Steps before starting an application:
- Talk with neighbouring businesses and local traders’ groups
Applications put forward by a collective group of businesses will be looked upon favourably. Now is the time to work together - disputes or disagreements about location of infrastructure and seating will delay applications.
- Consider safety and access first
Not all streets are suitable for on-street dining. Think about how you can you locate seating so that pram and wheelchair access is maintained on footpaths at all times.
- Liquor licensing
Visit www.vcglr.vic.gov.au/covid-19 to find out more about applying for a Temporary Limited Licence in al fresco areas.
- COVID Safe Plan
You must have a COVID Safe Plan and record all patron names and contact numbers. All additional Victorian Government advice regarding outdoor trading requirements for the hospitality sector must also be strictly followed.
If you don’t already have public liability insurance for al fresco dining, you will need to obtain this urgently. You may need to extend existing insurance if you are looking to expand the area that you serve in.
- State Government Grants
You can apply for grants of up to $5000 from the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package. These grants can assist with purchasing practical items such as umbrellas and furniture. Find out more and apply now.
Can I apply to extend my outdoor dining area into the footpath area of an adjoining business?
Yes. Along with your application you will need to provide a letter from the owner/operator/tenants/Body Corporate of the neighbouring property. If the proposal is for an outdoor cafe on the ground floor of a neighbouring multi-storey building, consent from neighbouring ground floor tenant(s) and the building owner are required.
If your business is licenced for alcohol, you will need to extend your redline plan with Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) and the City’s town planning
department, as your customers will not be able to consume liquor in the extended area until this is finalised.
Can I use adjoining public spaces to expand my outdoor dining area?
Businesses are encouraged to maximise the use of land within their boundary as well as along adjoining footpath areas as a priority. Use of public spaces may be considered in some instances. The City is further considering how to best manage these scenarios, with a focus on safety and equitable use of public spaces.
Can I use car spaces to expand my outdoor dining area?
Businesses are encouraged to maximise the use of land within their boundary as well as along adjoining footpath areas as a priority. Use of car spaces may be considered in some instances.
The City is further considering how to best manage these scenarios, with a focus on safety.
Will I need additional insurance?
You will require public liability insurance to the value of $10 million. Businesses that already offer outdoor dining should already have this in place. Please check with your insurer in the first instance.
Will I need to amend my existing liquor license if I extend my outdoor dining area?
If your business is licensed for alcohol, you will need to extend your redline plan with the VictorianCommission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) and the City’s town planning department, as your customers will not be able to consume liquor in the extended area until this is finalised.
How do I apply for an outdoor dining permit or amend my current permit?
Please fill out the checklist form on this web page and relevant Council staff will be in touch as quickly as possible to discuss your individual needs and get the official process underway.
Spend time now preparing to get your application right. Providing the right information the first time can save time on the assessment and will get your outdoor dining space operating the way you want much quicker.
What is your business idea?
Start by telling us exactly what your idea is and where and how you would like to implement it.
These links below provide you with a range of advice and tools to assist your business preparation:
Victorian Land Registry Services- find a copy of your title
Liquor Licensing (VCGLR) – understand the processes for liquor licenses
Liquor License Key Facts:
- Existing licensees will first need written permission from their local council to use public external/outdoor areas that are not currently authorised under the licensee’s existing permanent liquor licence.
- If you have council permission to use the outdoor area, and you subsequently apply for a temporary limited licence (outdoor area temp licence) this may be granted and a licence issued to you that allows the supply of liquor in the outdoor area…
- If you would like to temporarily supply liquor in an outdoor area that falls outside the red-line plan of your existing permanent licence, and the land is privately owned, please contact us to discuss your options…
Requirements when applying and timeframe
To apply for an outdoor area temp licence, you will need to provide the following documents from your local council with your application:
- Written permission from your local council allowing you to use the outdoor area (this may be a permit, licence, or letter issued by the local council).
- A plan that clearly describes the boundary of the outdoor area endorsed by your local council (this can be part of the written permission under item 1).
- Specified trading hours for the outdoor area, from your local council (this may be part of the written permission under item 1).
To make this process as streamlined as possible please fill out the Outdoor Dining Permit Checklist on this page to give Council an overview of the various components of your plan.
Relevant Council departments will then be in touch in the following days to ensure you are given up to date legal advice as well as all forms you will need to have processed for your outdoor dining project to meet legal requirements for your business and patrons.