Host responsibility is the term given to how you, as a licence holder, will ensure you operate your premises in a responsible manner making it a safe drinking environment.
Host responsibility is the term given to how you, as a licence holder, will ensure you operate your premises in a responsible manner making it a safe drinking environment. This is achieved through:
the provision and promotion of food, non and low alcohol drinks;
serving alcohol with care and responsibility;
responsible approaches to dealing with intoxicated and underage people; and
the arrangement of safe transport options.
If you do not follow your host responsibility policy, you may commit an offence under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, such as:
sell or supply liquor to intoxicated persons; or
allow any person to become intoxicated on licensed premises; or
allow drunkenness or disorderly behaviour on licensed premises.
The Health Promotion Agency's website has a variety of templates and useful tools for host responsibility.
It is an offence for anyone to do anything that encourages, or is likely to encourage, people to consume alcohol excessively. This includes licensees, duty managers and other staff.
You may not promote alcohol at a price that implies that it is 25% or more below the normal price. So, if you are advertising a Happy Hour or similar promotion the advertised reduced price can be up to 24.99% cheaper than the usual price. The only exception is where you are only advertising the promotion inside the premises, so that it cannot be seen or heard from outside of the premises. This includes promoting discounts on social media (e.g. Facebook), other websites (e.g. GrabOne), inside other premises (e.g. another bar or a backpackers), on the radio, in printed media and so on.
Promotions that include free alcohol are also not to be advertised anywhere so that they can be seen (or heard) outside the premises. So, you can no longer advertise such things as “free drink on arrival” or “free bottle of wine with four people dining”. However, premises holding an off-license can advertise free samples for consumption on the premises.
Under the Act, promotions that advertise a prize, or any reward in the form of goods and services, that require the purchase of alcohol, are also prohibited. So, you cannot run promotions that require patrons to purchase a drink to go into the draw to win a prize. The only exemption to this is where the promotion can only be seen inside the premises and is limited to alcohol bought in those premises.
Note: Under the Gambling (Prohibited Property) Regulations 2005, it is illegal to offer alcohol as a prize in a raffle or similar competition. Further information about sales promotions and prohibited prizes is available on the Department of Internal Affairs website.
Remember that any promotion, whether advertised inside or outside of your premises, that can be seen to be likely to encourage people to consume alcohol excessively is contrary to the Act.
National Guidelines on Alcohol Promotions
Off-licensed premises (2.6MB pdf)
This guidance sheet is intended to aid understanding of the advertising, promotions, activities and events that are likely to be considered acceptable or unacceptable in off-licensed premises under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. The Act has offences and penalties for certain 'irresponsible' alcohol promotions or activities.
On-licensed premises (170KB pdf)
This guidance sheet is intended to aid understanding of the advertising, promotions, activities and events that are likely to be considered acceptable or unacceptable in on-licensed premises under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. The Act has offences and penalties for certain 'irresponsible' alcohol promotions or activities.