Mystery shopper program: RSA practices

After a successful trial in 2014/15, the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation's (OLGR) mystery shopper program is back in 2016. This program will again be conducted across South East Queensland and will also include some regional venues.

The goal of the RSA mystery shopper program

The goal of the program is to assess and enhance responsible service of alcohol (RSA) practices within Queensland licensed venues. It is to educate licensees and staff, not penalise them. The tests are designed to identify issues with responsible service of alcohol within a licensed venue including:

  • supplying alcohol to persons showing signs of undue intoxication
  • allowing persons showing signs of undue intoxication to consume alcohol.

An objective of the program is for licensees and OLGR to work together to resolve any RSA issues that may be identified within licensed venues.

Conducting the RSA mystery shopper program

Similar to the trial conducted in 2014/15, the mystery shopper program will be coordinated by an external contractor. The tests will involve trained actors and use RSA scenarios developed by OLGR, with input from members of the Queensland Police Service and the contractor. The tests will cover a range of licensed venue types and environments, including entertainment precincts and suburbs.

At the completion of the service tests the contractor will evaluate and report the results to OLGR.

Using results from the mystery shopper program

At the end of this year's program, OLGR and the external contractor will provide feedback to individual licensees on the mystery shopper visits to their venues. The outcomes will not result in enforcement action but will be an opportunity for OLGR and licensees to work together to resolve specific RSA issues. These findings will also guide OLGR and industry in improving RSA by licensees more generally, including through raising awareness of what positively and negatively influences the responsible service of alcohol by industry staff.

Findings from the 2014/15 mystery shopper trial

The results from the 2014/15 trial identified RSA issues in 38 per cent of venues visited.

Key findings from the trial that licensees should consider are:

  • high-risk venues and venues in safe night precincts are more likely to experience RSA issues
  • environmental factors, such as poor lighting, higher noise levels and higher levels of crowding inside a venue negatively impact on RSA compliance
  • RSA issues are less likely to occur in venues where a supervisor or bar manager is present behind the bar.

RSA campaigns and training resources

Learnings from the mystery shopper exercises inform the messaging in our 'Follow the law' and 'Behind the bar' campaigns. Licensees, staff and training organisations can access our online refresher courses and quizzes, and interactive RSA training videos free-of-charge.