Managing a drinking establishment (cafe, tearoom or other)

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When the manager of a drinking establishment has obtained the necessary authorisations and permits to open his establishment, he must fulfill certain mandatory obligations, namely in terms of:

  • public display of permits and sales prices;
  • protection of the health of minors, fight against tobacco and hygiene;
  • opening hours and payment of copyrights in the event music is played.

For further information on his obligations, the manager can contact:

  • the national federation of hotel, restaurant and cafe owners (Fédération Nationale des Hôteliers, Restaurateurs et Cafetiers du Luxembourg - Horesca), which can provide advice and assistance in all areas to its members;
  • his commune for an application for an exemption from opening hours;
  • SACEM (Société des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique - the society of authors, composers and music publishers), which is in charge of collecting copyright fees from cafes and restaurants.

Who is concerned?

The following requirements apply to every drinking establishment serving (even if free of charge) beverages to be consumed on the premises including:

  • licensed bars (cafes);
  • unlicensed drinking establishments (non-alcoholic, e.g. tearooms, milk-bars, snack bars, etc.);
  • restaurants or accomodation establishments which also run a drinking establishment.

Prerequisites

Preliminary steps

In order to run a drinking establishment, the operator must have:

How to proceed

Mandatory displays and prices

Displaying the business permit

The manager must indicate the following information on all letters, emails, websites, quotations, invoices and shop fronts:

  • their surname and first name / the name of the company;
  • the business permit number;
  • the business activity indicated on the business permit (e.g.: 'operators of outlets for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks');

In practice, the manager will simply display a copy of his business permit at the entrance of the establishment.

Displaying the excise stamp (vignette de contrôle accises - VCA)

The manager must display the excise stamp (VCA) in a manner visible from the outside.

Owners of bars, restaurants or accommodation establishments automatically receive the excise stamp after payment of the annual fee for the licence to sell/serve alcohol (taxe annuelle de cabaretage). It must be paid each year to the revenue department of the Customs and Excise Agency by 31 January at the latest.

Displaying prices

Every professional must display sales prices for products and services sold.

Operators of drinking establishments, restaurants or accomodation establishments must display the price inclusive of tax and service.

Legible price lists must be displayed and be visible:

  • from the outside;
  • from inside the establishment.

Meal offers must be indicated on signs or notices (bars must display the signs or notices inside the premises only).

Where the establishment has a bowling alley in separate premises, a price list must be publicly displayed in these premises too.

Prices cannot be higher than those indicated on the price list. If there is a surplus charge for service on a terrace, the charge must be clearly indicated.

Setting prices

In principle, sales prices for products and services (beverages, meals, electronic games, bowling alleys, etc.) can be freely set.

However, it must be noted that:

  • tobacco products must be sold at the price indicated on the tax stamp.
  • prices must include VAT.

Sale on credit

The manager who sells alcoholic beverages on credit to a customer for a value exceeding EUR 2.48 per month (or EUR 12.39 per 6 months) has no legal means of collecting the amounts due in case of dispute.

Moreover, lower amounts than the ones stated previously can no longer be collected by legal means 6 months after the sale.

These amounts do not apply to accomodation, lodging, food or beverages consumed during lunches or dinners.

Health, hygiene and fight against tobacco

Protection of minors

Minors that are younger than 16 years of age (or legally incapable adults), who are not accompanied by an adult of more than 18 years of age and legally in charge of them are not allowed to remain in a licensed bar.

Minors younger than 15 years of age and not accompanied by an adult may not remain in an unlicensed bar.

They may however enter a drinking establishment during special events if said events are specifically organised for minors and may also access tearooms adjacent to bakery or cake shops.

It is prohibited to sell or serve alcoholic beverages to:

  • minors younger than 16 years of age;
  • people who manifest clear signs of drunkenness.

Sanitary and hygienic requirements

Drinking establishments must have adequate ventilation:

  • either through windows that can be easily opened;
  • or, in the event of fixed windows, through a ventilation system.

The establishment must have sufficient toilets and urinals. They must be well ventilated and always kept perfectly clean.

A guide to good hygiene practices published by the Horesca and approved by the Department of Health is available in pdf format on request at the secretariat of Horesca.

