Late night refreshment is a licensable activity under the licensing Act 2003.

Schedule two of the act sets out the definition: 

The supply of hot food or hot drink between 23.00 and 05.00 to the public for consumption on or off the premises.

The requirement to have a licence to sell hot food and drink after 23.00, can come as a surprise to many people. Over the years we at TV Edwards have seen a number of operators fall foul of the rules simply because they didn’t realise that a licence was required.

As with many aspects of the licensing act, there are a number of exceptions to the rule.

One exception is made for vending machines. The supply of hot drinks by a vending machine is not a licensable activity although the supply of hot food from vending machines still is if the food has been heated on the premises.

The supply of hot drinks containing alcohol is also exempt from the late-night refreshment rules because it is licenced by the provisions relating to the sale or supply of alcohol.

The supply of hot food or drinks free of charge is not a licensable activity and therefore is not governed by the act.  However, where a charge is made for admission to the premises and that charge includes hot food or drink, this will not be regarded as free of charge and therefore subject to the rules.

It is a criminal offence under section 136 of the licencing act 2003 to carry on any licensable activity, such as the supply of late light refreshment other than in accordance with a Premises Licence or other authorisation under the 2003 act. Commission of the offence is punishable by an unlimited fine.

How we can help with your Licensing Problems

Over the years, TV Edwards has helped many:

  • fast food takeaways
  • pizza and other hot food delivery companies
  • restaurants
  • late night cafes
  • bars and pubs

We have assisted clients in obtaining late night refreshment licences, extended existing provisions , varied existing licences and represented business which have operated without a licence or outside the remit of their current licence.

Recent Licensing cases

Bar/restaurant facing Review in Tower Hamlets

Application to extend late night refreshment hours for a pizza delivery company in Tower Hamlets.

New applications for bars and restaurants in Westminster, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Lambeth.

Fees for our services

Our Licensing fees vary depending on the complexity of each case.  Every case is different.  Some applications will be very straightforward whist others might be extremely complex. Factors will include whether the licence sought is for a premises in a cumulative impact zone, whether the application deviates from local authority policies, whether local objections are anticipated and how novel or unusual the application is. Further information on our Licensing fees can be found here

Start your confidential enquiry with us

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