Should You Serve Alcohol or Not?

Should You Serve Alcohol or Not?

One of the many questions that face anyone opening a food service business is whether or not to serve alcoholic beverages. If you are having a difficult time deciding, you might find it beneficial to review the advantages and disadvantages of introducing alcohol to your restaurant menu.


When it comes to serving alcoholic drinks, there are numerous benefits. One of the biggest benefits is the profit that alcohol sales typically bring in. Depending on what type of alcoholic drinks you serve, you may start to see a substantial portion of your profits come from alcohol sales alone. This can be quite enticing, especially for a business that is just starting out and struggling to see a profit. Alcoholic drinks sell well, and you can set prices to be quite competitive. The amount of profit you make during peak hours might even allow you to offer discounted prices during off-peak times.

Another benefit of selling alcohol is that you will be able to attract more customers. There are many people who enjoy a nice alcoholic beverage with their meal, and those who enjoy imbibing a bit after work. If you choose to have alcohol on your menu you can draw in a lot more people than you may have had previously and not only will they order drinks but will also be looking at your menu for intriguing finger foods and other things to eat while they drink.


Selling alcohol has its disadvantages as well. You will be required to obtain a liquor license, and depending on where you are located, that could be a lengthy and costly process. Be aware that the regulations to get a license are quite strict and you must adhere to them long after your license is granted. In some areas, you will need a separate license for each type of alcoholic beverage you sell. There are also some places where licenses are limited and if they have reached the maximum available licenses alloted, you will have to wait until a license becomes available. All of this can make it difficult to even begin the process of serving alcohol on your premises.

If you do start selling alcohol, then you will need far more than just liquor, wine and beer, you will also need the proper bar equipment, bar supplies and staff to prepare and serve these drinks. The staff must be trained in making all the drinks that you want to offer, and they must be 21 years or older to legally serve alcohol. All of this will add costs to your budget.

If you sell alcohol, your staff will be required to understand how to look at the identification of each customer to be sure that they are of legal age and that their identification is valid. Failure to do so can result in drastic consequences. Serving alcohol to somebody who is underage could result in fines, loss of your license to serve alcohol, and possibly even having your business shut down.

What Did You Decide?

After weighing the advantages and disadvantages, you may find that the profit margin and benefits of serving alcohol far outweigh the disadvantages. But perhaps most importantly, keep in mind that you must serve alcoholic drinks responsibly. When the health and safety of your customers comes first, then word will spread that you are socially responsible and care about your customers. It is this caring attitude that will ultimately add to your overall profit margin.

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