Wednesday, December 4, 2019

SWFL Snowbird Season is here in full effect!

Snowbird Season here in Florida is in full effect!

Northerners start flocking to Florida typically from October-November thru April -May; is your business ready to profit to its full potential? Are you mixing some tasty new cocktails that these customers can’t wait to come back for? This time of year Restaurants become crowded and the bars become packed and we want to help keep them coming back year after year! Try some new ideas! Add that Cool Cajun Shrimp Bloody Mary to the Menu you’ve always wanted! Order those fresh jalapeños for the garnish—it will pay off in the long run! Travelers are always documenting their excursions and outings with social media so make sure you can impact everyone’s feeds! (that's lots of free marketing)

Call Liquor License FL today for your Full Liquor License Upgrade or to discuss financing on a Quota license or anything in between! We are here to make you more profitable and help you grow!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Uber is taking to long! Walmart now offering alcohol delivery service in Florida!

Walmart offering alcohol delivery service in Florida

Walmart store (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

You can now order your booze online from Walmart and get it without ever leaving your home!
In an effort to compete in the online grocery war games, Walmart has announced that some customers in Florida and California will be able to order booze from their grocery store website and have it delivered to their front door. The service will be made available in nearly 200 stores across both states.This comes as the company is now allowing customers to order alcoholic beverages online along with the rest of their groceries, and have them delivered to their car at curbside pickup.
The new service is being offered at more than 2,000 Walmart stores across the country. Customers can select a time to pick up their order and then park in the convenient reserved parking spaces. An associate will then bring your order out to your vehicle.
Customers are required to provide valid I.D. for alcohol purchases.
In Orlando, the new pickup service applies to customers who place their adult beverage orders at the following stores:
•    16313 New Independence Parkway, Winter Garden, FL 34787
•    825 Casa Verde Blvd, Lake Mary, FL 32746
•    17030 Us Highway 441, Mount Dora, FL 32757
•    2501 Citrus Blvd, Leesburg, FL 34748
•    11250 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32817
•    1239 State Road 436 Ste 101, Casselberry, FL 32707
•    1700 S Org Blsmtrail, Apopka, FL 32703
•    4400 13Th St, Saint Cloud, FL 34769
•    8801 Conroy Windermere Rd, Orlando, FL 32835
•    185 N Charles Richard Beall Boulevard, Debary, FL 32713
•    600 S Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32828
•    5991 S Goldenrod Rd, Orlando, FL 32822
•    902 Lee Rd, Orlando, FL 32810
•    3101 W Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32808
•    4255 Alafaya Trail, Oviedo, FL 32765
•    5216 Red Bug Lake Road, Winter Springs, FL 32708
•    904 Cypress Pkwy, Kissimmee, FL 34759
•    2125 Nolte Road, St. Cloud, FL 34772
•    3950 N. Wichham Road, Melbourne, FL 32935
•    9047 Curry Ford Road, Orlando, FL 32825
•    5511 Deep Lake Rd, Oviedo, FL 32765
•    13801 Landstar Blvd., Orlando, FL 32824
•    1569 Saxon Boulevard, Deltona, FL 32725
•    820 Balmy Beach Drive, Apopka, FL 32703

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Changes made to extended alcohol sales ordinance in Jacksonville Beach

Changes made to extended alcohol sales ordinance in Jacksonville Beach

According to the city, most of the Jacksonville Beach late-night establishments already have the permit, but changes made will impact new businesses or ones that change

