Category Archives: Operations

8 Facts about Fake IDs and Serving Minors

It is illegal to knowingly serve alcohol to a minor, and anyone who does can be held responsible. Many in the industry believe fake IDs are the primary problem since they’re considered the gateway to a minor getting access to alcohol. But how do fake IDs play into getting caught serving to minors? What are the repercussions? And who’s ultimately the person legally responsible when a minor is served?

To answer some of these questions and more, we put together 8 facts about the liability of serving minors and the risk to you when it’s a fake ID.

1. Stings are a result of human error, not fake IDs.

When authorities orchestrate a sting and check to make sure you aren’t serving minors, they legally cannot do so by using a fake ID or purposefully deceiving you. They’re typically checking to make sure you’re properly asking for identification. Most sting fails are a result of not asking for identification, or asking for identification but incorrectly calculating someone’s age based on their date of birth. When these human errors happen, you’ll fail the sting and both the server and the establishment will be presented with the ramifications.

2. Not asking for any ID is the most common reason a minor is served.

In most cases, minors are served as a result of an establishment not checking IDs. While fake IDs are in the mix of minors trying to get alcohol, establishments don’t catch them because they simply aren’t checking IDs at all.

3. Incorrectly calculating age is another top reason a minor is served.

Honest math errors happen, especially when it’s a busy night and there’s a lot on the brain. It’s easy for people to miscalculate the year 21 years from today to determine if the person presenting the ID is of legal drinking age. Many establishments use tools such as ID scanners to help combat this risk factor.

4. The person who makes the sale to a minor is legally liable.

The seller is the one liable for serving the minor, which oftentimes carries the same penalties as the person who holds the liquor license. As a bartender or server, you are responsible for checking the ID of your customers even if another person has previously checked it. In these situations, there are oftentimes separate penalties given to the parties involved, including the licensee (the owner of a bar) and the person who makes the sale (the bartender who serves a minor). Depending on the severity of the situation and state laws, the penalties can range from a fine to jail time for the person who made the sale.

5. When a fake ID is thoroughly examined but still gets by, the minor carrying the fake become legally liable.

When a minor is served, you need to prove you did the steps to the best of your abilities to not purposefully serve that person. If the guest presents a realistic ID that says he or she is of drinking age, and you did everything to the best of your ability to not purposefully serve him/her, the liability on the server and establishment is decreased significantly in most cases. In these cases, the minor with the fake ID is the one liable for crimes such as fraud, criminal possession of a forged instrument, or identity theft, which range in penalties from a Class B Misdemeanor to a Class D Felony. However, if it’s obvious that the ID is fake or if that ID clearly does not belong to the person presenting it and the server did not catch it, then the establishment and the person who served that minor also becomes liable.

6. Fake IDs include a newly manufactured fake ID, altered real IDs, and a borrowed/stolen real ID.

One of the most common methods for underage persons to try to get into an establishment is to use a borrowed ID of someone over 21. This is a form of a fake ID, and carries the same liabilities as a newly manufactured fake ID. In these instances, it’s important for bartenders and servers to review the ID and do everything to the best of their ability to not purposefully serve that minor.

7. There isn’t a system on the market that can catch 100% of fake IDs.

Any system that claims to catch 100% of fake IDs or uses the word “guarantee” is lying. A system can certainly assist in spotting some newly manufactured fake IDs, but many are so advanced that it would pass the test of a system reading a barcode on the back of an ID or doing an OCR scan of the front of the ID. Furthermore, a system wouldn’t register an ID as fake if it’s a borrowed/stolen real ID. The importance of human interaction with detecting a fake ID will always remain a priority.

8. An ID scanner will drastically reduce your liability of serving to minors.

While it’s true that an ID scanner won’t catch 100% of fake IDs, it still will drastically reduce, if not eliminate, your liability of serving to minors. When you use an ID scanner to scan every guest’s ID, you solve the two most common reasons that minors are served — 1) not checking the ID at all; 2) incorrectly calculating the age from the ID. Having a quick license scan double verifies the guest’s age with a simple color coded alert of whether they’re over 21 or under 21. It makes it foolproof even under high stress situations. It also serves as your paper trail to prove to authorities you didn’t purposefully serve that person and did the best of your ability to be compliant.

The New Normal in Customer Experience

Big brands in the restaurant and hospitality industry are jumping on what’s often known as the “Amazon model.” It’s the new normal, and it’s what your guests expect of every brand they interact with — including yours.

The Amazon model is where the brand becomes so good at anticipating and catering to customer desires that it forces other competitors to either evolve or dissolve. They know what a customer wants when the customer wants it, without the customer needing to think about it. It’s hyper-personal. It’s experience-driven. And it’s what drives your customers’ buying habits.

