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Licence to serve

If you are in the licensed trade and running a restaurant then there are a few points that you will need to consider in order to have the correct permissions in place for certain activities.

If you are in the licensed trade and running a restaurant then there are a few points that you will need to consider in order to have the correct permissions in place for certain activities.

If you intend to sell alcohol or provide other ‘licensable activities’ from a particular venue, you will firstly have to apply to your local authority, and hopefully be granted by them, a premises licence. Licensable activities include the sale of alcohol; serving hot food and drinks between 11pm and 5am (late night refreshment); and the provision of regulated entertainment which includes the performance of a play, an exhibition of a film, an indoor sporting event,boxing or wrestling entertainment, a performance of live music, any playing of recorded music, and entertainment of a similar description to a performance of live music, any playing of recorded music or a performance of dance.

You must only provide these activities during the permitted hours on your premises licence. However, regulated entertainment is a complex area and there are many exemptions so you should take legal advice if in any doubt. It is also important you check the conditions attached to your premises licence to make sure there are no conditions that restrict the showing of films for example,or restrictions that may affect your operation, such as restrictions on children entering the premises.

On this point, there is a Mandatory Condition on premises licences that authorize films to ensure that children are restricted from films in accordance with recommendations of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). Compliance with the relevant BBFC or local authority film classification is of course vital, breach of which would be a criminal offence.

Showing live TV, such as live sporting events, is not a licensable activity under the Licensing Act 2003 and you do not need specific permission on your premises licence. You would however require the provision of films on your licence if you are showing recorded footage. To show live TV,you will also need a TV licence and if you are showing sports or other commercial streaming services, the appropriate subscription will be required from the provider, such as Sky, that allows you to offer the providers’ entertainment to your customers. You will also need the relevant PRS for Music and PPL licence if you are playing recorded music for your customers by any means, and this will apply to both radio and TV broadcasts.

If you are showing broadcast or recorded films in a public space you will also need to consider whether a licence for the copyrighted material is required and several companies such as Film bank Media and the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation can provide appropriate licences.

For further information, contact Licensing Solicitor, Steve Burnett on 0203 859 7759.

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