If it isn’t you could be operating your venue illegally and no nobody wants that. Here is a quick checklist for you to go through.
We know, we know licensing is boring. Who wants to worry about that when there are cocktail lists to be written, events to be planned, customers to flirt with and things to be set on fire. There isn’t even a Spirited Award for Best Licensing Practice.
However boring it is, it is still vital to the running of your bar. The simple fact is if the licence isn’t up to date or displayed properly a Licensing Officer could walk in at any point and shut you down. Granted this is unlikely and you would almost always get given a period of time to comply but why take the risk? Get ahead of the game.
Here, our new contributor Caroline Nodder gives you a checklist of things to ensure you are operating within the law.
Since your application was approved, you probably haven’t spent too much time thinking about the constraints of your Premises Licence. But as your business evolves, it is something you should be referring back to from time to time to check you don’t need to make any amendments. Here, is a guide to the common pitfalls licensees come up against that can see them unknowingly operating outside the law…..
Check the person named as your Designated Premises Supervisor on the licence. Are they still working at the premises? The Designated Premises Supervisor should be in a position where they can exercise day-to-day control of the premises. If they are not in such a position any more then you should ensure that someone is duly appointed who is, and the details on the licence are updated with the Licensing Authority.
Ensure that the Designated Premises Supervisor’s address is up to date. Many Personal Licence Holders move address without telling the Licensing Authority which issued their licence.
Has the Designated Premises Supervisor changed their name? If the Designated Premises Supervisor has recently got married, or changed their name for any other reason, again, ensure that the Licensing Authority has been advised of their change of name.
Ensure your Premises Licence Summary is on display in your premises. This doesn’t necessarily mean that each and every page has to be displayed separately, but the Premises Licence should be displayed in a way in which someone could easily leaf through the summary to check each page.
Ensure that a “Nomination Notice” is on display in your premises, which advises those reading the notice who has safe custody and control of the Premises Licence. This is a legal requirement.
Check that the person named on the “Nomination Notice” is still working at the premises – if there has been a change of staff the notice needs to be updated.
Ensure that you have the original or a certified copy of the Premises Licence in a safe place. The full licence itself does not have to be on display, nor even behind the bar, but should be kept in a safe, accessible place. You should also make sure the management in day-to-day charge of the site know where to find it.
Ensure that all barstaff who are involved in the sale of alcohol are authorised by a Personal Licence Holder to make such sales. Whilst such authorisation can be simply verbal, this is never a good idea, and it is much better to keep a written authorisation form behind the bar, and/or on the barstaff’s personnel files, signed by the relevant team members.
Ensure any members of management who are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the premises, whether they be the Designated Premises Supervisor or not, know all the conditions on the Premises Licence, including the hours during which licensable activities can be provided and the exact permitted opening hours of the premises.
Ensure all staff are fully trained in the law surrounding underage sales and the sale of alcohol to intoxicated persons. Such training should be repeated on a regular basis. You need to decide yourself how regular is appropriate, and much depends upon your own assessment of the likelihood of young persons’ seeking to obtain alcohol or persons who may have drunk too much alcohol trying to buy more. This may depend upon the night of trading, hours of trading and nature of the clientele coming into your premises, or a specific event or occasion that may be taking place either locally or nationally. Ensure that any training is documented and records kept on the premises so that the authorities can be provided with a copy on request.
Joining the BII costs less than the price of a pint each week, and you get a whole range of free business support services including a free 24-hour helpline for any licensing queries you might have – you could save your annual membership fee back with just one call! Join today at www.bii.org