I've never applied for a premises license; it costs around 2k. I do BYO which allows people to bring good wine if they wish (I'm increasingly irritated by people that buy bad wine, how can they stand it?). I've not had a problem with plastic bags and cans....have you actually done any events? You get the odd one but it's not really a problem.
A TEN is fine, I'd stick with that for now.
Have you read/bought my book Supper Club that talks about this whole subject... sounds like you haven't...
Hi Daniel and Kate,
My name is Jay, and i've been running my pop-up/supper club since January. The issue you raise is a complex one, and I doubt anybody has a perfect solution (msmarmite might tell me otherwise!).
Supper clubs in their own right are in a slightly legal 'grey area' given that they are essentially unlicensed temporary restaurants, serving food to the public. Depending on the local regulations, many technically require registration with the Environmental Health Authority. Even if the payment for the event is a "donation", this does not provide exemption.
Alcohol furthers the complications. Any alcohol served at any supper club in the country, from a 'complimentary welcome glass of champagne' to 'wine pairing' is technically breaking the law if they don't have a TEN, and even then there are the aforementioned issues, not to mention questions regarding liability insurance.
In my experience so far, the kind of people who pay to come to a supper club aren't likely to bring plastic bags of stella with them; BYO has always been fine. Having said that, washing all the glasses, chilling and serving etc.. isn't particularly rewarding with BYO. For a few events, we had an honesty bar system with a house red and house white, and this worked really well too. Don't get me wrong, it still isn't the best idea if you're likely to be hosting your local council member, but then again, neither is the whole supper club in general.
Best of luck with your first one in December!
Thanks for the reply Jay.
The TEN licence (£21 with 10 days notice) is okay for a few events but not the long term anwser. I do like the logic of effectively an honesty box (or similar).
Currently going for the TEN - but might change that.
Out of interest - how many people do you host per event? We seem to have generated a lot of interest - (via Facebook and through networking) so going to be interesting!
Welcome your views on our plans. Check out www.boxmoorfoodies.co.uk/event
We have hosted up to 22, but more regularly it's been around 14, simply because a lower number is more managable when you are doing 6 course menus. It's great that you're event is generating so much interest!
I hope it goes well for you. If i'm ever in your area i'll look out for one of your events.