Last modified on June 8th, 2022 at 10:37 am

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Every 68 seconds, a woman, man or child is sexually assaulted in the United States. In 8 out of 10 cases, the perpetrator is someone known to the victim – such as an acquaintance, or a current or former romantic partner. Given these scary statistics, it is little wonder that so many organizations are working hard to reduce the rate of sexual violence in the U.S.

One such initiative is known as the “Angel Shot.” Put simply, the Angel Shot is something that a patron can order to let staff at a bar or restaurant know that they feel unsafe. In this way, employees can intercede and potentially head off a dangerous encounter.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, awareness about sexual violence is at an all-time high in the United States. If you own a bar or restaurant, establishing an Angel Shot protocol may help to keep your guests safe. It can also be a great way to show your customers that you care.

What Is the Angel Shot?

The Angel Shot isn’t actually a shot – or a drink at all. Instead, it’s a code that patrons can use to let you or your staff know that they need help or that they are in a difficult situation.

The Angel Shot arose from the “Ask for Angela” campaign that started in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom. This campaign was designed to prevent sexual assault by urging people who felt unsafe on a date or around another patrol to “Ask for Angela.” When staff got the request, they would call a cab or order a rideshare and help the individual leave the situation discreetly – and safely.

In the United States, the “Ask for Angela” campaign is known as the Angel Shot. The way that it works is simple: if a patron asks for an Angel Shot, they feel unsafe in some way. The staff can respond by helping them get out of there, or even by removing another patron who is making that person feel uncomfortable.

There are three versions of the Angel Shot. Depending on what a guest orders, bar or restaurant employees will know what to do:

  1. Neat or straight up: the guest needs an escort to their car;
  2. On ice: the server should get the patron a taxi or an Uber; or
  3. With lime or a twist: staff should call the police.

These are the basic formulations for the Angel Shot, but each establishment may have their own options to signal something different. For example, a patron may order the Angel Shot in a way that indicates that another guest is in an unsafe situation and cannot make the order themselves.

Typically, a bar or restaurant advertises Angel Shots by placing signage in women’s restrooms. These signs let patrons know that they can order an Angel Shot if they need help getting out of an unsafe situation. In addition, the concept has gone somewhat viral, so that many people already know that they can ask for an Angel Shot if they need help.

Why Should Your Bar or Restaurant Use the Angel Shot?

If you operate a bar or restaurant, you probably already take a number of steps to ensure your guests’ safety. For example, you may put up signs to indicate a wet floor, or have your servers warn customers that a plate is hot before setting it down. Implementing the Angel Shot concept is another way to keep guests safe.

There is an epidemic of sexual violence in the United States – and most of these crimes are committed by someone known to the victim. While neither you nor your staff can prevent all potential sexual assaults, setting up a system like the Angel Shot is a relatively easy, low cost way to offer an additional measure of safety.

The Angel Shot costs little to nothing to implement. At most, you will need to put up some signs in the restroom(s), and talk to your staff about what it means. From there, it is simply a matter of responding if a customer asks for this drink.

Doing good can also benefit your business. Many customers are happy to learn that a bar or restaurant is being proactive when it comes to preventing sexual violence. If you search “Angel Shot” on social media sites like Instagram, you will likely find a number of pictures of signs in bars and restaurants throughout the country.

However, the Angel Shot is not without its critics. Typically, signs about the Angel Shot are posted in women’s bathrooms – which makes sense, given statistics on sexual violence. Of course, women are not the only potential victims of sexual assault. By only posting Angel Shot signs in women’s restrooms, men and non-binary people may not be aware of this option if they are feeling unsafe on a date.

The popularity of the Angel Shot campaign may also make it less effective. After all, if everyone knows about it, then it is no longer a covert way for a person in trouble to ask for help. Similarly, if you post signs about the Angel Shot in all bathrooms, potential predators will be alerted to its meaning.

These issues don’t mean that the Angel Shot is a bad idea, however. It still may be an effective way for your bar or restaurant to intervene on behalf of a guest in a bad situation – and prevent them from coming to harm.

At a minimum, your staff should receive basic training about what an Angel Shot is. That way, if a customer asks a server or bartender for this type of drink, they will know that this guest is asking for help. They can then go to a manager and get guidance on how to handle the situation.

Helping You Build Your Brand

There are a lot of things to take into consideration if you own a bar or restaurant, from figuring out licenses and permits to designing a floor plan to deciding if you should implement the Angel Shot. Marketing your business doesn’t have to be complicated, particularly when it comes to your custom disposable products.

Budget Branders works hard to help small to medium sized businesses succeed. We offer custom branded coffee cups, paper bags, coffee sleeves, plastic cups and more in sizes and quantities that make sense for your business.

We are committed to affordable prices and exceptional services. If you’d like to learn more, fill out our online contact form. You can also click the live chat button to request a free quote.