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Schoolies in Noosa – 7 Tips for Liquor License Holders
Posted 11 November 2020
Schoolies week is soon upon us but instead of the usual migration of thousands of school leavers to the southern coast, revellers are expecting to head north as Covid cancels official events on the Gold Coast.
Hospitality operators are expecting an influx of over 5,000 students next week as celebrations ramp up. Accommodation providers are seeing increased bookings as reports from the Gold Coast state bookings there are down up to 80%.
We should welcome the influx of visitors, but as liquor license holders we also need to ensure we provide our services responsibly to ensure the safety of our patrons as well as abiding by the provision of our license.
Whilst most operators will be aware of their obligations it never hurts to revisit them and highlighting them to staff.
1. Follow the relevant industry COVID Safe Plan
While cases have dwindled in Queensland every venue is still obligated to follow the Approved COVID Safe Industry Plans that have been developed for our industry. Now is the time to review what those requirements are and ensure you have the resources on-hand to meet those requirements during the expected increase in patronage. Access the industry covid safe plans here.
2. Check IDs
We know this is a standard but be vigilant around this period. Many of the school leavers will be just under 18 years old. Your obligations to check IDs, prevent underage drinking and prevent the supply of alcohol to people underage remains in place. Ensure you have adequate policies in place to ensure no non-exempt minors are on the premises and that alcohol is not supplied to minors.
3. Refuse Service
Make sure all staff are aware of your processes for refusing a patron service including any obligation to document or log the incident. Equally, ensure they all know what the process is if you have to ban a patron from the venue. This isn’t about “drunks” but about unacceptable behaviour in the venue.
4. Compliance Signage
Ensure you have the relevant licensing signage clearly displayed for all patrons to view. Not only will it stipulate expectations and consequences but they are a great tool to reinforce any message to patrons engaging in unacceptable behaviour.
You are obligated to provide potable water freely to all patrons and having clean containers available for that water. Ensure there is no risk of contamination for any containers or glasses you have available to the public.
If your venue has a subsidiary on-premises (meals) license allowing you to serve alcohol you must ensure you abide by the licensing requirements particular to that license. That includes meeting the relevant requirements where most patrons consume a meal at the premises and the requirements for where they consumed those meals and how they were served.
7. Brief Your Staff
Take this opportunity to brief your staff on all your obligations and requirements, including any fines for being in breach of your license conditions.
It’s your obligation
This is not a comprehensive checklist. As a licensee, you are obligated to ensure you comply with the laws relating to your license. But the points above should be a focus during the schoolies period.
Be proactive in having your policies and processes in place. This will allow you to confidently take advantage of the influx of visitors expected over the schoolies period.