*A previous version of this story suggested that all businesses would have to apply for a permit to serve alcohol after midnight. The changes only impact new businesses and business transfers, as most businesses already have the permit.
On Monday, the City of Jacksonville Beach voted in favor of making stricter permit guidelines for those applying for or transferring an 'Extended Hours of Operations Permit."
According to the city, most of the Jacksonville Beach late-night establishments already have the permit, but changes made will impact new businesses or ones that change ownership.
The ordinance comes after the city says there has been "several incidents of disorderly and violent encounters" at establishments which has led to an increased cost of law enforcement.
"In order to protect public health and safety of the residents of the City of Jacksonville Beach, the City finds it is in the best interest of the public health, safety and welfare to encourage responsible alcohol beverage establishments..," reads the ordinance.
If new businesses, or those operating under a restaurant license, are interested in 'sale and sell' of alcohol after 12 p.m., they must do so via an Extended Hours of Operations Permit.
New businesses or those that change ownership must apply for the permit, implement a security and emergency action plan, and pay an annual fee to be able to sell alcoholic beverages until 2 a.m.
In addition, the city says the permits are subject to suspension if the following activities are taking place in, or near the establishment.
  • Illegal activities requiring a police presence that occurs on or adjacent to the premises of an alcoholic establishment with emphasis on illegal activities of owner, employees, patrons underage drinking incidents, open containers, disturbances and D.U.I's
  • Failure of any restaurant to maintain special outlines of an SRX such as derive 51% of gross revenue from food, be able to serve 150 people full course meals at any given time and other mandated requirements
  • Complaints verified arising from adverse effects of extended hours such as noise, illegal parking, vandalism, trash, loitering and exterior lighting issues
  • Violation of noise ordinance
Businesses found to be in violation will receive several warnings but will be fined $500 on the third violation. 

They could also have their extended hours permits revoked or suspended.  
The ordinance goes into effect 90 days from the date of adoption, which would be Feb. 2, 2020.

Liquor License information or to obtain a license call 1-866-470-8881

Friday, October 11, 2019

Royal Caribbean sails into beer business with South Florida’s Funky Buddha

Royal Caribbean and Funky Buddha Brewery are working on a beer for the cruise line's private island Perfect Day at CocoCay. (Funky Buddha Brewery / Courtesy)
Passengers aboard Royal Caribbean ships will soon be drinking a specialty beer brewed just for the Miami cruise line.
Royal Caribbean is collaborating with Funky Buddha to develop an exclusive brand of beer that will be available next month on the cruise line’s private island Perfect Day at CocoCay and at the Oakland Park brewery.
The cruise line filed a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office this summer with the name of the beer, "Chilla Thrilla” according to beer blog Tenemu. John Linn, a spokesman for Funky Buddha, confirmed news of the beer brand to the South Florida Sun Sentinel Thursday.
Packaged in 12-ounce cans with bright blue, orange and white hues, the beer will have various labels that would capture a typical day on the tropical island, according to Tenemu. One flavor is called Tropical Ale with Mango & Guava. “Sips are worth the swim,’’ the label reads. The beer will have 4.5 percent alcohol by volume, said Linn.
“The beer is made with real mango and guava and is ideal for warm weather and cool water,’’ he said. “We’re very excited to have partnered with Royal Caribbean on its creation and look forward to its availability on Perfect Day at Cococay, which will begin in November.”
The beer’s name appears to reflect an area of CocoCay called Chill Island where passengers can snorkel, enjoy personal watercraft and dine in the largest venue on the island.

Royal Caribbean Perfect Day at CocoCay welcomed its first ship on Saturday, May 4, 2019 as Navigator of the Seas let loose about 3,500 guests to the island with much of its $250 million in upgrades in place including a 13-slide water park, zip line and helium balloon.
Royal Caribbean Perfect Day at CocoCay welcomed its first ship on Saturday, May 4, 2019 as Navigator of the Seas let loose about 3,500 guests to the island with much of its $250 million in upgrades in place including a 13-slide water park, zip line and helium balloon. (Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel)
In the last year, Royal Caribbean has been investing up to $200 million to upgrade its private island in the Bahamas. Amenities include a 13-slide water park, zip line and helium balloon ride.
Among the ships that stop on the island are Miami-based Symphony of the Seas, aka the world’s largest cruise ship, Navigator of the Seas, also out of PortMiami, and Harmony of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas out of Port Canaveral.
Carnival also has several brands of its own beer with ThirstyFrog on Carnival Vista’s brewery, and ParchedPig on Carnival Horizon and Carnival Panorama. The Doral-based cruise line also brews, cans and kegs its own beer in partnership with Brew Hub of Lakeland, said Vance Gulliksen, a Carnival spokesman.


