Alcoholic beverages can make your restaurant a more festive place to be. Serving specialty drinks will not only delight your customers, it will help increase the overall profitability of your restaurant as well.
In order to serve alcohol to the public, your restaurant will be required to obtain a liquor license. Applying for a liquor license can be a daunting process, so use these three tips to help ensure your application is approved as quickly as possible.
1. Find out if liquor licenses are available.
Many municipal government agencies strictly regulate the number of liquor licenses available at any given time. The number of liquor licenses issued can be based on population or demand.
If you want to serve alcohol in your restaurant but there are no liquor licenses available, you may need to purchase an existing license from the current license holder. This process will require that you ensure the license you want to purchase is in good standing and that you file the appropriate paperwork to transfer the license into your restaurant's name.
2. Calculate your expected alcohol sales.
Many restaurant owners are surprised to find that there are different classifications of liquor licenses. These varying classifications also come with varying stipulations that must be adhered to.
A restaurant classification requires that only a percentage of the license holder's total revenue comes from the sale of alcoholic beverages. This percentage can vary from one state to the next, so be sure that you know the percentage applicable to your restaurant.
If you expect to generate more profit from the sale of liquor than a restaurant license allows for, consider applying for a license with a tavern classification instead.
3. Complete a public hearing and issue required notifications.
Some municipal governments require liquor license applicants to issue notification to the community of their intent to serve alcohol. If you must issue this type of notification, work with your local newspaper to ensure you meet the standards set forth in the application.
Once you have submitted your application and notified the public, you will need to complete a public hearing. This hearing allows the government agency which regulates the distribution of alcohol in your state to ask questions about your business plan.
You will be asked to verify that you meet all the requirements necessary to obtain a liquor license, and the public will have the opportunity to present arguments for or against your application. Having the help of an experienced attorney can reduce the stress associated with a public hearing.
Visit a liquor licensing website to continue reading more about this topic.