Barista Jobs

The ‘CUT OFF’ Chat – Do’s AND Dont’s

That awkward moment when… you have to cut off a drunk idiot at the bar. Sometimes cutting someone off is not easy to do and we bartenders don’t enjoy doing it either. If you don’t feel comfortable telling a patron they’re cut off, ask your manager to do it. If you are the manager, then you’ll just need to toughen up.



  • Don’t embarrass the person you are trying to cut off. If you say, ‘nah no more for you, mate, you’re drunk, go home’ loud and in front of all their friends they are likely to get embarrassed and create a scene.


  • Don’t raise your voice or swear at the intoxicated person. We all know that a lot of fights are fuelled by the loss of inhibitions caused by the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol. You need to keep your cool if you want them to keep theirs.


  • Don’t let them change your mind. Stick to your guns. If you have told someone they are cut off and they are trying to convince you they’re not drunk, don’t serve them ‘just one more’. Tell them to have some water and you might be able to give them another drink later on.



  • Do inform other staff that you have cut someone off. Drunk people think they’re pretty clever sometimes and even though you have cut them off they can get a drink down the other end of the bar. Make sure you tell management you have cut them off. It’s even better if during your ‘cut off chat’ you can convince the person that they don’t need another drink.


  • Do make it clear that it is also in the best interest of the person and their friends. All you want is for them to have a good time. Have a chat to the friends too and let them know that you think their friend has had enough.


  • Do be honest, firm and delicate. This speaks for itself. It’s all about how you communicate to your customer.


  • There are penalties for serving an intoxicated person. It can end badly for you, your venue, the other patrons and the intoxicated person, so don’t be afraid to cut somebody off if you think they’ve had enough to drink. They’ll be thanking you in the morning!


Got any other other creative ways of having the ‘cut off chat’? We’d love to hear them.

Advice, Bars, Cafes, Fast Food, News, Restaurants