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

It’s 5 o’clock on Fort Myers Beach: New Margaritaville Resort gets the green light

It’s 5 o’clock on Fort Myers Beach: New Margaritaville Resort gets the green light

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Briana Harvath

In just a few months, Fort Myers Beach will never look the same again.
What is now a mostly vacant lot will soon transform into the Fort Myers Beach Margaritaville Resort—a 254-room hotel with a beach club, shops and more.
Two lawsuits had delayed construction on the new resort, but now that they’ve both been resolved, “that means you’ll see demolition of existing structures and construction of the new project starting sometime right after the first of the year,” says Margaritaville Spokesperson John Gucciard.
That’s good news for businesses like On The Sand. Employee Judy Ann Liot says they expect even more customers at their gift shop.
“Whether they’re locals, from different parts of Florida, from Europe, from Canada—it’s all going to be very, very well received,” said Liot.
Vacationers Cherri Cox and Pam Brienza say no doubt people will want to come in and have “cheeseburgers in paradise” or get “wasted away in Margaritaville.” It’ll also bring a whole new attraction to Fort Myers Beach.
“You have more hotels, you’re not calling and saying, ‘Oh, we’re booked,'” said Brienza.
“It’s going to bring a lot of business to this area and if the hotel rooms are really expensive, it’s definitely going to bring a lot of money to the mom-and-pop shops,” added Cox.
So what’s next for the coming resort?
As they finish up the legal process on the project, there are also plans in the works to build employee housing, a hotel and extra parking offsite. Developers will meet with the hearing examiner at the end of the month.
They hope to open the hotel in 2022.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Margaritaville Update

By. Island Sand Paper

Early on Friday afternoon, June 28, TPI-FMB spokesperson John Gucciardo updated The Island Sand Paper on the two lawsuits from Town resident Chris Patton that have put the Margaritaville Resort construction at the base of the Matanzas Pass Bridge on hold for eleven months.

Margaritaville Resort Fort Myers Beach rendering with the Fins Up Beach Club in the foreground.

“The first legal case is a Writ of Certiorari,” Gucciardo explained. “This is a court process that seeks a judicial review of a decision from a lower court or administrative agency; in this case, the Town, claiming it did not have the right to approve the Margaritaville project. We expect this decision in the very near future. The other is the Civil Action case that will most likely come to trial in November. Unfortunately, I do not see any way around that, as they do not want us to build the resort and we feel we have every right to, based on two unanimous Town Council votes and the Local Planning Agency majority decision, so there is no room for compromise.”

Forty-eight hours later, everything had changed, with the Town announcing that Patton dropped her Civil Action against the Town! So what happened? “You have to ask the plaintiff,” said an obviously happy Gucciardo! “We were ready to proceed with the Town over the Civil Trial and felt we were up to the challenge, but dropping it is the much preferred alternative. With the Writ of Certiorari already on the judge’s desk, in which we anticipate a favorable outcome, Margaritaville can move ahead in a much more rapid fashion than we hoped just a few days ago, because it is possible for a Civil Case and appeal to drag out as much as 18 months. Now groundbreaking may be as soon as the start of 2020, so this chops anywhere from 9 months to one year off the start of construction!”
Continue Reading the full article

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hutson bill distills regulation down to palatable

Original Article from "The St.Augustine Record"
Posted: August 28th 2019
If you were looking for a category of Florida’s more mixed up laws, put beer, wine and liquor sales at the top of your list. Hectic, archaic or downright dumb make good modifiers.
This is especially true for the state’s budding business of craft beers and spirits. While it might be expected the state would cast a friendly eye on this new generation of small business entrepreneurs, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
We think it’s fair to say that in the next few years if nothing changes, it will be easier to buy a joint at a St. Augustine business than a drink on premise at a distillery.
That’s been a sticking point for Philip McDaniel, CEO and co-founder of the St. Augustine Distillery on Riberia Street downtown. The business is so popular trailer trains include it on their rounds. But McDaniel operates in a kind of 80-proof twilight zone.
He can’t grow his business because of a 65,000-gallon limit on production. And the paperwork to keep track of that is mind-numbing. He can’t sell more than six bottles to any one customer. Visitors ask him to ship them bottles, but by law, he can’t ship his product.
And he’s not allowed to serve his product on premise. If you’re wondering what he can do with his product, you get it. How would restrictions such as these play out in your business?
A bill seeking to remedy some of these silly restrictions made it through Florida’s House in this year’s session, but got tied up in the Senate.
Our own Sen. Travis Hutson took notice, McDaniel said, and has filed SB 138 to be heard in 2020 session — opening this year in January, not March (but that’s another editorial). Hutson’s bill takes on some of these inequities and also pares down some legislation on wine sales.
It would change a recent law called “Merlot to go” that allows patrons of a restaurant to take home a partly consumed bottled of wine, but only if it was consumed with a “full-course meal, consisting of a salad or vegetable, entrée a beverage and bread,” according to the law.” It does not specify rye, wheat or white, so...Continue Reading

