Bartender educational programme

Contact name: 
Kent Johnsson
Organization: 
Lund University
Address: 
Clinical Alcohol Research Ingang 108U-MASS-20502 Malmo, Sweden
Summary

This programme aims to decrease alcohol consumption among patrons in student pubs by server-training programmes. Educational programmes were given to bartenders (n=40) in a randomized design in six of twelve pubs on a university campus. Bartenders in control pubs were not given the programme. Breath alcohol concentration (BAC), expressed as a percentage, among the patrons, and the reported social atmosphere in the pub was measured on a visual analogue scale in the pub before and after the intervention programme was given. BACs of patrons in the intervention pubs reduced by more than those of the patrons in the control pubs at a 1-month follow-up. The mean difference in BAC between intervention and control groups was - 0.011%. Alcohol levels among the patrons decreased and rowdy social atmosphere reduced in the intervention group. Server-training programmes for personnel in student pubs could be a component in the prevention of alcohol problems in university student populations.

Abstract

Objectives

To decrease alcohol consumption among patrons in student pubs by server-training programmes.

Characteristics

Educational programmes were given to bartenders (n=40) in a randomized design in six of 12 pubs on a university campus. Bartenders in control pubs were not given the programme.

Breath alcohol concentration (BAC), expressed as a percentage, among the patrons, and the reported social atmosphere in the pub measured on a visual analogue scale, before and after the intervention programme was given.

Evaluation

BACs of patrons in the intervention pubs reduced by more than those of the patrons in the control pubs at a 1-month follow-up. The mean difference in BAC between intervention and control groups was - 0.011% (95% confidence interval, 0.022,0.000). The intervention group also decreased more in the reported level of rowdy social atmosphere than did the control group. The mean difference was - 6 points (95% confidence interval -11 to -1). No differences were found in reported cosy and high social atmosphere.

Conclusion

Alcohol levels among the patrons decreased and rowdy social atmosphere reduced in the intervention group. Server-training programmes for personnel in student pubs could be a component in the prevention of alcohol problems in university student populations.

Intervention details

Type of intervention
Indicated prevention
Problem addressed
Alcohol, Binge drinking, Vertical drinking, Nuisance
Intervention setting
Bar
School
Higher education or university
Other
Student pubs
Target population

Student bartenders. Students in key positions are managing pubs, and they are often young females or males without any previous experience of serving alcohol. The student bartenders generally receive free drinks as their only payment. The high rate of alcohol consumption among patrons in student pubs was of some concern to the board members of the student nations and they were all sympathetic to participating in the study.

Substances adressed
Alcohol
Intervention activities
Providing information
Other
Training of staff
Actions
Five lectures for bartenders were given:Lecture 1 (60 minutes) focused on the bar personnel's own expectancies of alcohol use. A short version including three items of each of the six dimensions from the Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire (AEQ) was used. This version has been developed for educational purposes at the Department of Clinical Alcohol Research. The students responded to the questionnaire anonymously, and the results for the whole group were presented at the same lecture. Expectancies and beliefs were discussed;Lecture 2 (60 minutes) focused on facts and myths about alcohol, such as: physical damage, biochemical effects, drinking patterns in Sweden, etc. The expert presented these data during the lecture;Lecture 3 (120 minutes) included topics such as the effect of alcohol depending on weight, gender, rate of drinking, meals, etc. The type of presentation was similar to that of lecture 2;Lecture 4 (120 minutes): the participants calculated their optimal blood alcohol levels, based on memories from a party they considered joyful and pleasant and without negative consequences. A table including effects of weight, gender, number of drinks and time was used to calculate blood alcohol levels;Lecture 5 (360 minutes): the student bartenders were trained in techniques on how to refuse service to intoxicated patrons and how to prevent them from becoming intoxicated.
Theory/evidence behind the intervention

The programme was based on manuals, mainly the Alcohol Skills Training Program (ASTP) by Marlatt et al. The rest of the course was based on the Swedish version of the Responsible Beverage Service.

Evaluation details

Evaluation results (Outcome evaluation)

BACs of patrons in the intervention pubs were reduced by more than those of the patrons in the control pubs at a 1-month follow-up. The mean difference in BAC between intervention and control groups was - 0.011% (95% confidence interval, 0.022,0.000). The intervention group also decreased more in reported level of rowdy social atmosphere than did the control group. The mean difference was - 6 points (95% confidence interval -11 to -1). No differences were found in reported cosy and high social atmosphere.

Evaluation references

Johnsson KO & Berglund M (2003). Education of key personnel in student pubs leads to a decrease in alcohol consumption among the patrons: a randomized controlled trial. Addiction, 98, 627-633.

An abstract for this journal article can be found in the HNT literature section here.

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