Asia: APB launches programmed to help F&B outlets serve alcohol responsibly
By Loke Kok Fai
April 21, 2015
The programmed by Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore teaches coffee shops and hawker centers on how to handle intoxicated customers and cope with alcohol-related problems, and has the support of the Government.
SINGAPORE: An initiative to help coffee shops and hawker centers serve alcohol more responsibly was announced by Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore (APB) on Monday (Apr 20).
Called the Alcohol Sales/Service Educational Tools (ASSET) programmed, it equips front-line staff with the knowledge and skills to handle intoxicated customers and cope with alcohol-related problems.
Said APB’s Head of Corporate Relations Shannen Fong: “Operators on the ground may not know what responsible service of alcohol is. They typically think that it actually runs contradictory to their bottomline. But actually at the end of the day, it’s really about good customer service. It’s about being able to read the signs of customers that may need help in relation to alcohol.”
APB adapted the US-based programmed for Singapore and introduced practical role-playing elements in training. The company has trained almost 500 out of its 580 promoters at hawker centers and coffee shops islandwide since January and rolled out the initiative to major operators such as S11 and Kopitiam.
The company said the full package costs S$2,000 for a half-day training session, in groups of 25 to 30 people. It added that the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) supports the programmed and has offered to shoulder half the costs of training for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents.
The programmed aims to alleviate problems linked to alcohol consumption at such premises like noise issues and intoxicated customers who become agitated.
“In the coffee shop environment, the operational staff as well as beer promoters have a relationship with our customers, because most of them are regulars,” said Mr. Vincent Cheong, Manager for Corporate Communications at Kopitiam Investment. “So with this close relationship, we are sure that these customers will have a better ‘buy-in’ to this drinking programmed.”
Kopitiam said it is monitoring the progress of the programmed over the next three to six months, before evaluating its effectiveness. It will provide feedback to APB, which will tweak the programmed based on the experiences of each of its key partners.
The Ministry of Home Affairs said it welcomes the initiative to encourage the responsible supply and consumption of liquor.
“This will help address the potential issues of public disorder and disamenities that may arise from excessive drinking,” it said, encouraging liquor suppliers and retailers to adopt measures in accordance with the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act.