Friday, August 23, 2019


By Peter Romeo 2019

While the restaurant industry contends with the usual summertime rush, lawmakers and regulators have taken up a number of measures that affect the business in small and large ways. Here are a few of the developments a busy operator might have missed.

New Jersey sets higher liabilities in wage dispute

Restaurants accused of underpaying servers or supervisors will face higher potential penalties under a law that was quietly passed this month in the Garden State. If authorities decide that a server should have been paid a full wage instead of the lower amount allowed under tip-credit regulations, or a salaried employee is adjudged to be entitled to overtime pay, restaurateurs can now be required to pay the wages that were owed, plus damages equal to 200% of the underpayment, a fine of $500 and 20% of the wages owed, and an administrative fee of $250. The fines increase for second-time offenders. 
Those amounts are set for civil disputes. The Wage Theft Act also exposes employers to criminal charges of disorderly behavior, a charge that carries financial penalties of $500 to $1,000 and possibly up to 100 days in jail.

If an employee is fired within 90 days of formally accusing an employer of underpaying or stealing a wage, the dismissal is presumed to be an act of retaliation, which carries its own set of criminal charges and financial liabilities. The only rebuttal, according to the law, is “clear and convincing evidence that the action was taken for other, permissible, reasons.”
The measure also extends the statute of limitations on wage disputes to six years, from the current cap of two years.
Because of the potential awards for employees who contend they’ve been stiffed on pay, the Wage Theft Act is expected to make New Jersey a choice location for filing unpaid-wage claims, according to a host of legal experts. “It will likely have seismic repercussions for employers operating in New Jersey, and will make New Jersey a destination venue for wage and hour class-action litigation,” the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius wrote in a news alert to clients and the legal community.Continue Reading

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


How To Attract More Customers To Your Restaurant5 min read

Serving the best food in the world doesn’t always mean a full restaurant every night if no one knows just how good your food is. Sometimes you need to do a little extra promotion to attract more customers to your restaurant. Once they’re inside and trying your food, they’ll keep coming back time and time again.


The easy part is making them fall in love with your food. However, we need to get those people in the door first in order for that to happen. 
Here are a few fun and efficient ways to get more customers in your restaurant in order for you to build a loyal following. 


Don’t waste your time and money on a generic flyer with every special, event and picture you can fit on it only to leave it out hoping people find it, actually read it and convert into a customer. Just distributing your menu doesn’t cut it anymore.
Instead, distribute what we call a “smart flyer” to attract more customers to your restaurant. A small, targeted flyer with one simple message and promotion. Make sure your offer lasts at least a month so that people can find the time to actually use it. What offer you use is up to you. If you’re including a coupon, give at least 20% off. You can also try giving away free appetizers or desserts.
You definitely don’t want to annoy people with your flyers. Distributing them weekly will annoy your customer base and make them less likely to visit your restaurant. Also, most flyers left under windshields will end up in the garbage. Present your restaurant in a professional way and you’ll see the benefits.


Start conversations with local businesses in your area. Many of them get catering for special lunches or meetings on a regular basis. Offer them a discount so that they order from you and make sure that you hand them your full menu in person.
This can create an ongoing revenue stream for your restaurant to increase your bottom line every month.


