This really depends on a number of factors and what your objectives are.  For example, will your customers want to have a beer or glass of wine with their food?  Do you wish to make use of an outside pavement area?  Do you wish to open beyond 11pm on various days, for instance, over the weekend with various licensable activities?

Food Registration

You must make an application for food registration at least 28 days before you open.  This is relevant if you will be preparing, cooking, storing, distributing food, supplying or selling food, on your premises.

New Premises Licence

It is likely you will need to apply for a premises licence for your restaurant, depending upon the hours you wish to trade and the licensable activities you require.  If you wish to sell alcohol, you will need permission to do this.  If you would like to serve hot food or play music beyond 11pm, you will also need permission to do this.  All permitted licensable activities will be set out in your premises licence together with any relevant conditions.

Personal Licence

If you wish to sell alcohol, you will need someone who will assume responsibility for making alcohol sales.  This person will need to apply for a personal licence.  Once a personal licence is obtained, the personal licence holder can be named as the Designated Premises Supervisor, in your premises licence.  No authorised alcohol sales can be made until such time as there is a Designated Premises Supervisor named in your premises licence.

Music licences

If you wish to play background music in your premises, whether for your staff or customers, you will need to apply for a music licence. This is issued by PPL and PRS.  It ensures that those who create, record and publish music are reimbursed for the use of their tracks. The cost varies depending on the size of your premises and the number of people you employ.

Temporary Event Notices

If you are only going to be serving alcohol on special occasions, a single premises can apply for up to 15 temporary event notices per year.  The total number of days for any events, must not exceed a 21 day period per calendar year.

*Please note that as part of the Government’s attempts to help the hospitality industry recover, The Alcohol Licensing (Coronavirus) (Regulatory Easements) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, has been introduced and increases the number of temporary event notices permitted per calendar year from 15 to 20 and the number of permitted days from 21 to 26 days per annum, for events in 2022 and 2023.

Tables and Chairs licence

If you wish to place tables and chairs or other furniture on the pavement outside your premises, you will likely need to apply for a tables and chairs licence.  There is currently a fast-track process for doing this.


You will need to ensure that your premises has the correct planning permission, to meet your objectives and proposed use.  If your premises does not have the permitted use class for a café / restaurant, you will need to consider whether you wish to proceed with taking on the premises or whether you need to apply to the planning authority for planning permission for a change of use.

The above is general information and does not constitute legal advice.

We can assist you with the whole licensing process and can advise you in accordance with your circumstances and objectives.

For further advice and assistance, please contact Joanna Onisiforou, Associate – 0207 759 1371

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