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Serving food at on-licence and club premises

​Serving food in alcohol on-licence business sites and clubs

Businesses with alcohol on-licences or club licences must serve kai (food) whenever they are open and selling alcohol.

This condition forms part of good host responsibility, as eating before or while drinking significantly reduces the level of intoxication.

Minimum standards for serving food (excluding restaurants)

To meet the conditions of your on-licence or club alcohol licence, the range and style of kai you serve must be similar to the menu you submitted as part of your alcohol licence application.

Food that meets a minimum standard

The Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority states that you should offer a minimum of three types of kai:

  • pizzas
  • paninis
  • lasagne
  • filled rolls
  • pies
  • toasted or fresh sandwiches
  • wedges
  • salads.

You cannot serve three types of the same kai (for example: three types of pies).

To offer more kai options you can provide menus from neighbouring businesses.

To meet a minimum in food standards you must have:

  • a microwave or fryer
  • utensils and plates for customers
  • a food preparation area
  • utensils to serve the kai.

Clear advertising of the food available

Menus for the kai you provide at a club or on-licence business must be highly visible.

You should have:

  • menus on the tables
  • a menu board
  • kai on display.

You should also advertise kai in outdoor areas.

Bar staff should actively promote the range of kai options available.

Food Act registration

Businesses making and selling food must be registered under the Food Act 2014.

Depending on what types of food you make and sell, you may need to:

Go to the Ministry for Primary Industries website and use the My Food Rules toolkit to see if you need to be on a TFCP or a NP.

Businesses like restaurants, cafes and takeaways that are cooking and serving food for immediate consumption will operate a TFCP.

Businesses that are only reheating food will be on an NP.

An example of this would be reheating a store-bought pie or wedges and not cooking any other food.

On-licence and club renewals inspections

When you apply to renew your alcohol licence an alcohol licensing inspector will visit you.

They will check if kai is available as promised and is promoted well. The inspector may visit you from time to time to check your overall compliance.

You should know

If your food business loses a licence to operate because of unsafe food handling practices, this may seriously affect your ability to meet the conditions of your alcohol licence.

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