Bean Coffee, which is accessible from an alleyway off George St in Brisbane CBD, has come up with a clever way of circumventing Brisbane City Council’s food business licensing regulation. Bean will sell you the ingredients to make a toasted sandwich, but you make it yourself in the cafe (see photo below). This means Bean doesn’t prepare food and, therefore, it doesn’t need to be licensed as a food business, avoiding an annual licensing fee of at least $675 and whatever other costly requirements are imposed on license holders. For example, it appears there might be requirements around the design of licensed kitchens.
Great work, Bean! It’s heartening to see that businesses can find innovative ways of avoiding regulations that are unnecessary restraints on trade. I’d suggest the Council should review its food licensing regulation to ensure it really is necessary for protecting public health and that it isn’t unnecessarily inhibiting the opening of food businesses – at a cost of forgone economic activity and jobs.