Tasting rooms and Facility tours: Keeping the guests safe
Most breweries, wineries or distilleries offer tours and a tasting room where guests can enjoy a sample of the product or purchase drinks made on-site. With this offering comes a new set of exposures than a typical beverage manufacturer would have to deal with. If you own a brewery, distillery or winery be sure to closely evaluate your operation to ensure visitor safety.
Tours are a terrific way to grow interest in your business, help guests understand how the product is made and further engage them in your craft. Use caution when creating your facility tour to ensure guest safety.
Here are some items to consider when planning your tour route, tasting room or taproom space:
- Use nonskid flooring as much as you can, and clean up any spills as quickly as possible.
- Try to utilize level flooring areas to avoid falls, if there are changes in elevation, make sure all steps are marked and well lit.
- Be sure that all handrails are secured, that stair treads are properly installed and that carpeting is secured and free of tears.
- Inspect the walkways around the exterior of the establishment (including parking areas) and outdoor gathering areas to confirm they are in good condition and well lit.
- Use surveillance cameras when possible.
- Try to assign guides for all tours, and train them in safety procedures.
- Limit the number of guests per tour.
- Warn guests to keep a safe distance from operational traffic, moving machinery and hot surfaces.
- It is recommended to not permit guests to carry food or beverages with them during the tour.
- Post warnings and liability disclaimers at the tour site and on your website to assure visitors understand potential physical and operational hazards.
- Provide safety gear, such as safety glasses or hearing protection if necessary.
- Be sure to follow any state or local safety regulations or health restrictions, including occupancy restrictions for fire evacuation.
The goodwill you can earn from allowing visitors to learn the process and taste the product can result in great dividends for breweries, distilleries and wineries. Be sure to take the simple steps toward protecting your operations.