Posted by Woods Whur | Alcohol, Licensing Law

It still surprises me that we often get calls from some clients asking us fairly basic questions. Who is the designated premises supervisor at these premises? What time can I operate until on New Years Eve? The police tell me I’ve got a certain condition on my licence Is this correct?

It is easy for an operator to become wrapped up in running the business and doing the day to day tasks for them sometimes to forget to take a step back and ensure that their house is in order. Christmas and New Year are always an exciting time for the trade with business opportunities at their best and customers who generally want to have a good time. It is reported that 400 million pints will be drunk in pubs in December and this does not include cocktails, wine and other drinks.

I think the start of November is a great time to take stock of licensing matters and to ensure that your licensing file is in order. I would always task one of the management team to do a presentation to all staff on the premises licence, conditions and undertakings, licensing objectives and other general responsibilities. Whilst Christmas and New Year can be a profitable time for the industry is also a time when resources can be stretched and some customers may want to partake in the festivities more than usual. I would draw up a list of matters to check and go through this with the whole team to ensure that everybody buys in to a general commitment to promote the licensing objectives and comply with conditions on the premises licence. Each list may be different but examples of matters which I would include in the list are as follows:

  • Have all Temporary Event Notices been applied for the Christmas and New Year period?
  • Have all risk assessments been undertaken for temporary events?
  • Do we actually know what sort of party or evening we are expecting at temporary events which are booked by private individuals?
  • Are all risk assessments generally up to date?
  • Have health and safety and fire checks been undertaken?
  • Are the management team fully aware of the conditions on the licence?
  • Are the management team fully aware of the operational hours on the licence in particular for Christmas and New Year?
  • Who is responsible for social media?
  • Is the social media message the message that the management team want to send out in to the public forum?
  • Are any special nights involving pub games legal?
  • Are all staff fully aware of the mandatory licensing conditions?
  • Are staff aware of the duty not to sell to customers who appear to be intoxicated?
  • Have additional staff been obtained for the exceptionally busy nights?
  • Will the requisite number of door staff be available?
  • Are training records up to date?
  • Is it a time to undertake some refresher training?
  • Have a meeting with the local police and see if there are any local initiatives.

The above list is of course not exhaustive. Christmas and New Year will be a fantastic time but it is very important to ensure that all folders and risk assessments are up to date and that staff are fully aware of their obligations to the general public during the Christmas period.