ELTC Bar/Drinks Policy

April 2024


This document sets out the modus operandi of the bar and the policies for its operation.

Philosophy – The bar exists to facilitate some of the social activities of the club and to provide refreshments during and after tournaments, club nights, etc. We recognise that the bar, when used responsibly, can help to promote a sense of camaraderie and thus can bolster our ethos as a friendly and inclusive club.

In keeping with the Club’s non-profit philosophy, the bar is not run to generate profits for the Club. However, it should, like other non-tennis aspects of the club, cover its own costs. Therefor the bar aims to make a gross margin of, on average, 25%-35%, as it has done historically. This margin should be sufficient to cover the bar’s overheads.

  1. Opening – The bar is not always open as we do not regularly employ bar staff. The bar is opened for advertised social events including the club tournaments, junior nights, supper nights, televised sporting events (eg Wimbledon, Six Nations), etc. Otherwise, it is opened on an ad hoc basis, for example for refreshments after home tennis (league) matches at Elliswick or after tournament matches. Certain members, including team captains and Committee members, have bar keys. The bar is not to be used for private functions or individuals wishing to socialise at the club in small groups for reasons unrelated to the club’s activities.
  2. Hours of operation – The ELTC bar is licensed by the SADC and opening hours are limited by the terms of our licence. Alcohol may be served to members and guests between 10:00h and 23:00h Monday to Saturday and 12:00h to 22:30h on Sundays (other times apply to specific holidays). The bar and clubhouse must be shut by 23:20h Monday to Saturday and by 22:50h on Sundays. These are legal requirements and thus any infractions, which could potentially put the Club’s ability to open the bar at risk, will have serious disciplinary consequences.
  3. Considerate behaviour – Independently of our legal obligations, the Club wishes to remain in good standing with our neighbours. Any negative reputation or ill will towards the Club would hinder our ability to cooperate with neighbours on certain matters. Therefore any patrons or operators of the bar and clubhouse should be mindful of our neighbours and show respect and considerate behaviour towards them. This in particular refers to noise levels: music, recycling into the black bins, late nighttime car departures, etc.
  4. ELTC drinks policy – The SADC requires that we document the provenance of all drinks served on premises and keep records of all purchases. Thus, also taking into account the policy that we generate the margins required to cover the costs of the bar, it is the club’s policy that all drinks consumed on the club’s premises be purchased from the bar (when the bar is open). The obvious exceptions, of course, are tea/coffee and non-alcoholic refreshments taken on court by adults and juniors.
  5. Bartending – Paid bartenders are engaged for events where the volume of customers warrants them, for example supper nights or tournaments. For less well attended events (eg the jazz jams, men’s nights, ladies nights, club nights and junior nights), volunteer bartenders are asked to help.
  6. Stocking the bar – The bar is stocked with a variety of soft drinks and alcoholic drinks. The bar stockist (the club Administrator) determines the range of items to be purchased, given the experience of historical sales and any suggestions from members. When specific types of drinks are required for events (such as for the tournament or for fizz nights and supper nights), the Social Secretary or other members may request that the bar stockist purchase specific items that may not be usually stocked.
  7. Purchasing policy – Purchases are made from a variety of sources and purchasing is done jointly for the bar and kitchen (ie milk, sugar, coffee for the latter). The bar stockist (the club Administrator) shops around to get the best deals for the club. Most bar items are bought on offer. To ensure that the required provenance and record keeping standards are met, all purchases must be made by the bar stockist.
  8. Payment – When there is a bartender present, payment for items consumed is made to the bartender. When no bartender is present, the bar is considered an “honesty bar” and bar patrons are expected to leave payment at the time of consumption. No tabs are to be used unless a card or sufficient cash to cover the expected consumption is left behind the bar upfront.  Cash payment is preferred to card payment but we willingly accept both payment methods.
  9. Pricing and Margins – Pricing is set to reflect purchase prices and the target margins. The resulting prices are therefore much lower than other establishments such as pubs, rugby clubs, etc., which generate far higher margins. In fact, most items served at the Club bar cost half (or less) of what they would cost at bars and pubs.
  10. Bar Sub-committee -The Bar Sub-committee has oversight of the bar’s operations including the purchase and the supply by the Club of alcohol. It will be meeting at least twice yearly to review the running of the bar (including opening hours, procurement, profitability and accounting), to address any issues that may have arisen, and to consider any significant changes.