Support our work by becoming our Patron! Learn More
How to Handle Drunk or Intoxicated Guests in Hotels, Effective ways to professionally handle drunken and intoxicated guests.

How To Handle a Drunk or Intoxicated Guest?

SOP Number: Front Office SOP – 62

Department: Front office - General

Date Issued: 01-Jan-2011

Time to Train: 30 Minutes

Purpose of this SOP:

The front office team should be familiar and trained with the process of handling an intoxicated or drunk guest. The primary objective should be to avoid any injuries to the guest and inconvenience to other guests and also to follow the hotel defined standard while handling intoxicated guests.

Handling a normal guest in the hotel itself is a very important and difficult task, and handling a guest who is drunk and completely out of his senses is next to impossible and very difficult. The Front Office / Bell Desk / Concierge team should be ready to handle such a situation as good as possible mentioned this process.

Handling the Drunken/Intoxicated Guest Standard Procedure:

Because handling drunken and intoxicated guests is very difficult, there is a certain attribute you have to possess:

  • Do your best to deal with each situation without putting yourself at risk.

  • Act politely.

  • Always stay calm.

  • Don’t argue with the intoxicated guest.

  • Don’t embarrass the guest, especially in front of other people.

  • Deal with the situation in a calm, friendly way.

  • Speak to the person directly, and firmly explain that what they are doing is unacceptable.

  • Listen and empathize with your guest.

  • Acknowledge your guest's anger or frustration, but also remind them that you are responsible for their safety and don’t want to see them get hurt. 

  • Invite the problem guest to an area away from other guests, where you can talk.

  • Talk softly and lead him away from the public area.

  • Point out that if they were sober they would agree that what they are doing is a bad idea.

  • If the drunk guest is behaving rudely then the last option should be to call the security officer but try and handle the situation very calmly.

  • The duty manager or the immediate supervisor should take the drunken guest away from the reception/front desk area.

  • Make the guest realize that this is not the right way to talk and then acting very calmly and talking very politely with him the supervisor can escort him to his room

  • The manager can also indulge the guest in some other thoughts and just keep the guest calm and as soon as possible send him back to his room.

  • If the guest has come to a restaurant or bar and if you decide to ask this person to leave, remember that you are still responsible for their safety (call a cab, get someone to drive them home, or if the situation gets out of control – call the security officer or police).

Sample conversation between front desk staff and a drunk or intoxicated guest:

Front Desk Staff: “good evening sir, how may I assist you?”

Guest: “I want to use the swimming pool now.”

Front Desk Staff:MR. David, unfortunately, swimming is only from 06 AM to 07 PM”

Guest: “No, I am just ordering you to give access to the swimming pool now.”

Front Desk Staff: “I am very sorry to say sir after midnight the pool will be under routine maintenance hence we won't be able to give access to the swimming pool. My sincere apologies to you Sir.”

Guest: “how dare you talk to me like that just call your manager I will talk to him. You don’t know who I am. I will make sure you open the swimming pool for me, just do as I say." 

Training Summary questions:

Q1. What is the purpose of this SOP?

Q2. Who is to handle the guest in case you are unable to handle the situation?

Q3. Is it OK to argue with the drunk guest?

Q4. What are the attributes which you need to possess while handling the drunk guest?

Q5. What needs to be done if the guest asks for the manager?

Augustine's Avatar


Authored and managed by Augustine, a hotelier with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He has a 3-year diploma with 'honors' from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute and a Bachelor of Computer Application - BCA Degree.