Hill Brown Licensing Q & A

More of your questions answered in this months Hill Brown Licensing Q & A.

We employ someone who is 15 and they take orders in the restaurant and deliver drinks to customers at tables. Is this allowed?

There are fairly strict rules around the sale, supply or service of alcohol by a child (0-15 years) or young person (16 and 17 years). The starting point is that it is an offence for a responsible person to allow them to sell, supply or serve alcohol subject to two exceptions. Firstly where the alcohol being sold is for consumption off the premises and secondly where the supply or service is along with a meal. Provided the sale or supply in either of these circumstances is specifically authorised by a responsible person or a person over 18 who has been authorised by the responsible person, no offence is committed. There is an important distinction to be made however between the two exceptions. Where the alcohol is for consumption off the premises the child or young person can make the sale. Where it is for consumption on the premises they can only supply and serve. So in the circumstances you refer to, provided the premises manager or other team member with authorisation, approves the supply/service and the child is not deemed to have made the sale you will be compliant as a meal is being provided.

Audrey Junner, Partner Hill Brown
Audrey Junner, Partner Hill Brown

I run a small brewery and we have a licence for the shop which lets people come in and buy bottles of our beer and take them home. We have always given out small samples to those customers. We are looking into expanding the business and offering tours which will include a tour, masterclass and 3-5 small samples for each customer. Do we need to change the licence?

If your licence only specifies that you will sell alcohol for consumption off the premises and only lists off-sales hours you will need to apply for a major variation to allow on-sales if you are intending to charge for these tours. The sample itself may not be what you would consider to be a direct sale of alcohol but it constitutes a sale requiring a licence as it is pursuant to a contract i.e. it is included in the tour ticket price. If the tours are free then no sale requiring a licence takes place but you should note the consumption of any alcohol must take place within the off-sales licensed hours which will not exceed 10am to 10pm. Some Boards may also insist that ‘tours’ and/or ‘tastings’ are specified as activities in your operating plan. One last but important point to note is that if it does constitute a sale you should be very careful that the size of the sample does not contravene weights and measures legislation. If you have any doubts l would suggest speaking to Trading Standards or a specialist solicitor.

For more information you can contact Audrey directly at Hill Brown Licensing: AJ@mshblicensing.com

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