Fight against tobacco

Smoking is not allowed in restaurants and in tearooms belonging to bakeries or cake shops.

Since 1 January 2014, smoking is also prohibited in drinking establishment (even in places without charge).

Operators (or their representatives) of such establishments who do not comply with the smoking ban risk being fined between EUR 251 and EUR 1,000.

They may set up a smoking room in a separate room upon authorisation by the Minister of Health and Social Security.

Tobacco advertisement is prohibited (with the exception of advertising on products that are directly linked to cigarettes: lighters, ashtrays, etc.).

Opening hours and specific authorisations

Opening hours

Normal opening hours for licensed bars range from 06.00 AM to 01.00 AM the following day.

Opening hours for unlicensed bars where non-alcoholic drinks are served and to be consumed on the premises range from 06.00 AM to midnight.

Bowling alleys may be used from 08.00 AM to 11.00 PM.

Only the following people are allowed to remain in the establishment outside of normal opening hours:

  • the manager, members of his family and employed personnel;
  • travellers staying in the establishment overnight.

Authorisation for late night opening

The manager of a licensed bar may request an authorisation for late night opening (nuit blanche) from his commune in order to keep the establishment open until 03.00 AM.

The authorisation may be requested:

  • as a regular authorisation valid for certain weekdays;
  • as a regular authorisation valid for each weekday;
  • on an ad hoc basis for days to be determined by the manager.

The manager of an unlicensed drinking establishment (e.g. tearoom) may equally request a late night opening authorisation from his commune and remain open until 02.00 AM.

The authorisation may be requested:

  • as a regular authorisation valid for certain weekdays;
  • as a regular authorisation for every weekday but only during the summer season and for no more than 6 weeks in total;
  • on an ad hoc basis for days to be determined by the manager.

The authorisations may be granted where there is no risk of public disorder or disturbance, nor intolerable annoyance to residents in the vicinity of the premises.

The manager must display the authorisation for late night opening in a manner visible from the outside.

Some communes will grant a general exemption concerning applicable opening hours and automatic late night opening authorisation to every drinking establishment during certain events or festivities (e.g. Luxembourg National Holiday, etc.). No specific authorisation is required in this case.

Late night opening authorisations until 06.00 AM are subject to specific rules.

Amusement tax for games and events

All gambling is prohibited in drinking establishments.

Some communes will levy an amusement tax:

  • on games or amusement machines such as juke box, table football, pinball machines, etc.;
  • on shows and entertainments.

Playing recorded music

Drinking establishments, hotels and restaurants which intend to play recorded music for their clients and customers must request a licence for broadcasting for cafes/restaurants from SACEM.

SACEM Luxembourg will collect a licence fee destined to finance the authors of the music played in public.

The annual licence fee depends on the number of residents in the commune and the device used to play music.

Members of the national federation Horesca Luxembourg are granted a 20 % discount on general rates.

Online services and forms

Who to contact

Horesca

Communes (communal administrations)

  • Beaufort

    Address:
    9, rue de l'Eglise L-6315 Beaufort Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 86 93 88
    Monday to Friday: 08.30 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 16.30 (closed on Thursday afternoon) / open until 20.00 on Wednesdays
  • Bech

    Address:
    1, Enneschtgaass L-6230 Bech Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 79 06 74
    Email address:
    bech@pt.lu
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 12.00 and 13.00 - 17.00 (closed on Monday afternoons); Thursday: 13.00 - 19.00 (open until 17.00 during school holidays)
  • Beckerich

    Address:
    6, Dikrecherstrooss L-8523 Beckerich Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 23 62 91 62
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 08.30 - 12.00; Wednesday: 08.30 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 17.45
  • Berdorf

    Address:
    5, rue de Consdorf L-6551 Berdorf Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 79 91 89
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 12.00; Monday to Wednesday: 14.00 - 16.00; Thursday: 14.00 - 19.00
  • Bertrange

    Address:
    2, beim Schlass L-8058 Bertrange Luxembourg
    B.P. 28 L-8005 Bertrange
    Fax:
    (+352) 26 31 27 57
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 12.00 and 13.00 - 16.00
  • Bettembourg

