Licence to sell

Sadly, the traditional pub is to the recession-hit late-Noughties what the humble butcher's shop was to the dark days of BSE in the mid-'90s, falling by the wayside like a row of dominos.

Some blame it on greater health awareness, others on higher taxes, the smoking ban or a loss of community spirit. But increasingly, people are drinking at home. While the supermarkets and off-licences have the obvious monopoly on this, the main obstacle to selling alcoholic drinks is obtaining a licence. Licensing laws were changed dramatically following the Licensing Act 2003, which gave councils, rather than magistrates, the power to decide who can and who cannot receive one. Getting a licence means you must always be open to inspection by the licensing authorities, which depends on which local government system you live under: if in a county council area, then apply to your district council; in a more urban area, the unitary authority or metropolitan district council is the place to go; but if based in London, then you need to approach your borough council.

Adding alcoholic drinks to your repertoire could provide a nice complement to the meat you offer and boost your business in the summer months. Here are a few options you could consider listing.


Adam Baker

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