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Is offering alcoholic beverages right for your restaurant?

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2021 | Liquor Licensing

Opening a restaurant in California may have been a dream of yours for some time. Perhaps you finally feel ready to move forward with this endeavor as your finances and business plans are in a good place. As you make decisions about how your restaurant will operate, you may consider whether to serve alcohol on the premises.

Though many restaurants do serve alcoholic beverages alongside their nonalcoholic drink options and food, it is not a requirement or even the best move for every restaurant owner. If you think that having a bar section in your establishment or even just offering a few alcoholic options on the menu may interest you, it is important to consider the pros and cons.

Financial benefits of offering alcoholic beverages

Often, the draw of serving alcoholic beverages in a restaurant comes from the financial aspect. Typically, restaurants can charge more for a single drink of a particular beverage (sometimes twice as much), and in the end, owners often make significantly more from those sales than the initial alcohol purchase they make to stock their establishments. Additionally, some patrons may come to an establishment solely to have a drink with friends, but having a drink could also lead to individuals deciding to order food, which in turn brings in more revenue.

Possible downsides and other considerations

Of course, while offering alcoholic beverages can draw in patrons, it could also result in lost patronage from individuals who do not frequent establishments that serve alcohol. However, that is simply one aspect of deciding whether to have this option at your restaurant. Some other details to take into consideration include the following:

  • Purchasing specific glasses, mixing accessories and alcohol for the beverages
  • Hiring skilled bartenders who know how to make numerous drinks
  • Ensuring that every person who orders alcohol is old enough to drink
  • Ensuring that wait staff is old enough to serve alcohol

Though offering alcoholic beverages could prove lucrative in the long run, it is important to keep in mind that it can take time and money to ensure that the service runs smoothly and legally. Additionally, when it comes to legal aspects of serving alcohol, you will need to ensure that you have the proper licensing. Without it, you could wind up in serious trouble with the Alcoholic Beverage Commission and other law enforcement. Obtaining a license also takes time, money and effort, so starting the process early may be wise.