Businesses with on-licences or club licences must make sure that food is easily available whenever they are open and selling alcohol.

This condition forms part of good host responsibility, as eating before or while drinking has been shown to have a significant impact on reducing levels of intoxication.

The range and style of food must be similar to the menu submitted as part of the original licence application.

The requirements for the different types of licences are outlined in the Host Responsibility Guidelines.

Minimum standards

These are the minimum standards for an alcohol licence.

Provision of food

There must be at least four varieties of food available, e.g. paninis, pizzas, lasagne, pies, toasted or fresh sandwiches, wedges, filled rolls and/or salads. You cannot serve four types of the same food, i.e. four types of pies.

It is acceptable to have a menu from neighbouring premises to provide for one or two of these options, however, there must always be a back-up option that can be produced on site.

Sites that meet the minimum in food standards might have the following on hand:

  • a microwave or fryer
  • a variety of 'long life' meals that do not require temperature control
  • tins of soup and rolls
  • utensils and plates.

There must also be an area for preparation of food and utensils to serve the food.

Clear advertising

Menus for the food that you provide at a club or on-licence premise must be highly visible and food should be actively promoted in a variety of ways:

  • menus on the tables
  • a menu board
  • food on display.

Food must be advertised in outdoor areas and bar staff should actively promote the range of food options available.

Certificate of Registration

Not all premises need to have a Certificate of Registration. However, registered premises (such as restaurants) that regularly sell and serve meals to the public on the premises, must display a current Certificate of Registration with the premises grading.

There is more information about getting a Certificate of Registration from the Council in the Food Licencing section on this website.

Licence renewals and inspections

Alcohol Licensing Inspectors typically check menus at premises whenever licences are due for renewal. When an inspector calls, they will ask questions such as:

  • is food available?
  • is it attractive?
  • is it promoted well?
  • do the premises have free food available during drink promotions?
  • are there special meal deals?

Their overall perceptions come into play when alcohol licence applications are reviewed.