Ways to Minimize Liquor Liability Exposures for Bars and Restaurants

Offering alcoholic beverages to a thirsty public can be the difference between staying in business or struggling financially for bars and restaurants. From opening their doors for people to watching the big game to creating a great happy hour with drink specials, alcohol can help businesses be successful. However, liquor sales come with certain risks that can expose a bar or restaurant to different exposures, especially liquor liability ones.

How Dining Establishments Can Minimize Liquor Liability

Knowing what these risks are and how to minimize liquor liability can help bars avoid legal problems, reputational damage, and potential pain to their bottom line. Here are some ways to minimize liquor liability exposures for bars and restaurants.

Planning Ahead to Minimize Risk

Bar owners face a number of risks every single day through the selling of alcohol. Alcohol-related incidents can cause bodily damage, start fights and confrontations, and even lead to death in some instances. While bar owners cannot always prevent certain incidents from happening, they can minimize their risk by following some simple steps.

First, it’s important to always remember to plan ahead when hosting special gatherings, such as primetime fights or weekend football games. Bar owners should set safety precautions well in advance of these events and let their employees and security staff know how to properly handle customers who become intoxicated in a way that limits and hopefully does not result in damage of any kind.

Take on More Security Staff

In some cases, hiring extra security staff, especially for special events like a Super Bowl watch party, can make a positive difference when running a bar that sells or serves liquor. Having security staff onsite can increase awareness and significantly lower the chances of liability issues from happening.

Refusing Service

Sometimes, some customers will drink more than they can handle, opening the door to potential risks. If this occurs, bar owners should inform their staff that it’s okay to refuse additional service. By providing more alcohol to someone who’s already drunk, a bar owner is significantly increasing their risk of a lawsuit if the person becomes injured, causes property damage, or, worse yet, injures someone else.

If someone is drunk and cannot drive home on their own, it’s important to stop this from escalating and call a taxi or ride-sharing service for them. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that all patrons, no matter how much they’ve had to drink, are of legal drinking age. This means that all ID’s need to be scanned before serving anyone alcohol, including being scanned at the door.

Acquire or Update Liquor Liability Insurance

Liquor Liability can help to protect bars and restaurants against major claims related to alcohol incidents. Liquor liability can help to protect a bar from potential legal action that can potentially arise from serving alcohol, such as bar fights, property damage, or different kinds of assault.

While liquor liability policies differ between carriers, liquor liability insurance provides coverage for bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated patron who was served liquor. This kind of coverage helps keep bars safe from certain types of claims if they are sued by an inebriated customer or another customer or person they impact negatively due to alcohol. Without this coverage, bars could be found responsible for any civil or criminal damages they incur, as well as mounting legal fees and court costs related to claims.

How Mavon Can Help Your Bar or Restaurant Reduce Liquor Liability


At Mavon Insurance, we pride ourselves on our unique approach to insurance. We focus on integrity, communication, professionalism, respect and gratitude to help our clients succeed and place business in specialized markets. For more information about our products, or to become an agent, contact us today at (855) 248-1480.