    Address:
    13, rue du Château L-3217 Bettembourg Luxembourg
    B.P. 29 L-3201 Bettembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 51 80 80-601
    Monday to Friday: 08.30 - 11.30 and 14.00 - 16.30 / "Biergerzenter" open until 19.00 on Thursdays
  • Bettendorf

    Address:
    1, rue Neuve L-9353 Bettendorf Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 80 92 34
    Monday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 14.00 - 18.45; Tuesday to Friday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 14.00 - 16.30 (closed on Wednesdays)
  • Betzdorf

    Address:
    11, rue du Château L-6922 Berg Luxembourg
    B.P. 2 L-6901 Roodt/Syre
    Fax:
    (+352) 77 00 82
    Lundi à vendredi: 08.00 - 12.00 et 13.30 - 16.30
    (bureau de la population et état civil) / Uniquement sur RDV: lundi, mardi, jeudi, vendredi: 16.30 - 17.00; mercredi: 07.00 - 08.00
  • Bissen

    Address:
    1, rue des Moulins L-7784 Bissen Luxembourg
    B.P. 25 L-7703 Bissen
    Fax:
    (+352) 85 97 63
    Monday: 08.30 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 18.30 (only population service);
    Tuesday to Friday: 08.30 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30 (closed on Thursday morning)
  • Biwer

    Address:
    6, Kiirchestrooss L-6834 Biwer Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 71 90 25
    Lundi à vendredi: 08.00 - 11.30
    (fermé le 1ier mercredi de chaque mois le matin, ouvert le 1ier mercredi de chaque mois l'après-midi de 14.00 - 18.00)
  • Boulaide

    Address:
    3, rue de la Mairie L-9640 Boulaide Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 99 36 92
    Monday, Thursday: 14.00 - 17.00; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 08.30 - 12.00
  • Bourscheid

    Address:
    1, Schlassweee L-9140 Bourscheid Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 99 03 57-565
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 12.00; Monday: 14.00 - 18.00; Tuesday to Friday: 14.00 - 16.00 (except on Wednesdays)
  • Bous-Waldbredimus

    Address:
    20, rue Luxembourg L-5408 Bous Luxembourg
    Phone:
    (+352) 28 86 04 01
    Biergerzenter
    Fax:
    (+352) 28 86 04 109
    Other services: please make an appointment during normal office hours
  • Clervaux

    Address:
    Montée du Château L-9712 Clervaux Luxembourg
    B.P. 35 L-9701 Clervaux
    Fax:
    (+352) 27 800-900
    Lundi à vendredi: 08.00 - 11.30; mardi à vendredi: 14.00 - 16.30
    mercredi ouvert jusqu'à 19.00 (uniquement bureau de la population, sauf la veille d'un jour férié)
  • Colmar-Berg

    Address:
    5, rue de la Poste L-7730 Colmar-Berg Luxembourg
    B.P. 10 L-7701 Colmar-Berg
    Fax:
    (+352) 83 55 43-225
    Monday to Thursday: 08.00 - 12.00; Wednesday: 13.00 - 17.00 (closed on Fridays)
  • Consdorf

    Address:
    8, route d'Echternach L-6212 Consdorf Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 79 04 31
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 16.00; open until 18.00 on Tuesdays
  • Contern

    Address:
    4, Place de la Mairie L-5310 Contern Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 35 72 36
    Email address:
    info@contern.lu
    Monday-Friday: 08.15 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30 / or by appointment between 07.00 - 08.15 and 16.30 - 18.30
  • Dalheim

    Address:
    Gemengeplaz L-5680 Dalheim Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 23 60 53-50
    Closed Monday and Friday afternoon; appointments can be made for urgent administrative matters.
  • Diekirch

    Address:
    27, avenue de la Gare L-9233 Diekirch Luxembourg
    B.P. 145 L-9202 Diekirch
    Fax:
    (+352) 80 87 80-250
    Lundi à vendredi: 08.30 - 11.30 et 14.00 - 16.30 / Bureau de la population et état civil: mercredi jusqu'à 18.00
  • Differdange

