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Booze abuse is proving a cause for concern within the SA MICE industry. Information gleaned from several sources – during November & December – indicating that personnel are over-imbibing to the extent that staff movements – at a function – have been traced with bottles of hooch found residing in a number of vehicle boots. Not to mention the ordering of triple tots with several rounds at one time.

Leaving an eye-watering bar-bill aside – aggression and other unsavoury situations have spilt over causing at least three legal actions that the MICE Academy is aware of. This abuse is predominantly within the corporate market.  Examples within the public sector under the astute scrutiny of hospitality accounts with an invoiced R15,000, being muffins for 20 persons on one day was revealed to include hidden alcoholic beverages, have been kerbed.

Within the association market – the over-imbibing to a detrimental extent has not been reported.

HR management has grave reservations in allowing bar services at future functions as some key personnel may have to be reprimanded and – in certain instances – ‘removed’ due to unacceptable and embarrassing behaviour. Of course, it could be argued that open private bars require being tightly controlled.  Hence only highly professional mobile bar services should be considered with a Service Level Agreement to match.

* Helen Brewer from The MICE Academy, is an independent contributor and articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Planner.

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