Giving people an extra incentive to try your restaurant for the first time is a great way to turn them into loyal customers. Usually an offer of at least 20% off is good enough. You can also try 2 for 1 deals, free appetizers and anything else you can think of that would bring more people into your restaurant.Continue Reading

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Craft Distillers Want Florida to Relax Liquor Rules

By Julie Gargotta
Photo from @bearandpeacock on Instagram on bearandpeacock at 7/27/19 at 1:48PM
for full article click below

WINTER PARK, Fla. — An unprecedented meeting brought distillers from all over the state — from Jacksonville down to the Keys — to Winter Park on Wednesday, hoping to craft a unified message to bring to Tallahassee.

  • Orlando-area businessmen say distilled spirits too tightly regulated
  • Distillers across state came together to create Florida Craft Spirits Guild
  • This is in response to state's restrictions on spirts, beer, the group says
  • "This is the biggest meeting of craft distillers in the history of Florida," said Paul Twyford, Winter Park Distilling Company's co-founder. "We want to have an environment where we have the ability to grow our businesses, to hire more people and create more consumer choice."
    In 2010, Twyford and Andrew Asher began making distilled spirits, vodka, and whiskey. A year later, the pair got into the distilled spirits market. 
    It was the first "legitimate" whiskey distillery in Orange County, Twyford said with a chuckle. "This is a labor of love."
    Asher recalled how it all came about.
    "We were sitting around over lunch thinking about how much we like to drink distilled spirits. 'Wouldn't it be cool to make them as well?'" remembered Asher. "It's something we could put our hands on. It's tangible and (we could) say, 'We made this.'"
    Asher, an attorney by trade, said that his background has come in handy in navigating the "maze of regulations" when it comes to the industry.
    Liquor in Florida is tightly regulated. You have to have a license to make it and a license to sell it. If you own a bar, restaurant, or liquor store, you have to have a vendor's license.
    And in between the manufacturing and selling — to those licensed to sell to the general public — is a layer called "distribution," which is also licensed, Asher said.
    He said that although businesses can procure a full liquor license, which in Orange County can run upwards of $250,000 to $300,000, those are not available to those who manufacture spirits at the same time. 
    In 2016, the pair branched out and founded their Bear and Peacock brewery, making and serving craft beer alongside the distilling company, where they created whiskey, bourbon whiskey, vodka, and rum.
    Their two businesses were brought under one roof and one name: the Brewstillery.
    But the rules that govern the brewery and distillery are very different. While customers can saddle up to the long, wooden bar and order a pint, they cannot order a cocktail made with their house rum or vodka. Instead, they can only ask for free samples of the spirits at a small gift shop window; a glass wall and doors separate the transactions. 
    Photo from @bearandpeacock on Instagram on bearandpeacock at 6/12/19 at 4:26PM

Monday, July 29, 2019

'Lost Palate': How an Unfortunate Situation Became the Unlikely Inspiration Behind Goose Island's Newest Beer

A brand ambassador's cancer diagnosis led to an unlikely concoction that became so successful, it's about to launch nationwide

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Last year, 33-year-old Jonny Coffman was told he had less than a year to live.
"Three to 12 months realistically," he said. "They said, 'We would be shocked if you saw 2019.'"
A brand ambassador for Goose Island Beer Company, Coffman was battling metastatic melanoma. At Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Coffman tried a new immunotherapy drug and underwent radiation.
"Unfortunately, one of the side effects is its impact on his taste buds," said Dr. Sunandana Chandra, Coffman’s oncologist at Lurie Cancer Center.
"I have never eaten cement, but I can imagine that’s what it would taste like," Coffman said. "Anything, pizza, steak, mac & cheese — it tasted the exact same."
The beer lover couldn’t taste a thing for months, until one morning when he mixed oatmeal with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, mangos and honey.
"I could taste the cinnamon first, then the juiciness of the mangos and the honey. It was love at first bite,” Coffman said.
Coffman was so excited about his breakfast concoction because he could actually taste it. But he also had a bigger idea, to brew it as Goose island’s first hazy IPA.
"It’s the hot style. We’ve never made one and Jonny loves them, so of course we were going to accommodate," said Todd Ahsmann, president of Goose Island Beer Company.
Coffman worked with the Goose Island Brewmasters and came up with "Lost Palate."
The canned beer is being sold in the Goose Island Tap Room with some of the proceeds going to the Lurie Cancer Center.
"Emotional...emotional because it was something I ever thought if it did happen, maybe brew a two barrel batch of it," Coffman said of the beer being made in his honor.
Since then, two amazing things happened: the immunotherapy drug worked, leaving Coffman cancer-free and "Lost Palate" is set to launch nationwide. 
"We decided the beer turned out so good and Jonny’s health is back, so we are going to launch it nationally come the beginning of the year and continue to donate proceeds to the Lurie Cancer center," Ahsmann said. 
"People are drinking it in Chicago, liking it, and now when I see people, they can smile and be happy because I’m cancer-free," Coffman said.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Facebook to Expand Restrictions on Sales of Alcohol

