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Are You Being A Responsible Retailer?

Ensure all employees are Compliant - Read this short article on the importance of training and educating your employees on being compliant when it comes to checking a customers identification for the puchase of alcohol and tobacco products.

Do Employees working in a liquor store have to show proof of being a “Responsible Retailer” and knowing the proper identification protocol? It's sometimes difficult to understand what you're allowed to do and not do as an employee of a retail liquor store. What does being compliant mean, and does every employee have to show proof? The answer is complicated, so let's find out in this article. If you own and operate an alcohol establishment (i.e., liquor store), it's important to be aware of the requirements that your state may have for liquor licensing. You may need to make sure that all employees are fully trained, knowledgeable, and compliant.

What is meant by being Compliant? Responsible Retailer training is a standard that retailers must meet in order to sell alcohol. Essentially, it's a level of knowledge that proves that an alcohol establishment is responsible and accountable for its employees and the safety of its customers when it comes to the sale of alcohol. Why is this important? Because being compliant ensures that your employees are properly trained in alcohol safety protocols and able to handle customer complaints calmly and effectively. In addition, it can protect your business from legal liabilities should something happen while an employee is working.

Completing the Responsible Retailer training is not required for all employees working in an alcohol establishment, but it is recommended for those who work with or sell alcohol (sales employees, front-end cashiers, service desk, and all levels of management). The goal of the training is to make sure that alcohol is sold in a safe and responsible way, and that employees are knowledgeable about how to properly check identification. Specifically, how to recognize and avoid selling to underaged shoppers.

How to get your employees trained? If you're looking to offer Responsible Retailer training for your employees, TRIFT offers on-line classes specifically designed and developed for liquor stores. Visit TRIFT or contact us at

Is Responsible Retailer Identification training necessary for all employees? To legally operate an alcohol establishment all front line, sales, and management must complete the Responsible Retailer Identification training at least once per year. Proof of training is required by state and local governments to ensure that the establishment is following alcoholic beverage laws and regulations.

While obtaining compliance is not mandatory, it is highly recommended for businesses looking to comply with government regulations. The training can help increase customer safety and prevent underage drinking. In addition, maintaining compliance can lead to increased profits for the business as it will attract more customers who are familiar with compliant establishments.

What are the pros and cons of offering employee training? There are pros and cons to maintaining employee compliance on the topic of proper customer identification. The TRIFT program can be an asset to retailers in terms of both safety and training. The benefits include:

  • Increased knowledge and understanding of proper checking of customer identification.

  • Improved communication when responding to incidents related to the sales of alcohol.

  • Quarterly refresher training on alcohol-related topics so that employees remain compliant.

  • Increased confidence among employees when dealing with intoxicated or imparied customers.

  • Increased store credibility when customers know its staff has been trained in responsible alcohol identification.

There are also some drawbacks associated with offering compliance training. For example, it can add an additional cost burden for retailer, as well as create a challenge to hiring new workers who do not possess the requisite qualifications. Additionally, not all employees who work in a liquor store will interact with customers, and do not need to be fully trained on this topic.

Penalties for not training your employees: It is against the law to operate an alcohol establishment if you are not legally authorized to do so. This means that you cannot sell, serve, or give alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21. If you violate this law, you can be fined up to $1,000, imprisoned for up to six months, or both. You also may be required to surrender your liquor license.

If someone under the age of 21 attempts to purchase or consume alcohol at an alcohol establishment that is not authorized to sell or serve alcoholic beverages, they can be charged with a misdemeanor offense. If the underage person has any alcohol on their person or in their possession at the time of the attempted purchase or consumption, they can be charged with a felony offense.

Conclusion: TRIFT offers retailers an affordable learning solution - As a business owner, it is important to be aware of the requirements your employees must meet in order to work in a liquor store, and legally sell alcohol.

Let TRIFT train your employees to be knowledgeable, competent, and confident when it comes to being a responsible retailer and properly checking customers identification.


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