**excerpt from ABLE BC
Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, released additional guidance on how liquor-serving-only businesses can remain open by providing meals from external sources.
Liquor primary licensees that do not offer full meal service have been ordered closed since December 22, 2022. Since then, there has been considerable confusions from inspectors across BC on issues such as whether licensees could: 1) partner with a local pub, restaurant, or food truck to offer meals, or 2) remain open to serve liquor after closing kitchens for the evening, as is normal industry practice.
Today’s order clarifies this process. Sector associations worked directly with the PHO to bring about these necessary changes to support members who have been ordered closed simply because they did not have kitchens.
To summarize the changes:
- A liquor primary licensee that does not offer meal service (ie bars and nightclubs) may enter into a Catering Partnership Agreement with one or more catering partners to offer full meal service.
- A catering partner might include a food truck, catering company, or other food-serving premises such as a restaurant, pub, or quick-service restaurant.
- Full meal service means offering a wide variety of food, which may include appetizers, main courses, and desserts, but not just appetizers, tapas, or dessert or snacks such as popcorn, nuts, or chips.
- The licensee must maintain a record of sale of meals. This can be a copy of sales provided by the catering partner and does not need to include original receipts. This record must be available for inspectors at all times.
- Catering Partner Agreements must be available for inspectors at all times.
- Full meal service can be stopped up to three hours before ending liquor service.
- The order, for catering agreements, now has the same expiry date as the Gatherings and Events order, February 16, 2022, except for Part D (Proof of Vaccination) which is still set to expire on June 30, 2022.
Click here to read the full text of the revised order. A guidance document will also be available soon to assist licensees in interpreting the order.