I have just attended the Nottingham Best Bar None Awards which emphasises that usually good operators (with successful businesses and happy customers) are compliant. I used to be a little bit more cynical about the increasing level of bureaucracy and policy but the Best Bar None scheme is an example of good operating practice and well run businesses. Here are a summary of basic matters which a surprising number of premises do not do:
- Legal requirement – the summary or certified copy of the summary of the Premises Licence must be on display prominently.
- A S.57 Notice authorising the DPS to keep the Premises Licence safely must be on display prominently.
- The Premises Licence or a certified copy must be kept at the premises safely albeit it does not need to be on display.
- If you operate with forms of authorisation by the DPS or other Personal Licence holder for members of staff to sell alcohol then make sure they are up to date and easily accessible.
- If the Premises Licence requires compliance with easily ‘spotted’ conditions such as the display of notices make doubly sure that these are up and where they should be.
- Staff training is key – make sure the staff are trained in relation to basic licensing law particularly the sale of alcohol and also are familiar with the conditions. Staff should know, for example, that the outside area needs to be clear by 23:00 (not 23:15), if that is what the condition says.
- Many premises have CCTV – who of your staff members can operate it? If there was an incident could the manager or member of staff on duty provide a copy at the request of the Police or Licensing Officer?
- If there is an incident or the threat of one involving a new customer who has had too much to drink would your staff know what to do in these circumstances?
- Are your staff familiar with good record keeping in relation to incidents, visits, complaints etc.
- Are your staff familiar with the products that you sell, for example are your staff familiar with the mandatory conditions concerning the availability of small measures as well as the range of your products and information about their gravity and provenance?
If there is a compliance visit and you are able to demonstrate that you are generally a good operator with well trained staff then this will stand you in good stead if there is an issue or even for example a review later down the line.