Top tips: dealing with unpredictable customers

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Party time: don't let Christmas revellers spoil the fun
Party time: don't let Christmas revellers spoil the fun

Related tags: Christmas

At this time of year, it is worthwhile reminding operators that Christmas and new year attract office parties and celebrations that will likely take place at licensed premises.

Training staff and your door team is key to managing the unpredictability of customers who are not regular drinkers, and regular drinkers, both of whom may overindulge during the festive period.

Exercise caution to ensure that customers and staff are protected through compliance with the premises licence and also the Licensing Act 2003.

Below are a few measures that can be used as part of this training:

  • Avoid purchasing cheap food and drinks from ‘suspect’ suppliers. Counterfeit goods can result in revocation of a premises licence after a review under Section 51 of the Licensing Act
  • Ensure annual fees for your licence are up to date to prevent suspension of your premises licence
  • Do a full check of your premises licence to ensure the times you require for events are covered, including any new year celebrations.
  • If you are not, then apply for temporary event notice (TEN)
  • Do a risk assessment to establish whether or not you will require extra door supervisors, bar staff, glass collectors, etc
  • Read and understand your premises licence activities, conditions and times (there may be embedded condition on some premises licences that restrict trading over the festive period)
  • All employees, including door staff, should be reminded of their obligations to promote the four licensing objectives. This should include training to prevent under age sales, sales to drunk people, and being vigilant to identify those who have ‘preloaded’, are under the influence of drugs or are otherwise a vulnerable person
  • Ensure relevant notices are displayed eg, premises licence summary, notice confirming who holds the original licence, CCTV notice, etc
  • Noise from customers and music is a common complaint from local residents. Ensure careful control of beer gardens, outside areas, smokers and people coming to and leaving the premises. Carry out noise patrols and deal promptly and courteously with any complaints

There may well be authority checks over the festive period. It is key to ensure designated premises supervisors, staff and door staff do not take their eye off the ball.

For any legal enquiries please visit Poppleston Allen's website​.

Related topics: Licensing law

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