The takeaway licence change introduced in March 2020 allowing pubs, restaurants and cafes to provide a food takeaway service during the pandemic, without going through the usual planning application process, has been automatically extended until 23 March 2022.
Whilst pubs and restaurants are currently restricted from selling alcohol on their premises to take away (but can still provide delivery or click and collect) due to the national covid restrictions in England, the law before March would have restricted pubs and restaurants from choosing to only offer food takeaway services.
The takeaway licence change introduced in March and extended on 11 November 2020 mean pubs and restaurants can focus on selling food takeaways if they choose to.
The takeaway measure applies to food, and serving of alcoholic drinks will continue to be subject to licensing laws.
Hospitality businesses intending to operate as a takeaway are still required to notify the Council that they are operating but do not need prior approval. Operators may also have to notify their landlords to operate in this way, depending upon their lease arrangements.
When the takeaway use stops on or before 23 March 2022 the land and buildings return to their former lawful use. Westminster City Council has issued additional advice for businesses converting to takeaway use – download the guide.
We’ve taken decisive action since the beginning of the pandemic to support our pubs, restaurants, cafes and markets. Making it easier for them to provide takeaways has helped these businesses to adapt and helped sustain many through an unbelievably difficult year.
That’s why I am extending these simple but effective reforms to support these businesses – helping give them and their employees more certainty over the coming year. It will also be a boost for their customers who can now look forward to continuing to enjoy meals at home from their favourite restaurants. As these reforms have made such a difference, I will be considering making them permanent.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP
The ability to provide takeaway services was a valuable lifeline for many hospitality venues, not just during the lockdown but in the days of reduced and restricted trade, too.
The extension will undoubtedly help many. For pubs, restaurants and cafes to operate as takeaways gives them a previously untapped revenue stream and a much better chance to survive what will be a tough winter. It will help avoid waste and allow businesses to retain a valuable link with their customers and communities.
Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality