As featured in the latest edition of QHA Magazine
It is possible for hotels to earn very good money by providing catering services away from its primary licensed venue, and you may be considering the provision of catering off-site to financially boost your hotel business and expand its range of services. The type of catering you may be able to provide will depend on the licences or permits you hold for your business.
Generally, if your business operations include the preparation or handling of unpackaged food for retail sale, you will require a food licence in order to sell that food for human consumption. Hotel businesses will often involve the provision of food for on-site or takeaway consumption and will require this food licence in order to sell food.
The type of food licence you require will depend on your business and the premises that requires the food licence. Usually for hotel owners, the food licence they would be seeking to obtain is for their fixed premises (hotel site). Generally, with a food licence you will also be able to provide food catering services both onsite and offsite.
Catering with Liquor
Where you intend to provide catering services for an event or private function with the provision of liquor, you will need to first ensure that your licence has an endorsement to cater off-site. You may apply for this endorsement to your liquor licence by way of an application to the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR).
The following licence types may be eligible for an endorsement to cater off-site:
- Subsidiary on-premises licence
- Subsidiary off-premises licence (caterers only)
- Commercial hotel licence
- Nightclub licence
The endorsement will allow you to provide catering services off-site from the main licensed premises for events that are organised by other people. However, you can only provide such catering services away from your licensed premises where you are also providing food catering. Accordingly, whilst you may be able to provide food catering off-site without liquor, you cannot provide catering off-site for liquor without also providing food catering or ensuring that food is otherwise being provided.
Upon the OLGR granting the endorsement for catering off-site on your liquor licence, you will not require any further permissions or permits from the OLGR to provide off-site catering for private functions such as birthdays, weddings or parties. However, if you intend to provide off-site catering services for a public event such as a festival or sporting event, you will need to obtain a commercial public event permit from the OLGR.
As discussed in our previous article regarding commercial public event permits, if you require the endorsement for catering off-site in order to cater for a public event, an application for the endorsement can be made along with the application for a commercial public event permit.
If you are considering an expansion to your business services for catering off-site and you require assistance with the application process, please do not hesitate to contact me on 07 3224 0230.