D.C. Restaurants Manage Risk with Alcohol Compliance Mystery Shops

Alcohol compliance is a huge issue for Restaurants and Bars. Establishments that violate laws against serving alcohol to minors or intoxicated patrons face thousands of dollars in fines and suspensions of their liquor licenses. Blink Research helps restaurants manage risk with alcohol compliance mystery shops. These are called Red Card/Green Card shops.

Here’s how it works. Blink Research recruits mystery shoppers between the ages of 21 and 28. We send them into the client’s bar or restaurant to sit at the bar, order an alcoholic beverage, and see if the bartender asks to check their ID before serving them the drink. The shoppers are always over 21, so we are not actually putting the client at risk. But they are young enough that every bartender should be checking their IDs as a precaution. Most restaurants and bars have a policy is that, if the customer looks 35 or younger, check their ID.

Once the mystery shopper finishes their visit, they are required to proceed to the host stand and ask to speak to the manager on duty. The shopper identifies him or herself as a mystery shopper for Blink Research and tells the manager whether the bartender in question passed or failed the audit. After leaving the establishment, the shopper completes a short questionnaire online about their visit. When the audit results in a Red Card, the system automatically triggers an email to the client contacts alerting them to the failed audit so they can act on the information immediately.

One of our longtime restaurant clients, and one of D.C.’s oldest and most successful restaurant groups, has been conducting Red Card/Green Card shops with us for many years at all of their 14 locations. Blink Research’s Red Card/Green Card mystery shops are an effective risk management tool to ensure that bartenders and servers remain vigilant in checking IDs.

Contact Us for more information about Red Card/Green Card mystery shops.