We at Vēmos have always believed this shift was inevitable for hospitality, and have been working with nightlife venues across the country to help them achieve this level of personalization. The venues we work with know this model isn’t limited to ecommerce, and they aren’t alone. It’s such an impactful model that McDonald’s recently shelled out $300 million for Dynamic Yield, a decision-logic company that essentially puts predictive abilities into McDonald’s drive-thru menus.


This is a big deal.

It’s a big deal for consumers. It’s a big deal for our industry. And it’s a big deal for you. We’re experiencing the biggest shift in what’s expected for hospitality experiences, and it’s important for your longevity to stay on top of this shift.

How McDonald’s is Using Tech to Fuel Customized Experiences

What started this acquisition was that McDonald’s identified they weren’t necessarily losing guests, they were seeing a drop in customer visits. They knew they needed to regain those visits, and the best way to do that is to take a page from online retailers. What online retailers have proven is that inspiring loyalty isn’t about programs and clubs. It simply comes down to catering to a specific individual’s needs. So that’s exactly what McDonald’s sought to bring into their stores.

According to QSR Magazine, “The new menuboards gives McDonald’s the chance to create a more personalized experience by varying outdoor digital drive-thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic, and trending menu items. It can instantly suggest and show additional products to a customer’s order based on their current selections.”

They tested the concept in select stores in March, and a mere 3 months later they discovered that it works. So much so that they’re beginning a mass rollout and expect it to be in 100% of US and Australia locations by the end of the year.


In those 3 months with the new menus in place, McDonald’s experienced:

  • An increase in the average check per customer
  • An increase in product upsales and menu item add-ons
  • A 6.5% increase in same-store sales – its best result in seven years
  • Consistency in providing customized experiences


  • But it wasn’t just the consumers’ experiences or their sales that were positively impacted. Their staff was as well. The order-taking process was proven to be more efficient because workers didn’t need to manually upsell guests – the tech did it for them. Their staff was faster at taking orders, faster at delivering orders, and it proved to serve as a consistent approach to customizing a guest’s experience.

    This model isn’t a passing fad. It’s now the backbone of customer service, and is becoming the expectation of your guests. We at Vēmos continue to build our system to ensure you’re equipped with the best insight to provide that personalized experience to your guests. Contact us to discover how you can leverage the data that already exists across your venue to achieve your own “Amazon model.”

    Build Loyalty by Checking IDs

    Checking IDs is commonly considered a necessary evil of serving alcohol. It’s not sexy. It’s not exciting. It’s just a step in the process.

    Until now.

    Checking IDs can actually be turned into a huge asset to your bar or nightclub, especially with the right technology. When you shift your thinking and equip yourself with the right tools, this very basic step becomes both your liability system as well as your customer loyalty program.


    The Legal Aspect

    The liability and security side of checking IDs is always the most top-of-mind, particularly when it comes to verifying whether a guest is of age to drink. And from that aspect alone, having your staff manually review IDs is sufficient. But your liability decreases drastically when you equip that staff member with an ID scanning system. Here’s why:

  • It reduces the chances of honest human errors. Humans make mistakes even with the best intentions, such as incorrectly calculating someone’s age based on their date of birth. Having a quick license scan double verifies the guest’s age with a simple color coded alert of whether they’re over 21 or under 21. It makes it foolproof even under high stress situations.

  • It assists with easily passing stings. When authorities are checking to make sure you’re compliant, they legally cannot do so by using a fake ID or purposefully deceiving you. That means most stings are a result of incorrect math or laziness. Having a policy with an ID scan system corrects any mental mistakes and confirms all IDs are reviewed.

  • It aids in detecting fakes. Fake IDs are getting more complex, so having an ID scan system is just one more layer in the process of detecting a fake. Plus, in a worse-case scenario when you accidentally serve a minor, having a digital system is your paper trail to prove to authorities you didn’t purposefully serve that person and did the best of your ability to be compliant.

  • It digitally tracks your 86 list. Your seasoned staff may know immediately if a guest is banned and shouldn’t be let in, but your new employees likely won’t. Rather than memorizing a photo book of those who aren’t allowed, an ID scan system will automatically alert your employee if a guest is banned from the venue. Plus, if an incident occurs during the night, your staff can easily add that guest to your ban list so you always have the most up-to-date information to maintain a safe environment.

