Trips to the seaside, ice creams, barbecues, old men on deckchairs with knotted hankies and rolled up chinos, Mungo Jerry blasting through open car windows, almost universal lack of air conditioning, wasps and a cool pint of what you fancy in a beer garden; the great British summer has a lot to offer and its almost upon us!
And while some of us might be looking forward to no more workin’ for a week or two, for the leisure industry, there will be no rest in ensuring your customers are having a great time. Operators will be keen to make sure there is plenty on offer to encourage customers into their venues and their outdoor spaces.
So to help you get the most out of your summer trade and to ensure that you don’t upset the locals or the authorities, here are some top tips:
- With the warm weather comes the temptation for customers to drink cooling pints more quickly than they would normally. Remember that warmer weather can increase the effects of alcohol. Ensure that you have a good selection of soft drinks available for those who might be there a while.
- Good times, good drink and good weather can turn quite loud very quickly and rambunctious punters can turn in to complaints from neighbours. Consider putting notices up asking customers to be mindful of your neighbours and encourage them to partake in lower volume revelry.
- Sunburnt customers are unhappy customers. Where possible, provide parasols and shaded areas for your alfresco visitors.
- Family fun days are a great way to increase footfall during the nicer weather. Ensure your staff are vigilant to the possibility of under-age drinkers and proxy sales when welcoming younger visitors.
- Check your licence to see if you have any conditions relating to the use of outdoor areas. You don’t want to be caught by surprise by a condition preventing the use of glassware outside or restricted hours.
- Also check your licence to see if there are any restrictions on windows or doors being open during regulated entertainment. As the mercury rises, the temptation to open the windows and doors is clear but this could involve a visit from your local Environmental Health Officer.
- If you are planning on having any special events at your premises, consider whether you will need a temporary event notice (TEN). You will need a TEN for any licensable activities not covered by your licence or in areas of the premises which are not licensed. Remember that you need to give at least 10 clear working days for a standard TEN or five clear working days for a Late TEN.
- If you want to put on entertainment for your customers, remember that not all entertainment needs to be licensed, due to a relaxation of licensing laws for music ten years ago. For example, you can have live (but not recorded) music between 8am and 11pm for an audience of up to 500 people in your unlicensed beer garden (subject to any conditions on your premises licence). Recorded music not authorised on your licence can only be played if your outdoor area is included within your licensed areas.
- Tempted to light up the barbecue? If your venue does not offer food and is not registered as a food business, you may need to consider registering. You can operate for 5 days in a 5 week period without registration but if you decide to register, you must do so 28 days before sparking up the coals.
- And from hotdogs to hot dogs, be prepared for the possibility of four legged customers attending your outdoor areas with their owners. A bowl of cool water would be well received by man’s best friend.