Third parties no longer needed to provide BC liquor licences for caterers
By Lev Jackson
Caterers will no longer have to use third parties to serve liquor at events because BC liquor licences are now available to catering companies.
Prior to the new regulation, caterers had to get a third party to supply, transport and assume liability for the liquor. Now food and beverage companies can serve alcohol without jumping through hoops.
“This change will make it easier to have liquor service at catered events, which is something both catering companies and their customers want,” said energy minister Rich Coleman, who is in charge of BC liquor licences.
“Licensing caterers also helps support the hospitality industry by strengthening BC’s tourism appeal and making B.C. an appealing event destination.”
Much discussion took place between provincial caterers and the Liquor Control Board to bring about changes to the regulation.
The Tourism Bureau was also brought in to asses the effects the old laws had on tourism dollars.
“It’s a positive for caterers, it’s something we’ve been looking for since the ‘80s,” said James Thornley, president and owner of Peake of Catering, one local business that lobbied for changes to BC liquor licences.
“The Liquor board was very receptive, they were awesome. They really listened; we had several meetings where we started to rewrite the legislation. They really took our input very carefully and based what seems to be their new policies on what we provided to them.”
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Kevin Mazzone, general manager of The Lazy Gourmet catering, thinks the BC liquor licence allowance will make catering to clients all the easier.
“It really means we are now really able to work with our clients. Catering is a client-focused business, and what was happening before was we weren’t able to provide the service to the client, to provide the liquor, transport the liquor, all we were allowed to do was serve it,” he said.
“Now that we are allowed to set up a food and beverage program that can take care of all the needs of the client, it’s better for everyone.”
Licensed establishments like restaurants and hotels can now also supply liquor at offsite events like outdoor weddings or a large convention.
“It sounds like they are really just trying to cut the red tape around making it easier on small to medium-sized businesses in Vancouver to do their job,” said Mazzone.