International Breweries Launches Responsible Beer Service Program To Curb Excessive Drinking

International Breweries Plc, a proud member of AB InBev, the largest beer maker in the world with over 500 brands, has taken its Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training campaign to key Local Government Areas in Lagos State.

The Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) is an intervention by International Breweries to address the harmful use of alcohol through the various channels and features of the sales environments such as staff, management, and consumer behaviours. The initiative seeks to prevent binge drinking, drunk driving, and sales of alcohol to minors and pregnant women among other harmful use of alcohol.

The RBS initiative, which was flagged off at Zara Garden Event Centre at Ibeju Lekki had in attendance owners and managers of hotels, bars, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses where beer and other alcoholic beverages are served.

The participating Local Government Areas include Ibeju Lekki LGA, Amuwo-Odofin LGA, Surulere LGA, Eti-Osa LGA, and Kosofe LGA among other key LGAs will benefit from the project implementation which involves conducting baseline surveys and training on RBS activities.

Scenario simulation of bartender-customer relations will be deployed by the expert trainers to enable participants to fully internalise the essence of the training.

According to the facilitator, Responsible Beverage Service Training for Owners and Servers of IBPLC Sales Outlets, Bunmi Olatunde, “Responsible Beverage Service is an initiative of International Breweries Plc aimed at preventing the harmful use of alcohol in the sales environment.

The discussions have been very interactive and honest. Many operators say they gained new knowledge and insight into their role in enabling safer drinking habits and enforcing “alcohol rules” such as the age of minors to refuse alcohol service, and their responsibility not to serve or offer alcohol to pregnant women.”

Olatunde also noted that the end goal of the training and intervention is to stimulate a behavioural shift that will see participants demonstrating responsible beverage practices in their various roles.

“After the training, it is expected that participating outfits will ensure a policy is put in place in-house on responsible beverage service, as of today they do not have any and we are optimistic that they will establish one after this intervention. We also envisage a reduction in sales of alcohol to pregnant women, minors, and drunk driving,” she said.

Commenting on the educative session, one of the trainees, Deborah Douglas-Olujie said, “I have learnt many things I was unaware of before now. I now understand how to handle underage persons who attempt to purchase alcohol and other techniques for managing sales and responsible consumption of alcohol.

Through its collaboration with relevant stakeholders such as the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Beer Sectoral Group (BSG), the International Breweries has embarked on roadshows, outreaches, and sensitisation initiatives that have impacted over 15 million people nationwide while educating them on responsible alcohol consumption.

Speaking on the essence of the RBS initiative, Legal & Corporate Affairs Director, International Breweries Plc, Temitope Oguntokun said, “As a responsible organisation, we are inspired to take the responsible beverage service message to more bars, restaurants and hangout spots across the country considering the reception and feedback we have received from the training conducted in Lagos. On

e of the key outcomes of the training is an agreement by participants to develop RBS policies for their establishments. Before the training, none of the outfits they represent had an RBS policy nor had they ever attended formal training on hospitality and beverage service, so, this is an opportunity for formal training.” Oguntokun further emphasized the importance of educating those who are responsible for the sales of alcohol as they play a critical role in controlling and reducing the abuse of alcohol consumption.

International Breweries is working with the New Nigeria Foundation (NNF) to implement the RBS programme, which is targeted to reach an estimated 14,000 of those responsible for sales of alcohol.

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