What is Competitive Socialising?

22 Feb

In short, Competitive Socialising is basically engaging in playing games and activities, whilst socialising with family, friends, and colleagues over food and drink. Depending on the personalities of the participants, the level of competitiveness may vary.


Whether or not you are familiar with the term “Competitive Socialising” (don’t worry many aren’t), it is more than likely that you have already experienced this sector. Whether it be by playing shuffleboard, axe throwing, mini-golf/crazy golf or visiting an Escape Room. Coming out of the pandemic, consumer data suggests that the customer is now looking beyond venues that are solely focused on food and drink offerings, albeit there is still a very big space in hospitality for these establishments and wanting to spend their money on experiences.

This type of offering is not a new concept and historically we have seen pubs will pool tables, dartboards, pinball machines or even an air hockey table, but with the Competitive Socialising innovation, largely being led by the leisure sector, we now seeing that venues are now following this lead and looking to bolster their offering by including an experience-based element to their offering. We are now even seeing “Scalextric” style tracks in pubs!

However, before a venue looks to extend their offering, it is important to firstly review your premises licence to see what variations to that licence may need to be made. Depending on the scale of the offering (i.e. a shuffleboard table or an E-karting track) it is likely that the premises layout will need to be a varied. Under the Licensing Act 2003, the plan which forms part of the Premises Licence, must resemble the current layout of the premises and if that is to be changed, then an engagement with the Licensing Authority will need to occur.  The level of this engagement will depend on the extend of the variation to the premises layout. The Premises Licence conditions may also need to be reviewed, as the operating schedule may contain conditions that may obstruct or prevent the new proposed offering or the local authorities may require further measures be added.

If you are considering expanding your venue's offering, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our specialist licensing team for advice on what action maybe required.

Law correct at the date of publication.
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