HR Management & Compliance

You’re the Expert: How do you recommend we handle alcohol at our holiday party?

How do you recommend that we handle alcohol at our holiday party? We do want to serve alcohol, but we want to limit consumption in some way.

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Here’s what you had to say:


  • Our company has given up on serving alcohol at company parties. Too much risk and trouble. We now host an indoor holiday “picnic” for our employees and their families. The focus is on games and the kids, and people seem to have a good time.
  • We issue people two tickets at the start of the party good for two drinks–we instruct our bartenders not to pour too strong. After that, it’s a cash bar. People’s alcohol consumption seems to drop way down when they’re paying for it instead of us! That, and I have a few trusted managers circulate during the party to monitor whether anyone’s had too much. In addition to the fears about drunk driving, we don’t want anyone being groped or harassed.
  • We stop serving booze about two hours before the end of the party but continue serving food. We also make sure to have the number of a cab company handy in case people aren’t able to drive home (which, thankfully, doesn’t happen too much, but better safe than sorry).
  • At our holiday party, we have just a one-hour cocktail hour at the beginning of the evening and then switch to soft drinks. People grumble a little bit, but we’ve been doing this for years and we’ve never had an alcohol-related incident.

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