What is an Angel Shot? Everything You Need to Know

I’m sure you’re always looking for ways to make your customers feel safe and have a nice time if you own a restaurant or a bar. There are times when one guest can make another feel uncomfortable or even put them at risk.

For example, you might have seen a woman getting unwanted attention or even harassed by another customer while out for the night. It’s a serious issue, and according to a YouGov survey from 2021, more than 80% of women want to see safety improvements at bars, restaurants, and pubs.

However, there is a new trend that is gaining popularity all over the world, and it is known as the angel shot. Basically, it’s a way for someone to signal that they need help or feel unsafe without attracting attention.

So, if you want to make your institution a safer place for everyone, you might think about using the angel shot system. Find out more about it and how to make it work for your bar or restaurant by reading on.

An Angel shot is a codeword used to alert bar staff when you need assistance. With the rise of online dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr, the initial stages of courting entered  the digital domain, and would-be predators had a digital persona to hide behind.

Once face-to-face, alarm bells began to ring, and people (overwhelmingly women) needed a safe way out of the situation.

It derives from bar programs in which women who feel they are at risk of sexual assault could ask if Angela was working. The bartenders, seeing what this meant, would then arrange for an Uber or a taxi to take the lady home safely.

This evolved into the Angel Shot, bringing with it some crucial options in the fight against sexual assaults.

What Types of Angel Shots Are Available?

Depending on the type of assistance required, people who order an angel shot may use additional terms to converse with the bartender.

There may be different variations of angel  shots at different restaurants. An angel shot, on the other hand, indicates that you require assistance, regardless of what other terms may be recognized.

The following are some other terms people may use:

  1. Straight Up or Neat: The customer wants to be escorted to their car.
  2. On Ice or the Rocks: The customer requests that the bartender discreetly arrange for a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle.
  3. Twisted/Lemon/Lime: The consumer believes they are in immediate danger and requests that the police be called.

An Angel Shot Order: What Should Bartenders Do?

When a customer requests an angel shot, the bartender must believe they are in an unsafe situation. The bartender should assist the customer in getting safe. Some customers may smile, act amused, or even joke to make the situation appear normal and not alert to the potential threat. If an angel shot is ordered, bartenders should act quickly.

If a customer requests an angel shot, a bartender may do any of the following:

  1. Notify the authorities
  2. Order a ride for the requestor.
  3. Distract the person or group of people from the ordering customer.
  4. Escort the customer to their vehicle

If a consumer orders an angel shot with no further directions, you have to choose how to handle the situation. You can ask the consumer how they liked their shot. They may respond “with lime" or another version. This reflects the level of assistance required (see the section headed “What Types of Angel Shots Are Available" above).

While waiting for authorities to arrive or until they can escort someone to their ride, most bartenders will serve a shot glass or drink with water, juice, or soda to a customer. This gives the impression that the person who offered a drink will not alert the potential abuser to take action and remove them from the situation.

Some customers may understand the notion of an angel shot but are unsure how to request precisely what they want in the order. It is advisable to grin and appear to accept the order. Get the consumer a non-alcoholic drink and find a way to get the person alone to ask them what they need. If you are unable to contact the person, notify the authorities.

As a bartender, your customer's safety comes first. Taking the right action when someone claims an “angel shot" could save their life.

What Are the Benefits of Serving It in Your Restaurant or Bar?

Every 68 seconds, a woman, man, or kid is sexually abused in the United States. In 8 out of 10 cases, the victim knows the perpetrator, such as a former romantic partner or an acquaintance.

It may not be possible for you and your team to prevent these potential sexual assaults, but you can add an extra level of security by setting up a system like “Angel Shot,” which is simple to use and cheap. If a customer asks for this drink, your staff simply needs to respond promptly.

Participating in this noble initiative would not only provide you with moral gratification, but it would also benefit your business greatly. Many customers are more likely to visit a pub or restaurant that takes proactive measures to avoid sexual offenses. In this way, you can reach out to a consumer base that is afraid of such sexual violence.

How Does Angel Shot Work?

“Angel Shot" implementation requires little time and effort, and  the system can be simply implemented at your restaurant or bar.   

1) Display signage  

You must provide a set of  detailed instructions that explain how the system operates. Please keep the message short and sweet so that the intended customers can grasp it quickly. Limit the number of options, such as “Neat" or “With a twist," as too many choices may lead to confusion.  

You can either place the signage near the women's restroom or in both the women's and men's restrooms. You can examine your customers and their challenges to determine what is best for your bar or restaurant.  

2) Train your employees 

You must instruct your restaurant staff on what to do when a customer wants an “Angel Short." For example, if a customer orders an 'Angel shot with ice', the bartender must arrange for a taxi and then skillfully slip the woman a note confirming the ride is ready.  

However, not every member of the staff should be able to manage an “Angel Short" order. However, they should be aware of which employees have been educated for this purpose and should be able to refer to them when the shot is ordered. 

Is the angel shot system effective?

This is more difficult to quantify.

The issue isn't whether the angel shot system works or not; it's that people don't usually report on such things. For pieces such as this, there are no databases filled with statistics.

We can only speculate on the value of the angel shot method, run it through a list of pros and cons, and explore the possibilities.

Whether it is effective or not, one thing is certain: sexual assault cannot be repaired with a code word. It's a community effort, a grass-roots conversation about correct behavior and respect for one another, to get everyone on the same page and work together to create a safer environment.

There is also a perception that systems like the angel shot system shift the burden of responsibility to the victim in order to avoid being assaulted, rather than holding predators responsible.

How to Promote Angel Shot Awareness

Promoting the angel shot system requires caution.   

You must ensure that  promotion reaches the right people while at the same time remaining out of the view of the wrong people.   

As previously stated, the initiative is primarily aimed at protecting women from sexual assault; hence, a reasonable (and thus far popular) place to promote it would be the female bathroom. Posters with  easy-to-follow guidelines are a smart place to start, letting customers know not just that the system exists but also how to use it.   

Social media is also a viable choice.

Depending on how many followers you have, it's a really simple approach to delivering important information in front of a relevant audience.   

And, while it may contradict my earlier statement (keeping it out of sight of the wrong people), it may turn out to be a strength after all. If a potential predator notices that your business has an angel shot system, they might be deterred from visiting in the first place. 

Get insights on interesting topics like this by  getting in touch with Restaurantify. 

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