Could You Buy Me a Beer? Measuring Secondary Supply of Alcohol in Dutch On-Premise Outlets

Ruud T. J. Roodbeen*, Suzie Geurtsen, Karen Schelleman-Offermans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: Alcohol is largely available for Dutch minors through on-premise secondary supply, which occurs when an adult furnishes an alcoholic drink to a minor in an on-premise outlet. Vendors allowing this secondary supply on their premises are in violation of the Dutch Licensing and Catering Act (legal age limit is 18 years old for the sale and possession of alcohol). Using existing mystery shopping protocols as a standard, our study objective was the development and field testing of a novel procedure, measuring vendors' compliance with secondary supply. Method: Using a newly developed mystery shopping procedure, transfers of alcohol between young adult buyers and minors were staged in 109 Dutch on-premise outlets (cafes and bars) to measure vendors' compliance with secondary supply. Results: In accordance with the Dutch Licensing and Catering Act, 29% of the vendors disallowed the secondary supply of alcohol to minors (32 of 109 attempts). During 40 attempts (of 109 attempts; 37%), the vendor asked for the identification document (ID) of the minor. Compliance after the ID was requested was 80% (32 of 40 attempts). During 8 attempts (20%), the minors were served even after the ID of the minor was requested. Conclusions: Mystery shopping is a suitable methodology for measuring compliance with secondary supply. Results show that alcohol is largely available for Dutch minors through secondary supply. Governments that intend to formulate and evaluate enforcement policies aimed at curbing high alcohol availability for minors are advised to use this novel procedure for monitoring compliance and to use these results for agenda setting and benchmarking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-78
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018



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