Retail Drinks has a demonstrated commitment to the responsible promotion, sale, and supply of alcohol beverage products.

To ensure the reputation of our sector, we promote standards of operation for our members beyond the required standards of legal compliance, implementing a range of voluntary product and service control initiatives, which are adopted by members and the broader industry.

We are also committed to the safety of our members’ staff and their customers.

It is well reported that retail crime, including in retail liquor stores is on the rise, and Retail Drinks has responded to growing concern and calls from members to take proactive steps to meet this challenge.

There is no standard industry-wide approach to staff safety in the face of crime and dysfunctional behaviour, and member capacity varies significantly. Equally, there is a need for better community awareness of the issues, and governments and law enforcement agencies can benefit from the insight available from the retail liquor sector to improve their policies and practices.

After several months of planning and input from a variety of government and industry stakeholders, we are proud to officially be launching the Safe to Serve Program.

Safe to Serve joins and complements Retail Drinks’ comprehensive suite of Industry Responsibility initiatives, including Choose to DrinkWise, ID25, Don’t Buy It For Them, the Product Ranging Guidelines, and our global first Online Alcohol Sale & Delivery Code of Conduct.

The Program aims to transform Australia’s retail liquor industry by fostering a culture of safety, respect, and responsibility. Its primary goal is to create a safer environment for both retail liquor workers and customers through three core pillars – education and training, community awareness, and public policy advocacy.

To launch the program, Retail Drinks has developed the Safe to Serve Toolkit – a practical and easy to implement resource, which has been specifically tailored for individual business owners and covers essential topics to help enhance store safety.

A key feature of the toolkit includes a bespoke self-assessment tool and priority checklist to help liquor store owners, managers, and staff to harden their businesses. There’s also new in-store collateral to raise customer awareness of security measures in place in-store and setting behavioural expectations. The toolkit also includes crime data, links to resources, and key contact numbers to further assist businesses.

Customers will begin to see Safe to Serve materials in-store in the coming weeks, which will visually complement existing ID25 and Don’t Buy It For Them materials.

For more information about Retail Drinks’ Safe to Serve Program, visit

This article was written by Michael Waters, CEO, Retail Drinks Australia, for the December issue of National Liquor News.

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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