Monday, May 25, 2015

2015 starts with changes in the Liquor Legislature 239-205-4770 If you are operating on the bar and restaurant field, then you know very well that you are permitted to sell alcohol on the premises of your establishment only if you own a liquor license in Florida, as well as in other states across the USA. For this particular reason, you should be well aware of all the changes that could appear in legislature, as this is always changing. It just so happens that certain modifications have appeared last year, changes that have stared early in 2015. Last year, in November the bill passed Parliament, introducing new controls and measures, which aim to increase efficiency and reduce costs at the same time. There are some controls that refer to the alcohol intoxication of course in public and most importantly licensed locations. So, here are a few changes you should expect throughout the current year. Everyone knows that when legislatures are changed, it takes a while before these modifications are actually noticeable. Thus, even though the date is set and the changes in liquor licenses in Florida and across the country have commenced on 1st March, 2015, it will take some time before all entrepreneurs will get accustomed with the modifications. Just to mention a few reforms you should expect this year, you might be interested in finding out that fundraising events are no longer required to obtain a liquor license. Apparently, if the non-profit organization does not host more than 6 events each year, then it is not required to file for a liquor license in Florida or anywhere else for that matter. This change intends to raise the level of interest regarding such events and to increase the level of efficiency. Furthermore, a provision that seems to have startled up a few discussions is regarding the licenses gained by distillers and brewers. Apparently, these have been provided with the right of selling products in festivals, not to mention that the conditions of obtaining licenses have been lessened. Of course that a change of this kind could not have passed unnoticed by bar and restaurants owners, who quickly reacted, clearly stating their disapproval. Their motivation was that this reform created unfair competition and problems within the business environment. Moreover, violence is now taxed. Apparently, due to the modifications that have taken place, a bar can be taxed, when proven that violent acts occur after midnight, violence that is caused by alcohol. Several other changes of this kind have occurred. Some have already been implemented, whereas others are on the verge of being enforced. Although in essence they serve a correct goal, which is increasing the level of profit and efficiency, not all entrepreneurs necessarily believe in these reforms, nor find them helpful. It is true that bar and restaurant owners are not particular advantaged by these modifications, which is most likely the reason for which discussions and various complaints have started to appear. However, no results sustaining the efficiency of these changes will appear until the implementation process has reached its end. 239-205-4770

Friday, May 22, 2015

Big corporations ask for the right to sell hard liquor 239-205-4770 Obtaining a liquor license in Florida is definitely a topic of great interest to the majority of individuals, as most entrepreneurs have discovered that doing business in the world of restaurants and bars is impossible without serving alcohol. There is only one problem. What if you were not necessarily running a restaurant? What if your business was in fact a store? Currently under the Florida law groceries are not allowed to sell hard liquor, which is both inconvenient for buyers, as well as highly unprofitable for owners. So, what can one do to change this reality? You might want to take a peak at what is going on with important corporations such as Walmart and Target. Apparently, these two very important names on the retail field have decided that changes in the liquor law are needed. On their side rests the public’s opinion or this is what the PR department allows you to understand. Given the newly released video, buyers find it simpler to buy everything they are in need of from a single store, everything from groceries to alcohol. It is true that with a specific liquor license in Florida, you can sell beer and wine, but not hard liquor. This has to be distributed in a completely separate retail store, hence the inconvenience. Coming back to the video released, it seems that important corporations like the ones mentioned are firm believers that a change in this law is necessary. Apparently, the public shares this view completely. Even though there were plenty of individuals rather skeptical about this entire movement, it seems that the video had a greater impact than expected. The demand is simple: hard liquor like vodka or gin should be allowed in grocery stores just like wine and beer. You might ask yourself why the government hesitates. Well, even though some might say that it is just for sake of image, as in the end the demand will be granted, there are a few good reasons that might make the officials analyze the requests in great detail. Apparently, allowing hard liquor to enter grocery stores would increase the theft risk. Also, it would offer buyers, under the age of 21, access to strong beverages, thus exposing them to potential risks. Also, making this change would contradict the term of the new modifications made in the case of the Liquor Legislature, changes that take great interest in alcohol abuse cases. However, this battle is far from being over. In fact, it has only started. Apparently, there is another video on the way, having the same purpose, which is convincing the Government that maintaining the separation between the types of alcohol is no longer suitable for society. Thus, one should definitely keep an open eye on the manner in which this problem will develop. Big corporations can be responsible for big changes, there is no doubt about it. So who knows? Perhaps they will succeed and all stores will be allowed to distribute hard liquor in the same establishment with beer and wine. 239-205-4770

Craft breweries questioned by the Florida Retail Federation

Craft brewery tasting rooms have been a part of Florida culture since 1984, when an exception was made for Anheuser-Busch to offer beer tasting on premises, for touristic reasons. The concept rapidly caught on, so that by 2007 five more tasting rooms had been established throughout the state. There are currently over one hundred craft brewery tasting rooms in Florida, but a recent petition questions the grounds on which tasting rooms are permitted to also sell alcoholic beverages in addition to offering them for tasting. The petition is being filed by the Florida Retail Federation against the associations that represent Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. Needless to say, craft brewery owners are very concerned, not only because an entire industry affected, but also because the public, comprising Florida residents and tourists, could be denied a service that they need, want and enjoy. The plaintiffs specified that it is not their intention to eliminate the concept of tasting rooms in Florida, but gain a better understanding of why they are allowed to both sell and produce beer at the same time. According to the 3-Tier System, a party can only produce, distribute or sell alcoholic beverages. Craft brewery tasting rooms both produce and sell alcohol, which the plaintiffs consider contradicts the system. They demand that tasting rooms not receive new liquor licenses and that special legislation to regulate their activities be developed by the State. Otherwise, the Florida Retail Federation will provide a solution themselves. It is not the first time that beet tasting room owners face pressure from this federation. Owners are concerned that the petition could halt the activity of local breweries. As the topic is a controversial one and settling matters could last for years, this could affect the tasting rooms that already sell liquor. Many of the existing breweries are startups encouraged by the booming industry and the fact that Florida could finally legalize the 64-ounce growler, but if selling these growlers is not allowed anymore, then they could even go out of business. According to the Florida Retail Federation, this petition is for the best of distributors, producers and consumers, but Josh Aubuchon from the Florida Brewers Guild says that this petition will do the opposite and that brewery owners will leave the state altogether if they cannot sell growlers on the premises. Interest in this petition also comes from two more other associations, so this is becoming quite a heated topic of discussion, especially in the context in which distribution of growlers is now legal in Central Florida, outside of the tourism exception. Small brewery owners would be extremely dissatisfied with a ban on selling growlers, mainly because they are small, family-owned businesses that would not survive without this service. In addition, they argue that they have helped the food industry. It is common knowledge that Florida food trucks are associated with tasting rooms and live music. The disappearance of one of these elements would damage the touristic and craft beer community, craft brewery owners say. 239-205-4770

Monday, May 18, 2015

Can you buy liquor in Florida on Sundays? 239-205-4770 Individual states of the U.S. are free to restrict and even prohibit the manufacture and sale of liquor, not to mention limit the number of liquor licenses in each county. Therefore, alcohol regulations may differ from state to state and county to county in terms of sale hours, grocery store sale permissions and age restrictions. Certain states like Washington allow underage drinking for religious purposes, while the Virgin Islands demand a minimum age of 18 instead of 21 to purchase alcohol. Florida alcohol law is also notably different restricting the sale of liquor in grocery stores and the alcohol sale hours both on-premises and off-premises with few exceptions. Florida state law prohibits selling of liquor between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Sundays, but individual counties and even cities are free to add restrictions. Sunday laws are also known as Blue laws and refer to the laws that restrict or prohibit some or even all activities during Sundays for religious purposes. In Florida Sundays are seen as days of worship and rest. Blue laws are also restricting and banning shopping and sale of certain items on Sundays and in this case alcohol restrictions are in place between certain hours. The United States Supreme Court has declared the blue laws as constitutional on various occasions because of secular rationales even though they have been established for religious standards. In the United States numerous Blue laws have already been repealed, but certain counties still prohibit the sale of liquor during Sundays and among them Florida. Although the state law prohibits selling of alcoholic beverages on Sundays between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m., counties are free to lift the ban or increase the restrictions. This is why it is important to read the legislation for each county and city in part to ensure that you are not breaking the law by selling alcoholic beverages between the prohibited hours or know for certain that you can find alcohol in certain counties irrespective of the hour. In 2014 Lafayette, Liberty and Washington have prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages entirely on Sundays, while other counties as for instance Miami-Dade are exempt from the ban allowing the sale of liquor 24 hours a day. Ormond Beach is allowed to stay open until 7 p.m. on Sundays on the other hand. Liquor sale, processing and consumption are illegal in Florida at all times if the concentration is greater than 153 proofs. The alcohol state laws also ban the sale of liquor in supermarkets and other business establishments, although these can sell beer, wine and low in alcohol liquors, if they have a Florida liquor license. Another curious law in Florida regarding the selling of alcohol is the prohibition of selling beer in specific quantities such as 1 gallon. The sale of 40 and 64 ounce beverages is also illegal in Florida. Consumption until the age of 21 is banned, but a 18 years old can drink alcohol for educational purposes. 239-205-4770

Friday, May 15, 2015

Changes demanded in Florida brewery licenses 239-205-4770 Liquor licenses have always been a debatable matter and not just in Florida. All states encounter such problems, but it is the manner in which they resolve them that separates one from another. As you know very well, obtaining a license of this kind is hard work. It takes a lot of work to obtain a license and in most cases, you need the assistance of a dedicated agency ready to provide with assistance and guidance throughout the process. Lately, people have begun discussing the need for change within the process of obtaining liquor licenses in Florida. These discussions were brought up, because entrepreneurs felt threatened by the easiness with which craft breweries obtain the right of selling beverages. As you can easily imagine, breweries have turned into a real problem for bar and restaurant owners, even if they may appear throughout the duration of a festival. These find it difficult to run successful businesses when having to face such competition. Breweries allow clients to taste and buy beverages, raising interest among clients. As expected, entrepreneurs have started noticing the problem and decided to take measures. They have not hidden their discontent. Liquor licenses in Florida are not simple to obtain and owners have to invest both time and money in this endeavor. You might be surprised to find out that there are clear differences in the manner in which bars and restaurants obtain the right to sell beverages and the way in which breweries gain a license. In fact, this is the problem, which raised all the discussions. Entrepreneurs agree that craft breweries should follow the same rules, as far as selling alcohol beverages is concerned, even if this is meant simply for tasting. This year, in January, the problem was simply motivated. The fact that there are differences in the way in which licenses are obtained creates unfair competition. The matter has now taken legal forms, as the Florida Retail Federation has decided to take the matter to the court, suing the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The claim was simply motivated. The suit does not aim to shut down the activity of Anheuser-Busch group, but to draw attention upon the phenomenon of issuing retail licenses. Thus, the goal is to make a difference, to offer all businesses the chance to operate in the same conditions, having equal chances of succeeding. This topic is worth your attention, because it speaks of a phenomenon that could easily affect the profitability of bars and restaurants. Even though such licenses are issued in certain occasions, like festivals or concerts, it is still unfair. Keep in mind that establishments enjoying a positive reputation and the appreciation of a great number of clients have managed to occupy this position as a result of a sustained effort. It is interesting to see how everything will turn out and how this suit will end. It is an interesting issue that seems to be of interest to the entire public, not just those involved in the suit. Thus, keep track of the news and pieces of information you might find in the media. 239-205-4770