  • It alerts you of potentially unruly patrons. Some ID scan systems, like us at Vēmos, allows you to opt into a city-wide ban list. This means you’ll be alerted if a guest is banned at a nearby location along with the reason they were banned. You then use this information to make educated decisions on whether or not you want to let that guest into your venue.


  • Maintaining a secure environment minimizes costs associated with insurance, repairs, fines, and enforcement. What’s more is it provides an enjoyable atmosphere for your guests, which translates to a more profitable establishment. Which leads to the next aspect: loyalty.


    The Loyalty Aspect

    The not-so-obvious side of an ID scanning system is that it can become your loyalty program. And it can serve you better than most standalone loyalty programs can. Why? Because every guest needs to have their ID to drink. Not every guest is going to have your loyalty card or app. In fact, few consumers today want to have a separate loyalty card for every establishment they ever visit, so you’ll only capture a small percentage of your daily patrons.


    With an ID scanning system, you’re able to collect data on all of your guests. This goes well beyond their name, age and other demographic information. We’re talking behavioral data — how often that guests comes, what time of day they check in, how many visits they’ve had this month, what types of events or promotions drive them there, the list goes on. And when you connect your ID scanning system to your point of sale system, you unlock a whole new layer of behavioral information. Not to mention you get a ton of invaluable insights on what factors drives your business and which triggers to pull to repeat that business.


    It’s with this information that you’re able to reward your guests for doing what they’re already doing — simply showing up — and begin to offer them personalized service based on their habits. Notice it’s their 5th time coming in this month? Comp their first drink. Haven’t seen them in a while? Reach out to them about a special you think they’d enjoy. It’s these types of actions that build connections between consumers and brands, and drive true loyalty to your establishment.



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    7 Ways to Run a More Productive Nightclub

    Running a successful nightclub isn’t easy. You have several different areas doing several different things, not to mention an array of staff members to account for. That’s why it’s more important than ever to stay connected, both from a personnel and an operations standpoint. When everything and everyone is connected, you’re able to run a productive, more profitable nightclub.

    Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to stay connected in today’s landscape, especially with efficient technology solutions. Here are 7 ways technology can improve your nightclub’s results.

    1. Integrate one platform that handles all areas

    There are technology platforms out there specific to the nightclub industry that streamlines operations into one centralized spot. This solution increases efficiency across the board by aggregating information from multiple sources while also uncovering key statistics about your business.

    2. Use a combination of pre-sales, upsales, and cross-sales to boost your club

    A goal of any business is to drive revenue and translate it to money in the bank. With a combination of pre-sales, upsales, and cross-sales, you’re able to not only drive revenue, but also increase the amount of revenue you’re already driving without adding any extra work to your daily operations.

    3. Partner with a digital ticketing system

    Digital ticketing platforms aren’t anything new, but the way in which you manage them is. Most third-party ticketing vendors don’t give you access to manage a ticketing page, to view sales before the event, to view data after the event, or even to collect money during the whole process. Put that power back in your hands, and work with ticketing vendors that:

    1. Give you your own event page without competing venues or advertisements from which your guests can purchase tickets
    2. Ensures payment goes directly through your own merchant services provider and into your bank account right when a guest buys a ticket online
    3. Has the ability for your promoters to sell tickets on the streets through an integrated mobile app
    4. Will give you full access to your data

    4. Manage the flow of tables and servers in one window view

    Using pen and paper or even email to manage reservations results in many errors, including double-booked tables. Instead, use a reservation management system that uses an interactive table map that displays reservations, guest information, and servers all in one window view. This streamlines your processes to make sure what’s getting marked down is true to what’s actually happening during the night, all while maximizing efficiency and accuracy.

    5. Get insight on guests to give them an even better experience

    A robust customer relationship management (CRM) system that’s tied to your point of sale and integrated into your one main platform allows you to give your guests a great experience. With your CRM system, you’re able to better identify guests in line, upsell guests before they walk through your door, provide personalized service, and improve marketing efforts. After all, nobody, especially your VIP guests, wants to be treated like a number. Tracking and understanding guest data allows you to treat every guest as a valuable guest.

    6. Review important data on how your club is performing to optimize it for future success

    The key to measuring the success of your club is by analyzing critical data – something a fully integrated technology solution can achieve. This system collects data from any area of your club, analyzes it, and presents it in easy-to-read charts in one central spot so you get a better understanding of:

    • How much money you made or lost over a given time period
    • Which days of the week are your busiest
    • What type of liquor you sell the most on a given day
    • How many tables are reserved a night
    • Which promoters are bringing in the most and best guests
    • Which servers are upselling the most and making the most tips
    • What types of promotions or events bring in the most traffic

    7. Better manage operations and employees to run the most successful club

    Continuing on the integrated system bandwagon, this same system has the capability to provide individual logins to each member of your team for them to better manage their job functionality. Plus, depending on that person’s role in your club, you get to choose what they can and can’t access, helping to keep your data more secure. Giving staff access (even if it’s limited access) to a technology solution that combines information in one spot is an effective way to get everyone on the same page and working together. This interconnectivity between operations and employees is what makes your club a well-run, highly enjoyable, and highly profitable venue.