    Address:
    40, avenue Charlotte L-4530 Differdange Luxembourg
    B.P. 12 L-4501 Differdange
    Fax:
    (+352) 58 77 1-1210
    Monday and Friday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30 / the "Biergeramt" is also open on Saturday morning: 09.00 - 11.00
  • Dippach

    Address:
    11, rue de l'Eglise L-4994 Schouweiler Luxembourg
    B.P. 59 L-4901 Bascharage
    Fax:
    (+352) 27 95 25-299
    Email address:
    commune@dippach.lu
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 17.00; open until 18.00 on Mondays; Wednesday from 07.30
  • Dudelange

    Address:
    Place de l'Hôtel de Ville L-3590 Dudelange Luxembourg
    B.P. 73 L-3401 Dudelange
    Fax:
    (+352) 51 61 21-299
    Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 8.00-12.00 and 13.00-17.00; Wednesday: 8.00-12.00 and 13.00-19.00; Thursday: 8.00-17.00
  • Echternach

    Address:
    2, place du Marché L-6460 Echternach Luxembourg
    B.P. 22 L-6401 Echternach
    Fax:
    (+352) 72 92 22-51
    Lundi à jeudi: 08.30 -11.30 et 14.00 - 16.30 ; vendredi: 08.30 - 13.00 heures / Bureau de la population et état civil: lundi ouvert jusqu’à 19.00
  • Ell

    Address:
    27, Haaptstrooss L-8530 Ell Luxembourg
    B.P. 9 L-8501 Redange/Attert
    Fax:
    (+352) 26 62 38-55
    Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 08.15 - 11.45; Thursday: 13.30 - 18.30
  • Erpeldange sur Sûre

    Address:
    21, Porte des Ardennes L-9145 Erpeldange-sur-Sûre Luxembourg
    B.P. 39 L-9001 Ettelbruck
    Fax:
    (+352) 81 97 08
    Monday: 07.30 - 11.30 and 13.00 - 18.00; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 07.30 - 11.30 and 13.00 - 16.30; closed on Wednesday
  • Esch sur Alzette

    Address:
    Place de l'Hôtel de Ville L-4002 Esch-sur-Alzette Luxembourg
    B.P. 145 L-4002 Esch-sur-Alzette
    Fax:
    (+352) 54 35 14 667
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 17.00 ("Biergeramt")
  • Esch-sur-Sûre

    Address:
    1, an der Gaass L-9150 Eschdorf Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 83 91 12-25
    Monday to Thursday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 13.00 - 16.30 ; open until 18.30 on Mondays, Friday: 08.00 - 11.30
  • Ettelbruck

    Address:
    Place de l'Hôtel de Ville L-9087 Ettelbruck Luxembourg
    B.P. 116 L-9002 Ettelbruck
    Fax:
    (+352) 81 91 81-364
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30; open until 18.30 on Wednesdays
  • Feulen

    Address:
    25, route de Bastogne L-9176 Niederfeulen Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 81 79 08
    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 08.00 - 12.00 (closed on Thursday morning and Friday afternoon); Monday; 13.00 - 16.00; Wednesday: 13.00-17.00,; Thursday: 13.00 - 18.00
  • Fischbach

    Address:
    1, rue de l'Eglise L-7430 Fischbach Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 32 70 84-50
    Monday-Friday: 08.30 - 11.30 and 14.00 - 18.00
  • Flaxweiler

    Address:
    1, rue de Berg L-6926 Flaxweiler Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 77 08 33
    Monday to Friday: 08.30 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30
  • Frisange

    Address:
    10, Munnerëferstrooss L-5701 Frisange Luxembourg
    B.P. 12 L-5701 Aspelt
    Fax:
    (+352) 23 66 06 88
    closed on Friday afternoon
  • Garnich

    Address:
    15, rue de l'Ecole L-8353 Garnich Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 38 00 19 90
    Monday-Friday: 08.30-11.30; Monday: 14.00 - 18.00; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 14.00 - 16.00; Thursday afternoon closed.
  • Goesdorf

    Address:
    1, Op der Driicht L-9653 Goesdorf Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 89 91 73
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 08.30 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30; every 2nd Tuesday evening from 16.30-18.30 / closed on Wednesday.
  • Grevenmacher

