Beer Gardens: How Can I Avoid a Claim?

The minute it hits 15 degrees or over, you can guarantee customers will flock to your beer garden! The UK has a famous (or infamous!) love for drinking al fresco, and rightly so. But there are risks involved in mixing booze with heat, pint glasses, and gazebos. Take these preventative measures to ensure your establishment is operating safely while sacrificing none of the fun. While you’re at it, take a look at our Pub Insurance page for all the info you need on protecting your business!

🍻 Give out plastic cups

Most sensible pubs will collect pint pots, glasses, and tumblers in after dark. Not only will it reduce theft of your assets (where DOES all the nice Peroni glasses go?), it will keep your customers safe. Alcohol can speed up dehydration when it’s hot outside, which means it is important to watch out for those under the influence. The best way to minimise smashed glass is to remove it altogether! Instruct members of bar staff to head out with a stack of plastic cups for decanting. Some customers will complain, but just remind them that their safety is in your best interests. Nobody wants to end their night with a trip to A&E!


🍻 Employ security staff

Having security staff on-site will put your mind at ease if anything should go awry, especially during events or as the evening draws near. The onset of underage drinking, brawls and other antisocial activities can be regulated, meaning your bar staff members can focus on the job at hand. Alternatively, if you’re a small establishment, encourage the bar manager or supervisor to roam the premises regularly.


🍻 Keep an eye on who is taking trips to the bar

When the bar is 3 deep and the premises are packed, it is sometimes hard to regulate who is at the receiving end of a round. This is especially true when parties are huddled at the back of the beer garden! Always operate Challenge 25 or Challenge 21, and check with the cash payer as to whom the drinks are for. Don’t be shy about asking these questions; it is your job and license on the line if they turn out to be policeman doing a routine check!


🍻 Check the condition of garden furniture

Last year’s garden furniture might have been spot on, but a lot can happen in a year. Bad weather, wear & tear and other factors can contribute to the condition of your furniture, so ensure you check that patio set before putting it to good use! The majority of pub-related accidents are slips and trips, so bear this is mind when completing your checks. You can also:

  • Make sure your umbrellas are firmly wedged in the ground
  • Inspect outside fixtures and fittings well
  • Ensure decking and patio is not slippery after it has been raining


🍻 Know the law

It might seem obvious, but you can’t expect to stay claim-free if you don’t follow rules outlined in your establishment’s licenses or within UK law. Steer clear of extended drinking hours when you are not authorised, and keep the noise down after 11pm if you are situated in a residential area. If a claim should be submitted, you will not be viewed in a positive light if you are already breaking the law.


🍻 Ensure hire companies hold the correct licenses

Planning a function? Bouncy castles, fireworks, BBQs, and even external caterers come with their risks, so ask to see essential documents beforehand. You need to check who is liable for what and to what extent, so insurance is in place if something should go wrong.


Pub, Restaurant & Hotel Cover at The Insurance Octopus

Protect your business even further with business insurance! Choosing the right business insurance package to suit your restaurant, pub or bed & breakfast is essential. At The Insurance Octopus, we can help you with options to find the most efficient and cost-effective business insurance policy tailored to your needs.


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