Supplying hot food or drink to the public for consumption on or off the premises between 11pm and 5am is a licensable activity.

This includes hot food or drink that:

  • is above air temperature
  • is heated on the premises or elsewhere before it is supplied to the public.

Supplying is the time that you hand the food over to a customer and not the sale which is when you take the order or receive payment.

Please make sure that you take note of:

  • when you take your last orders
  • how long it takes to cook so that you are not breaching the legislation
  • time it takes to package the food
  • the time when you hand over the hot food or hot drink
  • that you apply correctly for the hours that you want to licence (between 11pm and 5am)
  • whether you supply the hot food or hot drink on or off (please see the definitions on takeaways and restaurants).

Apply for a Premises licence or TEN

Please apply for a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice.


Vending machines are exempt if customers can help themselves to hot drinks only. Staff canteens, campsites, hotels and guesthouses are also exempt.


If you want to operate as a takeaway after 11pm then the late night refreshment is to supply the food for the customer to take 'off' the premises. If you have an area inside which allows for customer to consume food on the premises then you may need to tick both 'on and off' the premises.


At a restaurant you supply the food 'on' the premises but if you also provide a takeaway service then you will need to tick 'both'.


For more information contact the Licensing Team by emailing

Write to: Licensing Unit, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR.