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Popular B.C. burger bar fined $7,000 for serving minor

The fine decision said ID training policies at Port Moody's Romer's Burger Bar were confusing and staff inadequately trained to assess customers.
A Port Moody restaurant has been fined $7,000 for serving alcohol to a minor.

B.C.’s Cannabis and Liquor Regulation Branch has fined a Port Moody burger bar $7,000 for serving a minor.

Branch delegate Nerys Poole heard a minor agent working with an inspector went to Romer's Burger Bar Oct. 4, 2023.

In her April 9 decision, Poole said the inspector entered the restaurant and then texted a second inspector to tell the minor agent to enter the restaurant. A server took an order for a beer from the minor and then returned to confirm the order.

“At no time did the server or any other employee request ID of the minor agent,” Poole said.

The inspector then gestured to the minor to leave, took photos of a beer, asked to speak to the manager and informed him he would be receiving a notice of contravention.

The inspector requested and received the Serving It Right certificates for both the server and the manager.

“She stated this was definitely a one-time mistake on her part,” Poole said. “She had never had an incident such as serving a minor before.”

The server attributed the mistake to lack of sleep and worries over school projects. She said she thought she was going to lose her job but she did not.

The manager testified about the training on liquor regulations, saying staff must understand policies on who to ID, what ID is acceptable and liquor limitations on amount to serve.

Also, he said new staff are required to read through an orientation package and to sign off on a document saying they understand all policies and procedures of the restaurant.

Poole found the company’s training on ID policies was confusing and that staff were not adequately trained on how to assess customers.

“I find that the licensee has failed to implement clear guidelines to ensure staff understand how to assess customers and when to request ID,” Poole said.

She said a checklist for people training new employees would assist in ensuring key matters are covered. She also suggested quizzes for employees on company policies.