Pros And Cons Of Serving Alcohol At A Restaurant

By: Patricia Farnham


Many customers will ask if a restaurant serves alcohol or not. It seems to be a very common item that people are looking for. Not every business of this nature feels like it is appropriate though to offer it. For example you don't see fast food locations offering mixed drinks or various beers for people to order. If you feel that your guests will want it though you are going to have to decide if it works for you or not.

There are some pros and cons to serving alcohol at your restaurant that you need to be aware of. For example some families enjoy restaurants where the adults can get wine or beer with their dinner. It will encourage them to bring in the entire family and that means more money in your pocket. Others though avoid such establishments with their children so you could be driving some people away.

You will find that offering alcohol does draw in a nice crowd. Some people will come in just so they can drink with their meal. Others will see that they are offered on the menu and choose to have one or two with their meal. Some people don't go to restaurants that serve alcohol at all. Others only want that type of establishment due to their interest in drinking. It can be hard to decide which one is going to work the most in your favor.

You will need to follow the law in order to go about getting a liquor license. You need to do this early as the process can take some time to complete. You also need to be prepared for the financial aspects of offering alcohol. Just building the bar, buying the alcohol, hiring a bartender, and paying for permits adds up very quickly to a sizable amount of money.

Yet if you get a good crowd that does want the alcohol, you can sell it for quite a profit. That is good news as that is what you want to be able to do with your restaurant overall. Alcohol can be purchased for a low price and then marked up as much as 100% and people will still pay for it.

There are laws about how old a person must be to serve alcoholic beverages. In most locations it is 18 but in others it is 21. You can still have staff under that age working for you, but they can't serve the alcohol. Therefore you will need to have a plan of action in place to take care of this. For example another person who is old enough to deliver it for them.

You also have to make sure every single one of the people you serve alcohol to is old enough for it. If they don't have ID on them then they don't get a drink - no exceptions. If you don't believe the ID real then they shouldn't get any alcohol offered to them either. Pay attention to how they are doing with it as well.

You don't need drunk people hanging out in your restaurant. Make sure you are able to cut them off when there is still time to get them safely out of there without incident. No one consuming alcohol needs to leave and drive their car. Keep an eye out for everyone's safety when you serve alcohol.

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Patricia Farnham has a wealth of experience in the restaurant industry. Check out her website to some valuable veteran insights, warnings and advice on owning your restaurant.

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