Substance Law Logo
Over 100 5 star google reviews from Cannabis lawyer canada

How To Get a Catering Endorsement from AGCO For Liquor Licence

Helping Canadian Businesses Get Licences, Stay Onside And Resolve Their Legal Challenges.

Understanding the Requirements for a Caterer’s Endorsement

Event Sponsorship and Alcohol Service Regulations

Securing a catering endorsement from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) necessitates a thorough understanding of event sponsorship and alcohol service regulations. The catered event must be sponsored by someone other than the licence holder, ensuring a clear distinction between the host and the service provider. Additionally, it is imperative that only the caterer’s employees are permitted to sell or serve alcohol, maintaining professional control over alcohol distribution.

To adhere to these regulations, caterers should implement the following steps:

  • Ensure that event sponsorship is correctly documented and separate from the licence holder.
  • Verify that all staff involved in the sale and service of alcohol are direct employees.
  • Develop a system to track and return unserved alcohol to the caterer’s licensed premises.

Navigating the complexities of these regulations can be challenging, but Substance Law is equipped to assist caterers in achieving compliance. With knowledge in various legal areas, including liquor licensing, Substance Law provides valuable guidance to prevent the risk of a Liquor Licence being revoked or suspended.

Employee Restrictions and Alcohol Handling

When seeking a catering endorsement from the AGCO, it’s crucial to understand the employee restrictions and proper alcohol handling procedures. Employees must be trained to handle alcohol responsibly and to comply with the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA). This includes recognizing valid identification, refusing service to intoxicated patrons, and adhering to permissible hours for selling and serving alcohol.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Checking for signs of intoxication and valid identification.
  • Refusing service and sales to minors or visibly intoxicated individuals.
  • Understanding that caffeinated energy drinks can mask the effects of alcohol, requiring careful monitoring.

Substance Law can provide guidance on navigating these regulations and ensuring that your staff is adequately prepared. Their knowledge can help you establish protocols that protect your business and promote responsible alcohol service.

Responsibilities Towards Intoxicated Patrons

Caterers with a liquor licence have a Duty of Care to ensure the safety of their patrons, which includes managing situations involving intoxicated individuals. Servers must not serve a customer to the point of intoxication and should take proactive steps to prevent harm, including stopping intoxicated customers from driving. Caterers must be vigilant in recognizing the signs of intoxication and have protocols in place to address such situations effectively.

See also  Do I Need Floor Plans for an Ontario Liquor Licence Application?

When dealing with intoxicated patrons, it is crucial to have a clear plan of action:

  1. Cease alcohol service to the individual.
  2. Notify a manager or supervisor of the situation.
  3. Arrange for a safe way for the patron to get home, such as calling a taxi.
  4. Ensure the patron is safely off the premises before considering the server’s responsibility to be concluded.

Substance Law can provide guidance and support in establishing these protocols and ensuring compliance with regulations. Remember, the server’s responsibility does not end until the intoxicated customer is in a safe situation, which may include them leaving in a taxi or being picked up by a responsible friend. Caterers should be aware that fines, charges, and monetary penalties can be imposed for serving underage customers or over-serving alcohol, highlighting the importance of strict adherence to the law.

Compliance with the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019

Prohibited Practices Under the LLCA

The Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA) sets forth strict guidelines to ensure the responsible sale and service of alcohol. Understanding these prohibitions is crucial for any catering business seeking an endorsement from the AGCO. Some of the key practices that are not allowed under the LLCA include:

  • Offering free food as an incentive for purchasing alcohol
  • Requiring the purchase of a minimum number of drinks
  • Watering down drinks without the customer’s knowledge or consent

It is essential to familiarize yourself with these and other regulations to avoid penalties and ensure the safety and satisfaction of your patrons. Substance Law can provide expert guidance and legal services to navigate these complex regulations effectively. With a comprehensive understanding of the LLCA, caterers can confidently apply for an endorsement, knowing they are in full compliance with the law.

See also  When is a Canadian Trademark Application "Confusingly Similar" to an Existing Mark?

Strategies to Prevent Over-Service of Alcohol

Preventing over-service of alcohol is not only a legal requirement but also a crucial aspect of responsible catering. Implementing effective strategies to manage alcohol consumption can help ensure a safe and enjoyable event for all guests. Here are some practical measures to consider:

  • Serve one drink at a time to monitor consumption rates.
  • Encourage guests to wait for the customer to reorder before providing another beverage.
  • Pass the table less frequently to reduce the temptation of excessive drinking.
  • Offer a variety of food, water, and non-alcoholic drinks to provide alternatives to alcohol.

Substance Law recognizes the complexities involved in adhering to the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA) and offers guidance to navigate these regulations. With a comprehensive understanding of the laws and a proactive approach to service, caterers can minimize the risks associated with alcohol service.

Legal Obligations for Selling and Serving Alcohol

Caterers seeking an endorsement from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) must be well-versed in the legal obligations that come with selling and serving alcohol. Adherence to the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA) is paramount, as it governs all aspects of alcohol service in Ontario, including the health and safety laws for establishments and the minimum standards for facilities.

Key responsibilities include ensuring that alcohol content for all wine, beer, and spirits sold meets regulatory standards and that service is conducted in a manner that prevents over-service and intoxication. Caterers must also be aware of the Traffic Light System for assessing patrons, which should be applied consistently to monitor and manage consumption.

Substance Law can provide guidance on these complex regulations, ensuring that your business remains compliant while delivering quality service. Their website covers excise warehouses, cannabis laws, education, and more, offering a comprehensive resource for staying informed on regulatory requirements.

See also  Food Safety Consultants : Substance Law


Securing a catering endorsement from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is a critical step for caterers who wish to provide a complete service that includes the sale and service of alcohol. As we have outlined, understanding and adhering to the requirements set forth by the AGCO is essential. This includes ensuring events are sponsored by someone other than the licence holder, that only the caterer’s employees handle alcohol sales and service, and that unserved alcohol is returned to the licensed premises. Additionally, caterers must be vigilant in preventing over-service and ensuring the responsible consumption of alcohol at events. By following the guidelines of the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA), caterers can maintain compliance, avoid the risk of licence suspension or revocation, and provide safe, enjoyable experiences for their clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for obtaining a Caterer’s Endorsement from AGCO?

The requirements include: the catered event must be sponsored by someone other than the licence holder, only the caterer’s employees can sell or serve alcohol, and unserved alcohol must be returned to the caterer’s licensed premises.

What practices are prohibited under the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA)?

Prohibited practices under the LLCA include requiring that a minimum number of drinks be purchased, watering down drinks without a customer’s approval, and allowing guests to take their drink outside of the licensed area.

As a server, when does my responsibility towards an intoxicated patron end?

A server’s responsibility towards an intoxicated patron does not end when the customer leaves the premises; servers must ensure that intoxicated patrons have a safe way to get home and are not over-served.

Get In Touch With Us Now

We Serve Those In The Following Industries… And More! Cannabis • Psychedelics • Vaping • Liquor • Tobacco • Excise Duty • Food & Drugs • NHPs • Money Services Businesses (MSBs), AML & FINTRAC • Crypto • NFTs.

Contact Our Law Practice Now

Book 30-Min Consultation

Book 60-Min Consultation

NOTE: May include referrals to vetted third party law firms, consultants, and other parties.

Please note we also retain the services of lawyers experienced in different areas on a contract basis.

Our Law Firm is Headed by Lawyer Harrison Jordan

Harrison Jordan, Lawyer at Substance Law