If you’ve read our general guide to starting a hospitality business, you’re probably ready to learn a bit more about opening your specific pub venue. This guide will give you more information about pub-specific licences, rules and regulations. You can also find out how to pick the right venue and staff.
Download this guide to get a comprehensive startup checklist. It’s got just about everything you need to ensure you don’t miss a beat before the big opening!
Food business licensing ensures your pub can produce safe food before it is supplied or prepared for the local community.
Licensing requirements vary depending on the size of the pub and state or territory where you’re establishing the business. You can view the relevant licensing requirements for your bar or nightclub here:
Pubs must ensure they have the right type of licence to serve or sell liquor (alcohol). Licences may include an On Premises licence, Primary Service Authorisation, and/or a Liquor Approved Manager licence. But requirements will vary depending on:
Before you lodge an application for a liquor license, you’ll need a National Police Certificate which will include a criminal record check. You can find out more about liquor licensing in each state here:
You’ll need to apply for a business licence and registration from the local council. The local council will ask you to provide information such as:
These can be viewed here:
There are also a number of other licenses you may need, so it’s best to seek advice. For example, if you plan to play music at your coffee shop, you may need a music license to cover copyright issues.
For information on the process with your local council, visit the Australian Business Licence and Information Service.
You’ll also need to apply for a number of certificates from the local council, possibly including:
You’ll then need to pay the associated fees and fill out the required paperwork.
There are also several other licenses that you may require, so it’s best to seek advice. For example, you may want to play music at your pub, so you may need a music license to cover copyright issues.
Licensees must provide a safe environment for customers and employees in and around the business premises. Depending on your licence conditions and the state or territory you’re in, you may need to comply with:
All employees (including security staff) will also require Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training, and you may need to appoint a Liquor Approved Manager.
Smoking is banned in enclosed public spaces (defined as having 75 percent notional walls and ceiling) in bars and nightclubs of all states and territories in Australia. Designated smoking areas are allowed, but regulations prevent these from being within a certain proximity to seating or dining areas.
The sale or supply of liquor to minors under 18 years at pubs is illegal, as is liquor consumption by minors on licensed premises.
Liquor licenced venues are required to display certain signage.
If your pub has a gaming licence for poker machines, you will also need to comply with gaming regulations in your state or territory.
A corner pub is a quintessential part of any suburb in Australia. Whether you are looking to move into an established heritage pub or convert a building into a modern iteration of an Australian classic, location can make all the difference.
Are your patrons coming in after a long day at work for ice-cold beer? Or are they going out for some classic pub food and a pint? Consider the population centres in the vicinity of the pub, as these will impact the kind of patron you will have.
Finding a niche is a great way to make your mark and ensure patrons return. Whether you go for interesting interior décor, cool live music, a microbrew exclusive to your pub, or a unique menu, there is always something you can do differently to your competitors.
Normally you wouldn’t want to be located near competitors. But as long as you have found your niche, being close to other pubs can be a plus.
If you are within walking distance of other pubs, you will see a lot of business from pub crawls. Make a good impression, and you will find yourself with a new bunch of regulars.
Pubs benefit from having charismatic, jovial and dedicated staff who can have a joke with regulars and present well to new patrons. Atmosphere is everything to a pub, and this often relies on staff. Building a good team is essential to any pub.
Finding staff can be a lot of work, but once you know what qualities you are looking for, it can be a lot easier. Advertising online is one way to go. It gives you a big pool of qualified staff to draw from, but putting up a Help Wanted sign can result in some great and enthusiastic staff.
If you have trouble finding qualified staff, don’t discount enthusiastic underqualified staff who are eager to learn. Training staff is a great investment in the future. You can even take on Pub Apprentices.
Running a pub requires staff to have excellent teamwork skills, and a good work ethic. Your staff should be dedicated and enthusiastic about the business and have great interpersonal skills.
Employing staff with leadership experience will allow you to rest easy when you take a day off. Just don’t forget to check that they have their Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate before you hire them.
Get in touch with our hospitality POS experts to see how Impos can help your business thrive.