A simplified liquor licence application process for stallholders participating in South Australian festivals will significantly reduce red tape and costs for organisers and participants, according to peak industry association, Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA).
R&CA chief executive officer John Hart said the decision to allow one single liquor licence application to be lodged for events listing all stallholders rather than requiring individual stallholders to complete separate applications makes good sense and will benefit the state’s $5 billion tourism and hospitality industry.
“Festivals and events such as Tasting Australia, Crush, McLaren Vale Sea & Vines and WOMAD are major economic drivers for the state. They attract overnight visitation and additional expenditure in metropolitan and regional South Australia. They also provide a great opportunity for local producers and businesses to showcase the fantastic food and wine the state is synonymous for,” said Hart.
“The simplified structure means participants can get on with promoting the outstanding food and wine South Australia has to offer.
“This is a best-practice example of how simple changes by government can make a huge difference for operators by making the liquor licence application process less cumbersome and costly. I would hope this model would be adopted across other states as a means of facilitating the efficient operation of major events and festivals,” Hart said.
He said that while government is doing its bit to cut red tape and administrative burden, it raises concerns over the failure of some event organisers to ensure stallholders are compliant with the appropriate health and safety and workplace relations requirements.
“Festivals and events offer an excellent opportunity to experience food and wine in a new way, with the popularity of food trucks, stalls and pop-ups increasing tenfold.
“However, some festival organisers are foregoing the proper checks to ensure all stallholders meet the minimum health and safety, payroll and insurance requirements.
“For established bricks-and-mortar businesses, this places them at a disadvantage as they bear the full cost of meeting these requirements, including health inspections, PAYG and superannuation contributions for staff. Festival organisers need to ensure a level playing field by checking their stallholders meet their obligations,” Hart said.
R&CA recently released its Food Truck Guidelines, a best-practice guide for the operation of mobile food vendors outlining four key principles that should be adopted in the operation of mobile food vendors.
“Continued support for businesses, providing specific regulation around the hours of operation and location of mobile food vendors, and ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations that govern regular food businesses is a simple way of ensuring stallholders and surrounding hospitality businesses benefit from events,” Hart said.