Original article from:

Facebook to Expand Restrictions on Sales of Alcohol  Primary Image
Much to the surprise and likely disappointment to the countless beer trading groups that are active on Facebook, the social media company announced earlier today that it had updated its policies to prohibit the sale of alcohol (and tobacco products) between private individuals. 
The site had already prohibited the sale of alcohol and tobacco in its Marketplace section of the site, but this regulation change extends it into groups and what the company calls “organic content," which includes comments and posts. 
CNN first reported the change on Wednesday morning and Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine independently confirmed the policy shift with Facebook. 
“We are updating our regulated goods policy to prohibit the sale of alcohol and tobacco products between private individuals on Facebook and Instagram,” a Facebook Spokesperson wrote in an email to Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine. “Our commerce policies already prohibit the sale of tobacco or alcohol in places like Marketplace but we’re now extending this to organic content.” 
Facebook has become a go-to for beer traders with public and private ISO:FT groups surrounding nearly every major city and region as well as individual breweries. Online beer forums and other Internet sites still do a robust trading business, but the sheer size of Facebook and Instagram, the first and sixth largest social media sites in the world, make them obvious fertle ground for beer trades.Wednesday’s announcement comes on the heels of Instagram beta testing the hiding of its “like” counter, which was designed to make that platform less of a popularity contest but has frustrated some influencers, who rely on those numbers to help promote products on behalf of companies. 
This change only applies to the sale of alcohol and tobacco, and it's unclear how Facebook intends to apply these rules to bartering and trading, but posting pictures in groups dedicated to appreciating or discussing the products is not restricted. So for now those glamour shots of Naturdays you have loaded up from this weekend’s bash are good to post.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Can a cocktail made with wine-based liquor still be called a cocktail?

Original article by. Jean Le Boeuf via News-Press

Q: Why are restaurants allowed to advertise “cocktails” on their websites and menus when clearly they do not have a full-bar license? These offerings should be called “mocktails” or “wine-based cocktails!" I feel deceived. — Sincerely, Sandy M. 
A: Sandy, I share your pain. Nothing ruins Taco Tuesday like ordering a margarita only to have a glass of syrupy wine water delivered. 
Sadly, there's not much recourse.
While the Department of Business and Professional Regulation does enforce so-called "truth in menu" laws — rules that ensure your Gulf snapper is indeed Gulf snapper and not Asian-farmed tilapia — those regulations don't apply to what can or can't be called a cocktail. Cocktails must contain alcohol, yes, but the strength of that alcohol doesn't matter. 
As the department's communications director Patrick Fargason pointed out via email, "the term 'cocktail' isn't defined in the Beverage Law.
"According to DBPR’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, simply calling something a 'cocktail' wouldn't rise to the level of misrepresentation any more than calling something Butterbeer without there being any beer present would."
The "Melon Dramatic" is a nonalcoholic mocktail served at Husk in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo: JOSH MORGAN/Staff)
There are, however, some basi1. Drink at big restaurants. Most restaurants must have more than 150 seats (inside and out count) in order to secure  a liquor license. If you're at a restaurant with fewer than 150 seats, then it probably only has a beer/wine license — hence the wine-based substitutions. That said, it's not impossible to be small and sell liquor. The owner of Nevermind in Cape Coral, for example, has a full-liquor license purchased through Florida's liquor license lottery. That allows him to sell full-test gin, rum, you-name-it, even though he only has a few-dozen seats.
Grapefruit rosemary mocktail (Photo: Courtesy Henry Ford Health System)
2. Look for a bar. If a restaurant has a full-liquor license, that's a huge moneymaker. They'll want you to know about it. You will almost always find a traditional bar setup at a full-liquor restaurant; bottles on display alongside draft taps and the like. Don't see a bar? You're probably getting a wine-based cocktail.
3. Ask. If a little side-street taqueria is offering margaritas, or if a mom-and-pop diner has Bloody Marys on the brunch menu, I will ask the server: Is it made with tequila/vodka or with wine-based liquor? Servers will almost always tell you the truth. If they're unclear, ask a manager. I'd much rather have a mimosa than some unexpected wine-based cocktail that will sit unfinished.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Heineken fined $1.25 million for NY state liquor law violations

