Buying Restaurants for sale with a Liquor License can be a shorter path to operations than a startup operation, particularly if the state allows for the transfer of that permit. Since the profit associated with alcohol sales is significant to an operator, it’s best to understand the requirements upfront.
Restaurants for sale with a liquor license are typically identified in the description written by the seller. For a savvy buyer, however, you must do some additional investigation to understand how or if the liquor license in place will transfer or will allow you to operate until you obtain your own.
License requirements are very specific and guided by state law in almost all instances. In general terms, there are different types of licenses that allow for the service of alcohol. These could include:
Restaurant Liquor License – This is the most common type of license and generally allows the service of beer, wine, and a full bar. It allows one to serve all types of alcohol including mixed drinks.
Beer and Wine License – This is often the type of license that would accompany a pizza shop or similar location where the concept is fast-casual, or the food is best when accompanied by a glass of wine, but a full mixed drink menu is not required. Full alcohol service is not allowed when buying restaurants for sale with a liquor license of this type as it limits the consumption on-premise to beer and wine only.
Quota License – This is a specific type of license offered in some states where the ability to serve alcohol is subject to a maximum number of locations and they are won through a yearly lottery system. They can also be re-sold on the open market. Florida is a state with quota licenses and their 4COP-Quota is an example of their quota. If someone holds this license in Florida, independent of a restaurant, they may sell it or use it for any concept like a bar or club and don’t have to meet minimum seating, size space, or have minimum requirements for food service.
For many restaurants for sale with a liquor license, the service of alcohol is measured in relationship to food and nonalcoholic beverages. Thus, a business must sell at least 51 percent of food or nonalcoholic beverages.
The fees for a license to service vary by county and state. Most require an annual renewal paid in order to renew the license.
It is important when considering restaurants for sale with real estate to be familiar with the state laws allowing for the service of alcohol. Adequate training of all staff members is critical to be sure that you are complying with regulatory requirements in accordance with the law. In addition, some municipalities require a Server License. In addition to liquor licenses for establishments, this is a requirement for individual servers to be licensed.
Overall, buying restaurants for sale with a liquor license can be an excellent option to acquire existing cash flow, profitability, trained staff, and more. Going through the initial application process can be tedious and time-consuming. The ability to acquire an existing business with the proper license in place can, in some instances, cut down the red tape and provide a shortcut to alcohol service.
The listings offered by We Sell Restaurants on this page represent some of those opportunities available nationwide.