Guide to Handling Disturbance Complaints | NSW RSA Online

There will come a time when venues have to deal with complaints from neighbours and the community.

And businesses must always be prepared for everything that comes with such situations, as it not only benefits the venue, but it also builds good and lasting relationships with its patrons. Such complaints can be used as helpful pointers to improve one’s business.

If you have a business, let this article be your guide to handling disturbance complaints, and establishing open communication with your neighbours. The earlier you can sort out these disturbance issues at a local level, the more you’ll be able to prevent them from escalating to more serious situations – RSA Online NSW.

Create a system that deals explicitly with this matter

  • Appoint a dedicated member of your staff, preferably who has had RSA Online NSW training, who can speak with residents regarding their concerns or complaints.
  • Set up a mobile phone number or a hotline for the manager on duty.
  • Put up a sign in the premises and on the business’ website about the process of how to make a complaint, and include details on how to contact the staff in-charge.
  • Invite the community to attend meetings to talk about their concerns.

Be responsible and considerate

The main reason why neighbours make complaints is usually noise-related. The music volume level, as well as how people behave in your venue as they enter and leave the premises, are essential things that you should consider. These two factors can significantly affect your relationship with the community and the reputation of your business.

Consider making the following adjustments:

  • Check the noise levels inside and outside the venue, and consider how much noise everyone around you has to deal with.
  • Turn your PA system’s volume down.
  • Get an acoustic test.
  • Close the windows and doors when your venue is facing a residential area.

Take initiative

  • Participate in a liquor accord group. Liquor accords are voluntary, industry-centred organisations in local communities aiming to form solutions and strategies to address alcohol-associated issues. About 130 groups are operating in New South Wales. Find a liquor accord group that’s close to your area.
  • Carry out effective ways to handle disruptive behaviour from patrons exiting the venue.
  • Have your building design checked, and determine the possibilities of improving and soundproofing your venue to avoid noise complaints.
  • Revisit your development consent or consult your local council to ensure that you’re observing proper noise conditions.

Adhere to the best practices

  • To create effective processes for handling complaints and following the best practices, refer to AHA (NSW), Restaurant and Catering NSW, and Clubs NSW.
  • You can likewise refer to the “Australian/New Zealand Standard: Guidelines for complaint management in organisations”.

Reach out to your neighbours

Let your community know that they can use Liquor and Gaming NSW’s official factsheets and guidelines (all available on their website) for references, should they have concerns such as disturbances regarding the venue in their neighbourhood. By looking at the guides, they will know the laws and processes they have to follow, including issuing formal and informal complaints.

As a responsible business owner or manager, your staff, particularly those who are handling and serving alcohol, should have prior RSA Online NSW training. CTA Training Specialists (formerly Club Training Australia) is one of the leading providers in hospitality, liquor and gaming courses, specialising in food handling, first aid, food safety, customer service, and Responsible Service of Alcohol. Enquire today!