The more urgent practical steps such as staffing, ordering of stock, refurbishments, updating menus, etc, often take priority. But if the regulatory compliance requirements are overlooked at this stage, it could end up costing you a lot more further down the line, not just in costs but in time and potentially reputation. The below are a few things that you should consider as soon as you take over.
- Fire risk assessment – it is a legal requirement to have one and to ensure that it is kept up to date and written down. If there is one already in place, review it and ensure it is up to date. If there isn’t, instruct a responsible person to conduct one. Keep it on site, review it regularly, and ensure staff are trained in relation to the risks identified and the mitigation features in place.
- Health and safety risk assessment – it is essential that health and safety risk assessments are completed, reviewed regularly and tailored to the specific premises. In a premises, there are likely to be numerous risks assessments for different areas and operations – kitchen, bar area, restaurant area, cellar, etc. They will all have specific identifiable risks. These should be kept on-site and staff should be made aware of the risks and mitigation in place.
- Safe systems of work – these are required for operations where there are identifiable hazards that require a more rigid process of working, such as the operation of accepting a delivery to the cellar. Again, these should be kept on-site, and staff should be provided with training in relation to them.
- Health and safety policy – a company operating with five or more members of staff is required to have a written health and safety policy. This should be kept on-site and all staff should know the responsibilities identified. It should be signed by a company director or someone of equivalent seniority.
- Food business operator – when you take over a premises, you need to notify the local authority that the food business operator has changed. This should be done 28 days in advance of the change. It is a criminal offence not to notify the change.
- Staff training – all employees should be provided with refresher training, and any new staff with a full induction. Even when staff are retained, it is best practice to ensure that they are fully trained, so a refresher session is the best way to do this.
- Weights and measures – ensure your menus identify the required measurements of alcohol and those that are available to purchase. Ensure all glasses have the required CE mark to ensure compliance with the legislation.