Monday, 14 May 2012

Football Crazy? Or how to have a great EURO2012

Last week in the Publican's Morning Advertiser there was a piece on police "demonising" pubs by asking them to complete a questionaire on their plans for EURO 2012. So ignoring the hype and legal opinion of "heavy handidness", what lies behind is some excellent advice from the Police, which I have paraphrased below for your information. Nothing will kill off your business faster than a major public disorder incident ...

Why not think about letting your local police team know what you are planning in advance, so they can factor your activities into their planning, as grandma said the police are sometimes a publican's best friend.

Check that whatever you are planning is covered by the terms of your Premises Licence, especially with regard to anything taking place outside, if it's not covered then you may well need a Temporary Event Notice. Make sure any promotion you run complies with any conditions set by the licensing authority. (see the article on running responsible promotions on the How To Run A Pub website)

If you are the Designated Premises Supervisor(DPS), make sure that you are on duty for your big events, make sure you have enough staff on duty to cope with the number of customers you expect and that you have discussed with your team the running of the event.

If you really are expecting a large number of people to attend any given match then consider using SIA registered Door Supervisors, ticketing for the event and perhaps even limiting the number of doors customers can use to access your pub. (Check that all fire exits are completely clear and unobstructed) Make sure that the DPS/duty manager holds the keys for the front doors and can secure them at any stage.

You might also think about buying in polycarbonate or other plastic "glasses", this could save a lot of time in service (customers don't have to wait for clean glasses) and if a significant number of people are outside on beer decks, gardens or patios it could save a lot of broken glass. Similarly you might think about decanting bottled beers etc to plastic glasses for the same reasons or buying in stock in PET bottles.

Make sure your staff are doing regular clean-ups, collecting glasses and clearing tables as often as possible, you might even dedicate staff to this job, it's a good way to keep an eye on things, especially under-18s who might be watching the match and any ne'er do wells that these events can attract. This is especially important at half-time and at the end of any match. Keeping smoking areas clean and tidy is also important.

Whilst your TVs are likely to be well placed, try and ensure that they can't be seen from the street, you don't want a crowd of customers blocking pavements etc trying to watch through the windows.

Any big event at your pub is potentially a time for "difficulties", so make sure your CCTV is working, cameras not obscured by bunting etc and that you have enough disk space or blank tapes on hand.

Pass on any reports of disorder to local police (and other premises if you are in a Pubwatch scheme), in the event of trouble outside the premises, keep customers inside and if there is trouble at your premises, call the police immediately and stop serving alcohol.

As with any other time, as a responsible retailer,  make sure that there is no excessive consumption of alcohol - remember it is an offence to continue to serve somebody who has had too much to drink.

All in all what you need to do is carry out a risk assessment for any event that is likely to attract abnormally large numbers of customers, record your findings (you may need it later if there is an incident and you need to prove to the licensing authority that you took all reasonable steps to make sure you ran a safe event).

With a bit of luck and some careful planning you can enjoy the financial benefits of this major sporting event and continue to run a "tidy house".

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