By Triana O'Keefe, editor Australian Hotelier

For many pubs around Australia, being situated close to residential zones and inner city apartments means they are frequently subject to noise complaints and liquor licencing notices.

Balancing the fine line between abiding by license regulations and providing an entertaining atmosphere for paying customers is a constant battle for venue operators.

Ferrier Hodgson’s Morgan Kelly explained that a significant element of compliance is the requirement for security.

“For late night venues, security is often the most significant cost after wages,” Kelly said.

“A venue’s profitability is extremely sensitive to increased hourly rates and minimum number of required security guards.”

Security costs are set to rise further with a more onerous vetting of patrons process. In entertainment precincts, such as Sydney’s Kings Cross, there is already a requirement to have linked electronic scanners, with additional security required to oversee those scanners.

Late night entertainment venues are more susceptible to rising compliance costs than a suburban hotel that does not trade past midnight. In the face of unsustainable compliance costs, some hotels have turned away from late night drinking/entertainment models in favour of a more balanced operation that generates revenue across multiple departments.

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The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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