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Wet your whistle while you work

Jan 7, 2020

Here’s an often-heard question with a surprising answer.  Can I drink while working as a bartender, server or clerk at a liquor store? 

To the chagrin of the champions of temperance, Tennessee does not prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages by employees working at on-premise license locations, such as restaurants, bars, hotels, nightclubs, stadiums and other establishments. In addition, clerks, managers and other employees can drink tastings offered to consumers at retail liquor stores.

On this particular question, we find ourselves on the side of temperance. It is a bad idea to allow employees to drink on the job, particularly when they are servicing and selling alcohol. For liability reasons, we encourage employers to establish rules that prohibit drinking on the job. 

That said, drinking on the job is legal at bars and restaurants, with the following caveats:

  • B-Girl Rule.  Tennessee prohibits customers from buying drinks for servers and other on-premise employees.
  • Minors.  The drinking age is 21 and employees under the age of 21 cannot drink.
  • Intoxication.  It is illegal to serve a visibly intoxicated person, meaning that a bartender cannot get visibly drunk on the job.

To the collective chagrin of hundreds of loyal Last Call followers, we find ourselves singing the oh-so merry melody sung by Disney’s diminutive cartoon chaps:

Just whistle while you work

And cheerfully together we can tidy up the place.

So hum a merry tune.

It won’t take long when there’s a song to help you set the pace. 

Now we all need a drink…

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