Alcohol sales can make up a significant portion of a restaurant’s revenue. If you don’t have alcohol on the menu at your restaurant or event space, you might be missing out on a significant income opportunity. That said, if you are considering adding alcohol to the menu, there are a few things to consider first, especially at the local level.
Check Licensing Requirements
Legal requirements to sell alcohol vary from state to state, and even city to city. Be sure to check TABC licensing requirements or your local alcoholic beverage control authority. Make sure that your waitstaff is legally allowed to serve alcohol. There may be health code concerns or rules about open containers and public spaces. If you’re considering making beer, whiskey, or wine on-site, or serving food at your brewery, distillery, or winery, there will probably be a different set of regulations to follow.
If you’re not already interested in making your own alcohol, consider seeking out local providers. Local breweries, wineries and distilleries are more likely to have experience with the local authorities and bureaucracies. Not to mention many are highly sought award winners. Coordinating with them will be beneficial when dealing with local legal issues, and will likely stir up interest in the area, drawing in customers. You may even be able to dip your toe in by inviting a local alcohol provider to do a pop-up bar of some kind with looser licensing requirements for you.
Can You Afford to Not Add Alcohol?
It may seem like a lot of hassle, but when one considers the potential benefits, it’s worth at least exploring the possibility. Not all restaurants need to serve alcohol, of course. Many choose not to, or find that the costs outweigh the benefits. Given the potential revenue increase, it’s worth at least exploring the option.