Effective July 1, 2022, all on-premise alcoholic beverage servers and their managers must take Responsible Beverage Training (“RBS Training”).  This ABC approved training must be completed by August 31, 2022, or within 60 days of hire thereafter.  This law was originally set to be effective last year, but was extended given the pandemic.  

Details about the training can be found on the ABC website

The regulations define an alcohol server as anyone who does any of the following:

  1. Checks customer identification for purposes of alcoholic beverage service or entry to an ABC on-premises licensed establishment;
  2. Takes customer alcoholic beverage orders;
  3. Pours alcoholic beverages for customers; or
  4. Delivers alcoholic beverages to customers.

An alcohol manger is anyone who trains, directly hires, or oversees alcohol servers at an ABC licensed premises, or who trains alcohol servers how to perform the service of alcohol for consumption for an ABC on-premises licensee. It does not include an employee or contractor of another separate ABC licensee who is training alcohol servers for marketing or distribution purposes.

Training resources are available on the RBS website

According to the Los Angeles Times, the training is 3-4 hours and will include “training on how alcohol affects the body, the consequences of over-serving, basic laws regulating alcohol and intervention techniques for dealing with inebriated customers.  Workers must then pass a 2-hour open book exam.” 

Hospitality employers will need to ensure that their existing servers and managers are timely certified, and can make certification a requirement for applicants going forward. 

When the food handler certification program was rolled out in California several years ago, many hospitality employers provided the training in-house, and paid employees during work time to be certified.  Given the scarcity of hospitality workers these days, and the time commitment required for this training, many restaurants and bars will need to provide RBS training to their employees this summer as well.  Remember, any mandatory training must be paid by the employer and time spent is almost certainly considered work time.

Bottom-line, if you haven’t already, it is time to make plans for RBS training, or risk your ABC license!