Get onside to keep off-sales going

You may not want to – given the cliff-edge tumble which hospitality income took during the Covid-19 pandemic – but try casting your mind back to the measures introduced to boost trade.

During 2020 the Government relaxed the restrictions on off-sales, allowing thirsty punters to purchase a few bottles of whatever they fancied without any risk of breaking strict Covid distancing regulations.

Those temporary measures have remained in place but after conducting a public consultation, the Government is ending the variation on September 31st.

The good news is the powers that be are not seeking a no-holds-barred clampdown. Off-sales will still be permitted but – crucially – will require a licence variation under the pre-existing terms of the Licensing Act.

This is where Complete Licensing can step in and help our clients with a quick fix. Many licence-holders have seen a regular flow of off-sales and we can act quickly and successfully to ensure a smooth transition – without customers noticing any change.

Local authority licensing committees have been instructed to treat these changes as minor variations in the first instance and new applications will be considered on an equal footing. That means less fuss and less cost, but it is crucial to secure the variation swiftly and avoid unnecessary hiccups at a time when everyone needs business to run smoothly and efficiently.