Clever way of getting around Brisbane City Council food business licensing


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.


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8 Responses to Clever way of getting around Brisbane City Council food business licensing

  1. Katrina Drake says:

    Regulation is often their for good reason – if Bean Coffee are flouting food business regulation – what else are they flouting. Have their electrical appliances recently been tested and tagged to ensure you don’t electrocute yourself ? The work area looks generally unsafe to me, shelves with liquids above electrical appliances, and no spill guards on the shelves. Shelves filled and balanced precariously .

    Good luck with your dose of Hepatitis A when the person before you doesn’t wash his hands and contaminates your cheap lunch !

    Licensed Kitchen are designed and required to be safe and clean, with hand wash facilities – that the major difference.

    Looks like an episode of Mr. Bean waiting to happen. Falling down step, shelves collapsing, vomiting in the lane way. Enjoy your lunch !

  2. Katrina Drake says:

    The strangest food regulation I have ever experienced was at the markets in Rockhampton the obesity capital of Queensland. There was a Hot Chip stall, beside a stall selling watermelons. Trying to be healthy I bypassed the Hot Chips, and asked to buy a slice of luscious watermelon. The stall holder apologised, that because of food regulations, he was not able to sell me a slice of water melon. I would have to buy a whole one. He was not allowed to slice the fruit, it had to be sold whole because of food regulations. Needless to say, I wasn’t walking around the markets with a whole watermelon. So I went without. Apparently, Greasy Hot Chips are healthy, and sliced watermelon is not. Go Figure !

  3. The Happy Hillbilly says:

    And yet you can buy cut watermelons in the supermarket! I guess the rationale is that once cut, a watermelon begins to deteriorate pretty quickly without refrigeration. Chips may be loaded with artery-clogging fat but they have come straight out of an environement that no microorganism can survive – 180 degree boiling oil – and you take them straight away.

    As an aside, I know that a bloke who runs a hot chip stall here also owns – and personally operates – a septic tank cleaning business. There haven’t been any outbreaks of salmonella that I’ve heard of so I’d say that regulation is being adhered to! I still can’t bring myself to buy his chips.

    • Gene Tunny says:

      I don’t blame you. I’d find it hard to get that association out of my mind.

      • stephen says:

        I would say that is a pretty good example of how and why regulation can and does work.

        Now look at your psycology. Where is the problem here? As any responsible person working with infectious substances knows, hygene is crucial, at both ends of the chain. You know what, his working with sullage prolly provides another benefit in that he is most likely immunised against hepatitis and won’t carry it to his food business, unlike any number of customers in the dodgy cafe.

        Get another bowl of frozen berries into you?

  4. Katrina Drake says:

    The watermelon in the supermarket is wrapped in plastic wrap – to keep it fresh and uncontaminated – and to make sure we get our daily dose of PCB’s I suppose !

  5. stephen says:

    Another great example of ecconomic theory trying to displace common sense. Australians have a healthy appetite for regulation because it works. Pehaps all you “dry s” could be just a rad more creative and wwork out ways to make regulation cost less than just trashing it.
    Think about all the ecconomic activity that we could generate by abolishing council zoning laws…. what a load of rubbish, preserving old buildings and residential areas,….. how much better it would be to just have factories right next door to where people live.
    Environmental laws … what a massive barrier to market entry?
    OHS…. forget that …. employers could do what they wish and we could rely on common law remedies in the courts if anyone is injured. No one is forced to work for a bad or irresponsible employer.
    In case you miss my point , review the phrase above in caps

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