    Throw a Great Party in Just 9 Steps

    A great party = an audience. And an audience = revenue generation. In just 9 steps, learn how to throw a good party for your guests while also generating profit.

    1. Know your audience

    The people you are throwing the party for should define your business model. This means you need to know your customers inside and out. It’s not enough to have a basic understanding of only demographics. You need to discover their idea of a good party, the music they like to hear, the alcohol they like to drink, and even the servers they prefer. Work with a partner who can offer these valuable insights.

    2. Plan your event

    Planning is one of the most important aspects of throwing an event. First you need to identify what you want to get out of the event, and plan accordingly to achieve it. The best questions to answer during this step are:

    • What is your goal?
    • What is your budget, and how much can you spend in each area of the event?
    • Is this going to be an event tied to a holiday or time of year?
    • How will you get the word out about this event?

    Once you answer these questions, you have a better way of moving forward. You know exactly how may promoters you need, what staff members are responsible for, how much money you can spend on talent, what type of talent you need to hire, if you can offer drink specials – the list goes on.

    3. Hire the right talent

    Talent is a big portion of what lures people into your venue. But you need to make sure you hire the right talent. Do your guests prefer a headlining DJ or a local band? What type of lighting and sound equipment do you need to enhance the experience for your guests? Stay within your budget and plan for your audience to maximize profits and achieve your goal.

    4. Price tickets accordingly

    When it comes to a good party, it’s the experience – not the deal – that attracts guests. It’s critical to understand what your customers will pay in return for a good party. Make sure you don’t sell yourself short and maximize your revenue when at all possible. People understand and have been programmed to pay top dollar for major events, within reason. Take note, not advantage, of these opportunities if you seek long-term success.

    5. Get the word out

    You can’t spread the word until you’ve defined your audience. After all, it’s much easier to market and promote your party when you know exactly whom you’re trying to reach. The best strategy is to always keep your customers informed while maintaining a clear and consistent message in all your efforts. Use a multi-channel strategy to get the word out, such as text-message marketing, printed collateral, email updates, and social media. Just using one channel – such as printing flyers – will not do. Diversify your efforts, track returns, and adjust focus based on results.

    6. Generate revenue, even before the day of the event

    Pre-sales, pre-sales, pre-sales.. Every event or venue, regardless of size, benefits from the pre-sale of tickets and inventory. The best way to sell tickets in advance is to get everyone on board with a single platform. There are platforms available that allow you to create and manage an online event page, publish the page for consumers to purchase tickets, have the page integrate with a mobile app for promoters to sell directly from their devices, and track ticket sales and results along the way. This type of platform syncs all promoters and marketing efforts together to maximize ticket sales and revenue.

    7. Avoid double-booked VIP tables

    The best way to keep track of reservations to mitigate double-booked table is through a central technology platform to which everyone has access. This means any of your employees or partners can log into the system with their personal username and password, add a guest reservation for a specific night, identify remaining tables for the night and select the most appropriate one. Tables that are already reserved won’t show up in the system, which means they’re never double-booked. Not only that, but the person who refers a guest for a reservation (ex: a promoters) is the person who makes the reservation. They don’t need to email anybody to make it happen or jot it down on a piece of paper to hand to the hostess. It’s all streamlined and centralized to maximize efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction.

    8. Be a good host

    Your event efforts must continue, and perhaps even spike, during the night of the event. Treat everyone like VIPs, from the bottle buyer to the general admission guest. Focus on service levels and make them feel appreciated no matter what. Your guests will not only continually come back, but they’ll also tell everyone they know about their experience. This sets you up for success for the long run.

    9. Analyze results to better prepare for the next event

    The only way to know whether your event was a success is to analyze the data. If you got on board with the aforementioned platform, your life will be significantly easier since it will all be in one spot – not to mention the data will be broken down by individual guests and staff members to truly identify areas of strength and weakness. Once you know how well you did, you’re able to better set yourself up for success for your next event.

    At the end of the day, revenue is a byproduct of the value of your party Make sure you first and foremost throw a good party, then be constantly aware of your guests, surprise them from time to time, and treat them with the service they deserve to keep them coming back.

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