choosing your picnic provider
This picnic business is pretty complex stuff. We have to navigate councils, insurances, and laws and regulations, all designed to protect you, as the customer. The business overheads will usually be reflected in the package prices. If they have low package prices, chances are, they might not have paid for some of the permits required for us to trade, which puts you at risk of fine, or removal of your picnic from the park mid celebration.
Here are some things to consider when choosing your picnic provider:
1) Do they have public liability insurance? This is required to trade in public parks, and needs to be submitted to councils prior to bookings, to protect Third parties and property from injury and damage. The ranger may request this from the provider even during the middle of your picnic and if they are unable to produce this, may move you on.
2) Have they notified the council they will be trading on their parklands? We are required to let most councils in Perth know we will be setting up at one of their locations. In some cases, a trading fee is also payable, and many have restrictions on what can be set up. E.g. Kings Park requires you to hire a site from them (they may ask you to pack down and leave if you don’t formally hire a site!), and they also do not allow you to put up any structures such as Arbours & Teepees. South Perth Foreshore require you to have a permit to put structures up. The last thing you want is a council ranger turning up asking you to pack up mid-picnic because you don’t have permission to be there.
3) Is the business compliant with liquor licencing requirements? Again, we are required to follow these regulations, and again, notify most councils where alcohol will be served. Some councils ban alcohol consumption altogether. Unfortunately, if you are caught drinking without permit or in a banned area, you personally are responsible for the fine, even as the customer (which can be thousands of dollars)
4) If the company is providing you food, are they registered with the Department of Health? Registered food companies have to jump through a million hoops to be granted permission to cook from their kitchen, and there's a good reason why! It is illegal to sell and serve food without this approval as it protects customers from food contamination, particularly with the high risk food often served at these events such as cheeses and meats.
5) Does the business have terms and conditions outlining both yours and their rights, in regards to bookings, changes, refunds, and everything else that comes with it?
7) Are they registered as a business? If they are not, and something goes wrong, you could be out of pocket/inconvenienced and not protected by consumer laws.
8) If the business is charging you GST, they should be registered for GST. Check this if you are being charged GST.
There is plenty more we have to consider as a registered business, however these are the critical ones you should look out for to ensure your day is seamless, without any hiccups!