Heineken beer bottles. (AP photo).

Global brewing giant Heineken USA will pay a $1.25 million fine to the New York State Liquor Authority for violating state laws prohibiting gifts to retailers that carry their beer.The authority found that Heineken USA, the American division of the big Dutch brewing company, illegally provided special patented draft systems to more than 800 bars and restaurants to help persuade those retailers to carry Heineken products.The system, called BrewLock, only fits Heineken beer kegs or those from Heineken-affiliated brands, like the Italian beer Moretti. 

Each BrewLock is worth about $500.State liquor laws prohibit alcoholic beverage manufacturers or wholesalers (distributors) from giving away anything of value to “artificially incentivize sales,” according to a liquor authority news release.
In addition to the BrewLock giveaways, which occured from 2014 to 2015, the liquor authority accused Heineken of illegally using a third party to conceal a transaction with at least one retailer for a different Heineken draft beer system called Blade.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Permits And Licenses – What You Need To Open The Door

Permits And Licenses - What You Need To Open The Door

Congratulations! You’re ready to open a restaurant. You’ve got the menu, your restaurant concept, the location, investors, and your marketing materials. You’re ready to open your doors, right? Not so fast.
Before you can welcome those first diners, you have a bit more legwork. In this article, we look at permits and licenses and what you need to open the door to your restaurant.

Step 1: The Business License

The first type of license you need is the business license. Every single restaurant needs this before they can open and operate their restaurant.
This is what tells the federal government that you’re a new business. It legitimizes you, and it makes your restaurant official. Above all, it gives you permission from the government to open and operate your restaurant.
The business license is issued to your restaurant from your local city or state government, and you can’t open your restaurant without this. You’ll find it accompanied by a fee that includes both your registration fee and your filing fee. Count on paying up to several thousand dollars for this license.
In addition, you’ll find that the cost and regulations around your licensing vary state by state. You can get your license by doing an internet search. You can also check the Small Business Administration’s website for more information. If you’d rather forego the internet, go to your city hall and get your license in person. Don’t forget to renew this license on an annual basis.
Do note that if your restaurant sells alcohol, you will also have to obtain a federal business license in addition to your state business license.

Step 2: The Foodservice License

The health department in your city is where you’re going to go for this license. You will need to fill out a lot of paperwork to get the ball moving on your foodservice license.
Many restaurant owners feel some anxiety about this license because it involves someone coming and checking on your restaurant to make sure you are following all food safety regulations. Do remember that they will come back to your restaurant on occasion to double check you are still abiding by all the rules.
To apply for this license, you can also apply online with your city. The fees for this permit are usually based on the size and classification of your restaurant and its location. Count on paying anywhere from $100-$1000 for your foodservice license.

Step #3: The Liquor License

If you’re going to sell liquor at your restaurant, you will have to have a liquor license. Like the foodservice license, this one comes with many strings attached. (tweet this)
To sell liquor, you have to maintain this license on an ongoing basis. To find out what you have to do to get this license, and how to keep it, you’ll need to check with your state.
The liquor license is not an easy license to procure. It’s also very easy to lose this license in an instant. To get and keep this permit, you have to make sure you’re following your state’s ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) laws. They regulate the sale of alcohol in every state.
You can lose this license for many reasons including selling liquor to minors, over serving people and having them get too drunk, disorderly conduct, allowing underage servers to serve liquor, selling at unauthorized times, and many others.
It only takes one mistake to lose this license, so do everything you can to stay above the law.
Finally, the cost of the liquor license varies from state to state, but it usually comes with a hefty price into the tens of thousands and more.