If you run a licensed premises there are laws about how you must display your prices to consumers.
The particular regulation is called the Retail Price (Beverages in Licensed Premises) Display Order and is enforced by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
These regulations make it mandatory for licensed premises to display a specified drink price list inside each bar and lounge area. This law applies to pubs, wine bars, hotel lounges and other licensed premises, but not to off-licences.
Licensed premises must have two price display lists:
- A comprehensive price list of all drinks on sale. This should be on display within each drinking area on the premises
- A “16 item” list which details the prices of specified drinks. This should be on display immediately outside or immediately inside each entrance to a licensed premises. As a rule of thumb, if the display is not outside, it should be capable of being read having taken one step inside the premises
The following are the 16 items that need to be displayed. The prices must be displayed for at least one kind of each of them (for example at least one kind of draught stout) if sold:
- Pint (568 ml) for at least one kind of draught stout
- Pint (568ml) of draught ale
- Pint (568 ml) of draught lager
- Pint (568ml) of draught cider
- Bottle (330ml) of stout
- Bottle (330ml) of ale
- Bottle (330ml) of lager
- Bottle (330ml) of cider
- Measure (35.5ml) of whiskey
- Measure (35.5ml) of vodka
- Measure (35.5ml) of gin
- Bottle (200ml) of carbonated drink
- Bottle (200ml) of carbonated cola drink
- Bottle (113ml) of a mixer
- Bottle (250ml) of bottled water
- Wine (187ml)
The notices should be legible and up-to-date. With regard to the comprehensive list, the letters and figures on a notice displayed shall be at least three millimetres in height and of proportionate width. With regard to the “16 item” list, a notice displayed shall be at least A4 in size and the letters and figures on the notice shall be at least 4 millimetres in height and of proportionate width.
If the prices you charge are different to the prices displayed, this constitutes a misleading price indication, and you may be in breach of the Consumer Protection Act. We have the power, if such breaches are found, to take enforcement action, including issuing compliance notices.
Remember that if your premises has a bar, lounge and nightclub, each charging different prices, you must have a corresponding price list for each part of the premises. Or if you have a policy of increasing prices after a certain time (for instance, after 11pm), the prices on display should be those being charged at the time; after 11pm, in this example.
Watering down alcoholic drink is officially called “adulteration of drink”. This is a breach of consumer law and can also be investigated by us.
If you offer food to be consumed on the premises, you have other legal obligations such as the need to have a food price display.
Where prices are not displayed, we have has the option of taking enforcement action, including the issuing of fixed payment notices.
- Read the full legislation, Retail Price (Beverages in Licensed Premises) Display Order
- Licensed premises which offer dining facilities are also affected by rules on food prices
- Learn about the laws on displaying prices
- Learn about the rules on advertising your licensed premises
- Find out how the regulations on sale of goods and services affect you
- Discover what to expect if a consumer decides to take a dispute with you to the Small Claims Court