What to Do when Your Business Sells Booze

Call it brew, spirits, recipe, or just plain booze, you can’t sell alcohol without a lot planning and advice. Alcohol, even moderately used, presents risks to users and providers. So, you need to know what to do when your business sells booze.

It takes some courage to open any business. But, running a bar or restaurant presents unique problems. For example, there is always the issue of location. Opening at one street intersection can be fatal while another corner might prove dynamite. The location risk has always followed the service industries.


But, the alcohol element adds new challenges whether you are looking to open that traditional taproom or to host a fine dining experience with wine and cocktails.

Marketing decisions. Management has to plan a business week. It might include business on Sunday, late hours on Friday and Saturday, and closed doors on Monday. It might open for breakfast or wait until Happy Hour. In any case, the hours will decide the workweek for management and employees, one stress that leads to turnover in the hospitality industry.

Personnel decisions. Quality and honest performance is harder to come by than you think. There is an endless supply of ready applicants for hospitality jobs, but vetting them for quality performance and continuity is tough. You must meet and communicate city, state, and federal laws regarding wages, safety, leaves, and benefits. And, you must require proof of required licenses and certifications.

Food decisions. Alcohol regulations vary depend on whether or not your business provides or sells food. Food preparation and service require additional licenses and certifications and invite additional inspections. Food adds substantially to the operational expense and risk, but the availability of food can make or break the customer traffic.

Pricing decisions. If you divide the cost of a bottle of liquor by the number of milliliters, you have the cost per milliliter. If you divide that by 30, you get the cost per ounce. If you want to make 20% profit on that, multiply the cost per ounce by 5 and round it up. To price cocktails, you have to add together the price of each ingredient. That means pricing at a wine and beer bar is a lot easier than a cocktail lounge.

Sober decisions. In most states, you, your business, and your employees may be liable for damages wrought by intoxicated patrons. The Responsible Service of Alcohol Program recommends:


  • Keeping an eye on customers who have consumed more than the legal limit.
  • Watch for those who become more confident and less inhibited.
  • Drinking quickly, playing drinking games, using foul language – these are behavioral changes indicating poor judgement.
  • Be aware of loud voices, mood swings, and aggressive and flirtatious moves.
  • Notice slurred speech and motor difficulty in walking, sitting, or dancing.

Financial decisions. Margins are tight and fluid in the restaurant/bar business.  “There’s no way to see how successful (or unsuccessful) your bar is if you don’t have the data to back it up.” You need real time data on inventory, waste, salaries, sales, and more. Without it, you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t.

Legal decisions. In the alcohol business, you need advice long before you incur a complaint, claim, or violation. The business needs a level of constant liquor law advice Texas. Such advice secures the right licensing and certifications upfront, sustains continuing regulatory requirements, trains in risk management, and handles any legal action.

Opening a business connected with alcohol presents significant challenges at the start and throughout the business life. It takes focused and experienced liquor law advice to keep your business doors open. So, you need and want a collaborative partner relationship with a recognized liquor law firm.


Wendy Dessler is a super-connector with OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

Twitter URL: https://twitter.com/outreachmama

Website URL: http://www.outreachmama.com/

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Collaborative Post

Entrepreneur-Resources.net is happy to provide guest posting opportunities for small business owners. This article was created by one of our contributors.

Check Also

Simple Touches To Improve Your Employees’ Office Life

Image: Freepik When it comes to boosting office livability, you don’t necessarily need to undertake …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge