BC Restaurants Don’t Have To Provide A Separate Cocktail Lounge

Victoria – As part of the ongoing effort to cut red tape for small businesses in British Columbia, restaurants no longer have to provide a separate lounge area for customers who want to enjoy a cocktail.

This latest change builds on a complementary Liquor Policy Review update that happened last year, allowing customers to order a drink at a restaurant without feeling pressured to order food. In the past, restaurants wanting to offer their customers a drink without having to serve them a meal had to have an isolated lounge area.

Creating flexibility for restaurants will help to remove the unnecessary burden for businesses in B.C., while understanding that restaurants will still need to ensure that their primary purpose is the service of food.

Music and comedy performances now will come easier, too, thanks to new relaxed entertainment rules. Restaurants are no longer required to apply for a permit to host entertainment, such as a guitar player or comedian, as long as patrons are not participating in the show.

Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch –

“This is a good example of government listening to industry, and saying ‘yes.’ This is a piece of red tape that really doesn’t do B.C. businesses any good. We are listening, and we are working to ensure that restaurants can focus on offering their customers a high level of service without this unnecessary burden. The move will save restaurants time and money that can be better focused on promoting their establishment and growing B.C.’s economy.”

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