    Address:
    6, Place du Marché L-6755 Grevenmacher Luxembourg
    B.P. 5 L-6701 Grevenmacher
    Fax:
    (+352) 75 03 11-80
  • Grosbous-Wahl

    Address:
    1, rue de Bastogne L-9154 Grosbous Luxembourg
    PO box 7 L-9006 Grosbous
    Fax:
    (+352) 83 86 55
  • Habscht

    Address:
    Place Denn L-8465 Eischen Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 39 01 33-209
    Maison communale à Eischen: lundi à vendredi: 08.00 - 12.00; lundi, jeudi, vendredi: 13.00 - 17.00; mardi: 13.00 - 19.00; mercredi fermé / Bureau communal à Hobscheid: mercredi: 10.00 - 12.00 / Bureau communal à Septfontaines: mercredi: 13.30 - 16.30
  • Heffingen

    Address:
    2, am Duerf L-7651 Heffingen Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 87 97 54
  • Helperknapp

    Address:
    2, rue de Hollenfels L-7481 Tuntange Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 28 80 40-299
    Monday: 08.00 – 11.30 / Tuesday: 07.00 – 11.30 and 13.30 – 16.30 / Wednesday: 08.00 – 11.30 and 13.30 – 16.30 (* Nocturne every first Wednesday of the month until 18.30 / Thursday: 08.00 – 11.30 and 13.30 – 16.30 (** Thursday afternoon by appointment only) / Friday: 08.h00 – 11.30.
  • Hesperange

    Address:
    474, route de Thionville L-5886 Hesperange Luxembourg
    B.P. 10 L-5801 Hesperange
    Fax:
    (+352) 36 00 06
    Monday to Friday: 07.45 - 11.45 and 13.30 - 17.00; open until 18.00 on Thursdays
  • Junglinster

    Address:
    12, rue de Bourglinster L-6112 Junglinster Luxembourg
    B.P. 14 L-6101 Junglinster
    Fax:
    (+352) 78 83 19
    Lundi à vendredi: 08.00 - 12.30 et 13.00 - 16.30 / ouvert jeudi jusqu'à 19.00 (sauf la veille d'un jour férié)
  • Käerjeng

    Address:
    24, rue de l'Eau L-4920 Bascharage Luxembourg
    B.P. 50 L-4901 Bascharage
    Fax:
    (+352) 50 05 52 399
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.00 (or by appointment)
  • Kayl

    Address:
    4, rue de l'Hôtel de Ville L-3674 Kayl Luxembourg
    B.P. 56 L-3601 Kayl
    Fax:
    (+352) 56 33 23
  • Kehlen

    Address:
    15, rue de Mamer L-8280 Kehlen Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 30 91 91-200
    Monday-Friday: 07.00 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.00
  • Kiischpelt

    Address:
    7, op der Gare L-9776 Wilwerwiltz Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 92 06 15
    Monday to Friday: 09.00 - 11.30 and 14.00 - 16.30
  • Koerich

    Address:
    2, rue du Château L-8385 Koerich Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 39 73 62
  • Kopstal

    Address:
    28, rue de Saeul L-8189 Kopstal Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 30 04 15
    Monday to Friday: 07.30 - 12.00 and 13.30 - 16.00
  • Lac de la Haute-Sûre

    Address:
    7, Duerfstrooss L-9635 Bavigne Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 99 35 53
    Monday, Friday: 08.00 -11.30; Tuesday, Thursday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30 (closed on Wednesdays)
  • Larochette

    Address:
    33, chemin J.A. Zinnen L-7626 Larochette Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 87 96 46
    Service population: lundi à vendredi: 08.00 - 12.00 et 14.00 - 17.00, lundi ouvert jusqu'à 19.00 / Sécrétariat et état civil: lundi à vendredi de 08.00 - 12.00 et 14.00 à 17.00
  • Lenningen

    Address:
    3, rue de l'Église L-5414 Canach Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 35 97 36
    Population office and civil registry office: Monday to Friday from 08.00 to 12.00 and 13.00 to 16.00; by prior appointment also on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 07.00 to 08.00 and on Wednesdays from 16.00 to 18.00
  • Leudelange

    Address:
    5, Place des Martyrs L-3361 Leudelange Luxembourg