Monday, May 4, 2015

Florida Bill could allow grocery stores to sell liquor

Have you ever wanted to buy some nachos, salsa and a bottle of vodka in a single trip? This could all become possible in the near future, as lawmakers are debating the possibility of introducing a law that allows drug and grocery stores to sell hard liquor alongside other products. These days grocery stores can sell alcoholic beverages, but only in a different part of the store, with a separate entrance. Basically, you do not have to leave the parking lot, but you do have to enter a different store and wait in a different line to buy a bottle of vodka or whiskey. This law has been discussed for years and lawmakers have tried for a long time to come up with a solution and help the local businesses develop, by allowing them to sell alcoholic beverages. Since the Florida law requires the three-tier distribution system where producers can only sell their product to wholesalers, which in turn can only sell it to retailers, breweries cannot have their own stores from which to sell directly to their customers. While there is that exception that allows tap rooms for tourism purposes, if they were to be able to sell their product directly to their customers, stores such as Publix, Walmart and Target could also sell liquor. Even though the alcohol laws in Florida are finally starting to change, with the 64 ounce beer growlers being so close to becoming legal, there is still much work to be done and this law is certainly something that could change the entire industry. The bill did pass the first committee in February this year, but not without disputes, with three country sheriffs that opposed it openly. Sheriffs are concerned that ones this bill is passed, there will be an increasing number of thefts and underage drinking because of the accessibility of alcohol. In fact, Publix itself, Florida’s largest grocery chain opposed this law, saying that the alcohol should remain with a separate entrance. In fact, it is quite common to see a grocery store at one end and a liquor store at the other, although most of the times, the two are independently owned. This is why so many actually oppose this law, as many people might lose their businesses in the favor of large grocery chains. The question remains though, what is best for the large consumer and how can alcohol laws be improved? Even though the liquor laws of the state of Florida are considered to be quite liberal compared to other states, there are still many things that can be done. Alcohol can be sold on Sundays in this state and municipalities can choose to allow liquor stores to be opened until 3 a.m. This law does have some controversy attached to it and even though these are many that oppose it, there are even more people who back it up and hope to be able to buy alcohol from their local grocery stores in the near future. 239-205-4770

Friday, May 1, 2015

Florida restaurants are shifting to less expensive liquor licenses!

As any restaurant owner in Florida already knows, the bottom line of the intakes is deeply influenced by the possibility to sell alcohol based drinks to the existing client pool. Regardless if we are referring to a five star establishment serving 45 years old whiskey and Cosmopolitans or the local diner handing clients a martini on the rocks or a cocktail blend with colorful umbrellas, the result is just the same! Huge revenues pour into the cash registers of businesses which have managed to obtain their Florida liquor license and there is nothing but jealousy and small change for their competitors who have not been equally fortunate. In this gloomy scenario where the economy seems to become more and more instable, there is no other hope for the business owners in the sunny state than to get their hands on one of those licenses as soon as possible. And since pursuing the issuing of new permits is a dead end, this task seems easier said than done, but Florida managers have not lost faith yet and we will tell you why. They have adopted a damage minimizing approach to the entire matter and decided that it would be much more profitable to settle for less than to obtain zero, which is logical right? In the world of liquor authorizations, this generally means going for a cheaper, not that pretentious and equally less empowering license which allows them to get some benefits, even if they may not be the full package. Next up, we are about to see what characterizes the less expensive permits and what benefits they can bring to owners so that we can fully understand why the market has shifted so much in their direction. Surely, selling the margaritas on the beach is a dream-come-true for any restaurant manager, but instead of only offering water and soda they are also beginning to settle for giving clients a beer as a substitute. The strategy seems to be working. By increasing revenues in a slow but sure manner, an overall improvement can be visible and a slightly larger profit is more desirable for owners than the same one or, worse, a lowering in sales. One of many problems with obtaining the expensive alcohol selling permits is the restrictions and limitations that this form of license poses. Not to mention the price! For some establishments, it is simply not worth the effort and we cannot blame them. Reaping the extra revenue gets harder when the costs of acquiring the license have already burdened the owners. Taking this into account, it is not hard to understand why several diners and bars all over Southwest Florida have changed their focus towards the more obtainable wine and beer licenses, generating an unprecedented growth in the wine and beer license sector. Statistically speaking, more than 50% of the current wine and beer selling permits have been issued in the last 5 years which is a clear indicator of where the market is aiming and according to specialists, the high level of demand will continue rising. 239-205-4770