Download guidelines here

Contact Us:

Fill out a form here.

Call us 315.420.9013.

Office Hours:

Monday – Thursday
9:00am – 6:00pm

Friday – Sunday
10:00am – 3:00pm

  • Next 40 hour Bartender program is TBD.
    More info
  • Guest bartending at Pizza Man, Mohegan Manor, and World.
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Attention Bar Owners

Our Services

  • Smart Service: Alcohol awareness training course. Trains/teaches individuals the importance of alcohol knowledge.
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  • Consulting: Need help call us!
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Our Courses
  • 40 Hour Bartender Program: Become a bartender! Mixology and P.O.S. training are constant throughout the course.
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  • Mini Courses: Coming soon! Mojito mixing course and more...
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