Excitement, patriotism and a little 'tipple', comes to the forefront once again as Twickenham and a dozen other UK venues play host to the 48 games of the Rugby World Cup 2015.
This is a great time to maximise your trade but, potentially, a logistical nightmare for operators located near to the venues or playing the games on the “big screen”.
In fact, some police authorities have sought to control trade by suggesting very draconian measures, such as having last entry hours, asking restaurants to only allow pre-bookings, and seeking agreement from the trade not to apply for Temporary Event Notices.
From an enforcement perspective, a more sensible way would be to work with the licensed trade to promote careful planning.
Here are some recommendations which could ensure that you do not fall foul of the regulatory authorities:
- Consider a written risk assessment for each and every match. Some matches will be busier than others and you will have new customers who do not normally visit, noisy customers and even opposing supporters attending;
- If requested, ensure that you positively engage not only with your local Licensing Police Officer but, if appropriate, your immediate neighbours. Prevention and prior planning is always better and cheaper than cure;
- Carefully check your Premises Licence to see if your trading time is automatically extended for sporting events;
- If you need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice, don’t leave submission until the last minute. Early applications will allow you time to discuss and overcome any objections from the Police or Environmental Health team;
- Review your licence to see if there are any conditions which impact upon the running of the events and, in particular, promotions that might fall foul of the Mandatory Conditions;
- You may wish to consider whether or not the use of door staff would be helpful. Early booking would be sensible;
- Ensure you have an up to date and comprehensive underage policy. Make sure all of your staff are familiar with that policy, and that any posters and literature relating to the policy are visible;
- If you have CCTV, ensure it is fully operational and complies with any relevant licence conditions;
- Consider how you are going to monitor and control crime and disorder or noise at your premises, including in your outside areas;
Review your capacity restrictions for both your internal and external areas;
Ensure that you have and comply with all documentary authorities such as your premises licence, pavement licence, fire risk assessments etc;
- Consider having a dispersal policy. Your customers may be leaving the premises late at night. Consider how they will disperse safely with minimal disturbance to your neighbours.
Hopefully, not only will we be celebrating a home nation winning the World Cup, but also the licence trade enjoying a profitable and problem free trade throughout.