Start Up: Liquor Licenses and Permits

Yesterday I talked a little about different beverages to serve in your restaurant and how to diversify your beverage menu but when it comes to alcohol, everything I said yesterday is useless without having the correct liquor licenses/permits. There’s literally a permit for EVERYTHING. Brace yourself. I have shortened the list a smidgen because there are some permits that no one will ever need. They will not be missed. Refer to the painstakingly extensive list below and see if your place of business requires any of the following:

  • Beer and Wine: with this license you can only serve beer and wine. No worries, if you’re customers drink enough they‘ll still get drunk! I know that’s a big concern for many of us. If you’re caught serving liquor or distilled spirits you’ll get in big big trouble and may even lose your license (not fun). In a lot of smaller restaurants, liquor licenses are unable to be obtained and you can only get a beer and wine one, but does this even matter, because coronas with lime are the best thing that ever happened to this Frog.
  • Hotel and Restaurant: This license allows you to serve liquor, beer and win in, you guessed it, hotels and restaurants.
  • Restaurant: This license more often than not requires that no more than a certain percentage of your sales come from alcohol; this prevents you from gaining “bar status” aka the only status I care about. The percentage nationwide is somewhere around 40%. With a restaurant license you’re normally allowed to serve beer, wine and liquor.
  • Eating Place: This is the carryout license. If you’re picking up your pizza and wings for a Friday night football game, along with some beer, the restaurant will need to have this license.
  • Retail: grocery stores, drug stores, liquor stores, or any place where a customer can walk in and purchase liquor. Ps this license isn’t needed for restaurant owners.
  • Bed and Breakfast: depending on your state, you may need a bed and breakfast license instead of a hotel and restaurant license. The good thing about this is, because bed and breakfasts’ are normally worlds smaller than hotels, the license will be way cheaper.
  • Tavern: some taverns must offer food, some don’t, it really just depends on your state. If you half of your sales are from alcohol, your government may make you apply for a tavern license.
  • Club: This license applies to private clubs such as country clubs or golf clubhouses. 
  • Brewpub: License for establishments who brew their own beers. And um maybe it would be possible to teach me how to brew beer? You have no idea how much money that would save me….

I hope you found this information useful and insightful…what can i say…im just an insightful gal…i mean frog. Yes i am a frog if you didn’t know. A beautiful, awesome lil ole frog. But, no I don’t eat flies. I like to stick to culturally accepted human food most of the time.