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Is Serving Alcohol Important to Your Restaurants Success

Jun 23, 2008
The issue of serving alcohol in your restaurant is one that comes with many pros and cons. It is even common for some family restaurants to offer alcohol with the menu. Some people enjoy a glass of wine, a mixed drink, or a couple of beers before their meal or while they are eating. For those individuals that do so on a regular basis, they may end up avoiding dining at your restaurant because it isn't an option.

Alcohol in your restaurant can help your customers pass the time while they are waiting for a table. You can ask them if they would like to drink at the bar while they wait. Then when a table opens up for them, you can help them take their drinks to the table. If they will be waiting more than 10 minutes, many people will take you up on that offer instead of just standing around. You will also find that it can reduce the number of people that choose not to wait for a table.

There is generally a high resell on alcoholic beverages, so you can make a good deal of profit on them. You can also offer drink specials during the week in order to get more people to come in and eat. For example you an offer two for one drink specials from 5-7 pm Monday through Thursday. You will have some consumers out there that won't dine in a restaurant that serves alcohol. It may be against their principles or they may be struggling with an alcohol addiction so being exposed to it is difficult.

It can be an added expense for your restaurant to offer alcohol though. You will have to purchase the supplies to make a variety of different drinks. You will also need the machinery to mix them and the glasses to serve them in. This could result in one more supplier to deal with too as you won't be able to get your alcohol from the same supplier that you get the food ingredients from.

You need to select your bartenders carefully so that they will offer the best possible serve to your customers. They will only continue ordering drinks from your establishment if you are offering what they like. Not every one can make a good mixed drink so find out what skills your bartenders have to offer.

You will need to work out a system for delivering the drinks to your customers. While anyone can take those orders, only individuals at least 21 years of age can deliver them to the tables. You don't want to get yourself into a situation where under age individuals are serving alcohol. You also don't want to depend on just one person to do it because that will create a bottleneck. Your customers aren't going to be happy waiting a long period of time to get their drinks served.

There are strict guidelines for obtaining a liquor license and it will depend on the state. You will also have to make every person asking for alcohol is verified as being legally old enough to drink. If you don't this can result in fines being imposed and even the restaurant being shut down. Staff also needs to watch for signs for intoxicated individuals in the establishment. They should not be serving them any more alcohol.

Should you decide to serve alcohol in your restaurant, you need to be aware of your responsibilities. You have to make sure all people drinking alcohol in your establishment are old enough. Never take their word for it, check ID - make sure all of your staff is well aware of this as well. Make sure they stop serving alcohol to those that are visibly intoxicated and should not continue to drink.
About the Author
About the author: Patrica Farnham is a veteran on the restaurant industry. She now writes about her experiences in the restaurant industry, and how to start a restaurant, on her website.
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