I serve responsibly!

Poslužujem odgovorno!
Coordination of producers, importers and distributors of spirits
2020 > 2022
#AwarenessRaising #On-trade #StaffTraining


To address underage drinking by developing, implementing, and promoting a responsible serving initiative.

To educate and raise awareness of the HoReCa sector that it is forbidden to sell and serve alcohol to underage people (under 18’s)

To reduce alcohol-related harm at national level while focusing on activities that will help to eliminate underage alcohol consumption


According to the published data of the European survey on smoking, drinking, drug use and other addictions among students (ESPAD) for 2019, alcohol consumption remains a highly prevalent behaviour among adolescents in Croatia.  The data shows underage drinking is higher than the average across Europe with 90% of adolescents having tried alcohol at least once in their life.  Also, Croatians try their first drink very young; 40% had tried their first alcoholic beverage by 13 or younger and that every third teenager (15 years old) drinks alcohol once a week.  Such prevalence of underage consumption makes a strong case for the programme, which will address this problem by educating on-trade personnel about responsible serving.

The programme is designed as a long-term initiative, which will provide practical assistance to on-trade personnel and help them achieve a more responsible approach in respect of the legal purchase age.  Each year, the aim is to include more partners and reach out to more companies and personnel in the on-trade and off-trade sectors.

The programme was initially conceived to include on-site interactive workshops; training of sales representatives to communicate the programmes key messages and support materials including leaflets and “I serve responsibly” badges.  However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the programme was first put on hold and then adapted to include only online training.

The online training was developed in cooperation with Algebra, the largest private educational organisation in Croatia.  It can be accessed via the consumer information website or directly to the Algebra platform.  After registration, the participant receives an email with a link to confirm registration and access to the training.

The 20-minute training focuses on the importance of responsible drinking and preventing underage alcohol consumption.  It covers issues such as compliance with the law (e.g. legal age limits for serving and selling of alcoholic beverages, and the consequences of violating it), the responsibility of sales staff and responsible consumption (offers tips for checking customers age and advice in dealing with difficult situations).   At the end of the training, participants can download a certificate of completion, which they are encouraged to display at their workplace.  Establishments that access and complete the training are highlighted in media articles to promote the project.

The programme was executed between September and December 2022.


Hrvatska obrtnička komora (Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts)

HUP Udruga ugostiteljstva i turizma (Association for HoReCa and Tourism within HUP – Croatian Employers’ Association)

Hrvatska udruga turizma (Croatian tourism Association)


2022: Initially, the project was intended to reach HoReCa establishments from four Croatian cities, however establishments from 12 cities received training (Brod, Dubrovnik, Krk-Baška, Opatija, Osijek, Rijeka, Šibenik, Sinj, Slavonski, Split, Vukovar, Zadar and Zagreb).  41 HoReCa establishments completed the training.  8 PR articles reached around 20,000 people.  2 native articles reached around 35,500 people. 

Some companies provided positive feedback regarding the training, for example, the Hilton hotel chain praised it and asked if they could include it among the standard trainings that they offer to their employees.

2020: The roll-out of the programme was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The first two workshops that were due to take place on 19 and 31 March 2020 had to be cancelled.  

Measurement & evaluation

An evaluation will be carried out at the end of 2023 and compared with the survey made in the pilot phase.

A pilot survey was carried out among HoReCa (Hotel, Restaurant, Café) professionals at the annual congress organised by HOK in November 2019.  It was designed to find out the level of knowledge of the legal obligations of the personnel when it comes to serving alcohol to minors and current practice.  The survey results will be used as a benchmark against which the success of the programme will be evaluated.  From 100 valid responses, the survey found that:

  • Almost 50% believed that beer and wine are less harmful than spirits.
  • 78% felt properly informed about the provisions of the Hospitality Service Act defining serving alcohol to minors and that they follow all of the provisions of the law. 
  • The hospitality sector strongly believed (83%) that joint effort from policy-makers, businesses and other stakeholders is needed in order to reduce the underage alcohol consumption and alcohol access to minors.
  • 81% supported awareness and prevention campaigns by the alcohol industry, hospitality and tourism sector, which signals their readiness for future cooperation.
  • Almost 90% said that signs about the prohibition of serving alcohol to minors are prominently displayed in their premises.  Almost 50% said that they display taxi numbers and public transportation schedules.  However, only 40% engaged in regular staff training in responsible serving.
  • 51% were confident that their staff could identify drunk people and minors, and 67% strongly believed that they didn’t serve alcohol to minors.

Initial feedback from political stakeholders such as with officials from Ministry of agriculture and Ministry of finance has been positive.




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