The National Restaurant Association (NRA) congratulated Granite City Food and Brewery on receiving the 2014 VIBE Vista Operator Award for Best Responsible Alcohol Service Program. Granite City received the award at the VIBE (Very Important Beverage Executives) conference in Las Vegas this week. The award is sponsored by the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe Alcohol program.

Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. develops and operates two casual dining concepts:  Granite City Food & Brewery and Cadillac Ranch All American Bar & Grill.  Granite City Food & Brewery opened in St. Cloud, Minnesota, in June 1999 and now includes 30 restaurants in 13. Cadillac Ranch All American Bar & Grills was founded in 2009 and includes five locations in five states. Granite City is known for its handcrafted beers made on-site through its patented brewing process, Fermentus Interruptus, which makes micro brewing for multiple locations more efficient.

“We congratulate Granite City for their hard work and dedication in training their staff to sell and serve alcohol responsibly,” says William Weichelt, director of the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe Program. “They have worked with our ServSafe team to ensure their employees are properly prepared to handle any situation with the care and safety of their customers in mind.”

The ServSafe Alcohol program prepares bartenders, servers, hosts, bussers, valets, bouncers, and all front-of-house staff to effectively and safely handle alcohol distribution. Alcohol service training starts as soon as a new front-of-house team member is hired.

Since adopting ServSafe Alcohol, Granite City went from having 10 percent of its staff trained in proper alcohol service to a 98 percent completion rate.

Granite City now promotes and supports responsible alcohol service through Server Training Cards, training videos, monthly tips from the CEO and Training Team, and POS messages on ID checks.

The company’s new store opening process also includes a full day of ServSafe Alcohol training for managers and staff to ensure that all employees are properly trained in each state and to promote its continued company-wide strategy of selling and serving alcohol responsibly.

The VIBE Vista Operator Award winners are selected by a panel of beverage professionals, including the VIBE Advisory Council members. The award for responsible beverage alcohol service highlights customized server training programs that emphasize ongoing reinforcement of training and a culture of responsible alcohol sales.

ServSafe Alcohol offers training solutions to restaurant employees in responsible alcohol service. The training program teaches employees about their personal responsibility, and how to recognize signs of intoxication in guests and manage service accordingly.