Legal Guides

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Pub Licensing: Things to consider when adding to your outdoor area

Summer is now underway, hopefully bringing the better weather with it.  Good weather always favours pubs but also means that more people will be looking to spend time outdoors.

With this in mind, it may leave you thinking about taking advantage of your outdoor areas. You may think about installing a marquee or an additional outdoor option in order to deal with an increase in customers while also being able to meet their needs. This could be a temporary bar or even an area for food and entertainment.

Whatever you decide to do, here are some things consider so that you remain on the right side of the law.

Your Premises Licence

It is important that you look through your licensing plan to see whether the outdoor area you want to use is included within the area in which you have a licence to sell alcohol. If it is, you will be able to install a temporary bar inside a marquee, canopy or similar structure. It’s also worth looking at your premises licence to make sure it doesn’t include any conditions that would stop you from going ahead with your plans. This could prevent customers from using external areas after a specific time.

If it’s not an integral part of the agreed licensed areas, it won’t be possible to use the external area without additional authorisation. If your premises licence allows the supply of alcohol for both on and off-site supply of alcohol, you will be able to offer your customers a marquee or outdoor structure and you have the option to either serve them inside (and allow them to take their drinks outside) or offer a table waiter service within the outside structure.

Temporary Event Notice

It is possible to apply for a temporary event notice or a variation to your licence if you have plans to install a temporary bar.

If you choose this option, you will need to make sure that the authorisation includes the supply of alcohol on and off the premises, making it possible for customers to take their drinks both inside and outside.

Live Music and Entertainment

If you want live or recorded music, you will need to make sure you have authorisation for the external area by checking your premises licence.

If it states that you cannot, you could use a number of different exemptions for both under the Live Music Act and further deregulations.

Late Night Refreshments

If you plan to offer hot food as well as drinks beyond 11pm within the marquee, you must ensure that you are allowed late-night refreshment for your outdoor area.

This is a small insight into some of the things you need to consider but you will also need to think about health and safety and the impact of this additional offer on your premises.

If you don’t follow the regulations and laws, you could find yourself being fined.

Author: Stuart Jessop

DISCLAIMER: This article should not be regarded as constituting legal advice in relation to particular circumstances. This article is merely a general comment on the relevant topic

Published on 5th June 2017
(Last updated 7th May 2021)