When your clients take a seat in your salon, they probably expect to be offered a cup of tea or coffee alongside their hair or nail care appointment. But, have you ever considered offering them a glass of wine or bubbly?
These days, customers are putting more and more value into their experience as a whole, as well as the results of their treatment. Whether it’s a celebratory glass for a bride-to-be or a regular pre-weekend treat, serving alcohol in your salon can be a great way to market your treatments.
However, there is a catch. Serving alcohol in a beauty salon or barbershop is protected by the same red tape as a pub or restaurant. If you don’t follow the laws and guidelines, you could end up being issued with a hefty fine. Even if your alcohol is served complimentary, you need to have the right license to make sure you are keeping above board.
Read on to find out more about alcohol licensing across the UK or skip to our tips on introducing alcoholic drinks into your salon successfully…
What is the licensing law on serving alcohol in a salon or barbers?
The licensing law on serving alcohol in your salon will depend on what part of the UK your premises are in…
England & Wales
If your salon is located in England or Wales, you need to hold both of the following licenses:
1. A Premises Licence
Any business or event needs to obtain a premises licence to be able to sell alcohol in a specific location. To get one, you need to send your application form to your local council along with the required fee – this ranges from £100 to just under £2,000 depending on your business. A further annual fee also applies. In addition, your licence must be clearly visible in your salon.
Useful link: Premises License Application
2. A Personal Licence
Along with your premises licence, you must also get a personal licence. This designates you as the premises supervisor at your salon, meaning you are responsible for ensuring alcohol is served professionally. Your staff don’t need to obtain one of these, as long as they are over 18 and you are happy to authorise them to serve it responsibly.
Useful link: Personal Licence Application
Before you apply for a personal licence, you do need to obtain a personal licence qualification, first. This ensures that you are aware of all the necessary licensing laws and responsibilities.
You can find a list of Personal Licence Qualification Providers here.
If your salon or barbershop is located in Scotland, a similar process applies.
First, you must apply for a personal licence from your local council. You can find out about obtaining one in Scotland here. To be able to apply for one, you will first need to obtain a Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH) – find out more about these here.
Once you have a personal licence, you can go ahead and apply for your Scottish premises licence. You will need to nominate your ‘designated premises supervisor’, who should hold a personal licence and will be named on the premises licence.
To sell alcohol in Northern Ireland, you need to apply to a County Court for a licence. Different licensing conditions apply to different types of premises and may vary by area. To apply, you will need to pay your County Court fees. Licenses can be granted for up to 5 years.
You can find out more about Northern Ireland alcohol licensing here.
Tips for offering alcohol in your salon
While the red tape might seem daunting, don’t be put off from applying for alcohol licensing! If you think it is worth investing the fees, adding a little fizz to your treatments can be a good way to boost marketing.
As with any establishment, serving alcohol in your salon or barbers does require a measure of responsibility to ensure it doesn’t backfire on you. Take a look at our tips to ensure your salon doesn’t lose its legs when it comes to serving alcoholic drinks…
- Limit clients to one drink per visit. You are foremostly a salon, and don’t want to be dealing with over-tipsy customers when you have scissors and other equipment around.
- Ask if they are driving. If your clients are driving to and from their appointment, it’s best to refrain from offering a drink.
- Only serve on certain days. A Friday after work cocktail night, for example, could help boost treatments – again, one drink per customer!
- Include fizz in packages. If you’re concerned about handing out alcohol to too many clients, offer it as part of a treatment package for special occasions such as Mother’s Day or Christmas.
- Consider your salon or barbershop’s brand. If you are more wellness focussed, serving alcohol may not be a good idea. Similarly, if your clients like coming to your salon for a quiet and relaxing treatment, they might not appreciate you inviting too many bridesmaid parties in for a celebratory toast.