How Getting Your RBS Certification Can Make You a Better Bartender

As of July 1st, 2022, all alcohol servers, managers, and operators must undergo an RBS training program and receive RBS certification. But what is an RBS certification and how can it make you a better bartender?

What is an RBS Certification?

The Responsible Beverage Service certification demonstrates that you know how to serve alcohol and you know when not to serve alcohol in order to reduce alcohol-related harm in California. Even if you’ve been a bartender for decades, an RBS certification proves that you know current laws, regulations, and mandates. It’s also now required by law, effective July 1st, 2022, for all alcohol servers and managers.

Why Do You Want an RBS Certification?

Going forward, an RBS certification is required by law in California. Regardless of your experience, you must undergo RBS training and commit to an RBS training program to be eligible to serve and prepare alcoholic beverages for consumption.

That being said, an RBS certification can make you a much more responsible bartender. You learn what the new California alcohol serving and consumption laws are as well as the penalties for not following them.

Alcohol Serving Laws

With RBS training, you will recognize these and many other essential laws about serving alcoholic beverages in California. Although these laws are unique to California, their principles are being adopted in several states. That means even if you do bartending work outside of California, this knowledge will help make you a more responsible bartender.

We won’t go into detail about the obvious: not serving anyone under age 21.

Designated Service Time

Between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., remember that you, as a bartender, cannot sell, distribute, or give away alcohol. Does this come as a surprise? With an RBS certification, this will be common knowledge throughout the state. Following these regulations allows you to help minimize the dangers of alcohol-related harm to California communities.

Even if your employer tells you to continue service between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., you can still violate the California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) regulations if you are found doing so. Depending on the severity, these come with fines, suspensions, and worse. Plus, it can help you avoid penalties for violating this mandate.

Know When to Stop

In California, you cannot serve someone who’s intoxicated, nor can you supply alcoholic beverages knowing they will contribute to that intoxicated person’s inebriated state. This includes free drinks. As a bartender, you must develop a keen eye for anyone who has had too much and doesn’t need anything else to drink, despite any of their insistence to the contrary.

With RBS certification, you can prove you know this and avoid penalties, fines, or misdemeanor charges. RBS training informs you when too much is too much and helps you spot even the most clever intoxicated patrons.

Does an RBS Certification Make You a Better Bartender?

Will certification really help you? In accountability and responsibility, yes, an RBS certification can make you a better bartender. Disregarding the fact that it is the law in California to complete an RBS training program, this type of certification has also shown that bartenders who complete the related RBS training program are more responsible and knowledgeable about alcohol service. Still have questions? How does an RBS certification make you a better bartender? We’ll cover this more below.

It Helps You Recognize Excessive Drinking

Even if someone can handle their alcohol well and maintain composure, you should still be able to recognize when someone has been drinking too much or is continuing the drink despite their obvious impairment. An RBS certification demonstrates that you know when to recognize excessive drinking, which benefits you as a bartender and other patrons and customers who could be harmed, discouraged, or upset by the rampant inebriation. After all, a good bartender knows when to close the tap and send someone home.

It Improves Server Practices

The more bartenders participating in RBS training, the better the service industry will be. Even if you just take orders from a sports bar or restaurant, an RBS certification makes you more knowledgeable about clients, their needs, and what the consumption of alcoholic beverages can do. It can help stop irresponsible or reckless bartending and reduce alcohol-related harm in local communities and establishments.

If you are worried about a patron becoming upset they cannot receive a drink due to any reason listed during your RBS training program, don’t worry about it. No one can fault a bartender for making an ethical, responsible decision for the betterment of their profession and clients.

It Reduces Underaged Drinking

Every generation, underage drinkers try to sneakily find new ways to drink. While California law allows individuals under the age of 21 to drink in private spaces with their parents, guardians, or other individuals over the age of 21, the bar is not one of those places. A responsible bartender should be able to recognize and deny an underage customer coming up to their bar.

Serving alcoholic drinks to a minor is a penalty and a crime. This can result in a high financial and legal cost for you as an employee, so don’t take that risk! The RBS training program teaches you the most common methods by which underage drinking occurs–and gives you practical strategies to stop it from happening in the first place.

It Reduces Alcohol-Related Crashes

Alcohol-related crashes are some of the most deadly. As a responsible bartender, you should be able to recognize who has had enough to drink and who should not be driving. An RBS certification allows you to easily justify confiscating someone’s keys and method of transport while giving you the leverage to defend your choice as a bartender should an altercation occur.

So, Should You Get Your RBS Certification?

Yes, absolutely. The RBS training program can eliminate the dangers of irresponsible bartending in California and outside of California. Suppose you leave California a few years after completing your RBS training program. You will have the tools to make ethical, healthy, and responsible decisions across the state.

An RBS certification is also an excellent way to prove yourself as a bartender in a new state. You can effectively advertise your services and knowledge wherever you decide to go. Sign up for a program now!