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Bottoms Up! 3 Ways To Improve Your Chances Of Getting A Liquor License For A Restaurant

Getting a liquor license can really up your restaurant to a different ballgame, thanks to the fact that most adults enjoy ordering a glass of wine or a cocktail with their meal. To give you a better perspective, 70.7% of Americans ages 18 or older reported that they drank in the past year in 2013. Each state will have different requirements that need to be met before a liquor license can be issued. Here are 3 tips that may improve your chances.

Support from Nearby Residents or Businesses

Neighborhood aggression or opposition can delay your restaurant from having its application for getting a liquor license approved. If you have the support of nearby residents or businesses, there's a better chance that the liquor license will be approved in a efficient and speedy manner. Collect signatures from nearby residents or business owners and employees, and submit them with your application.

The goal is to prove that a liquor license for your restaurant will serve the public's best interest. You want to show that others are looking forward to the restaurant getting a liquor license. You can also take this opportunity to point out that being able to serve liquor may open up more job opportunities for your restaurant, as your restaurant may be able to hire more staff from the increased revenue.

Develop Written Policies that Encourage Responsible Drinking

With your liquor license application, you should also provide details as to how your restaurant will encourage responsible drinking practices. Keep in mind that you may also be subject to an interview with the board of licensing. Basically, the board of licensing will want to make sure that your establishment has protocols and policies in place that reduce the risks associated with the service of alcohol.

Having established a firm, written set of policies can show the board of licensing that your restaurant is prepared for the risks ahead. Your policies should clearly state that service will be refused to intoxicated patrons, minors and employees on the job. It should also outline how the restaurant will ensure that intoxicated patrons have safe transportation home. Make sure to also point out that all of your employees will go through mandatory responsible beverage service training.

Have Sufficient Measures in Place to Prevent Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is considered to be a serious problem in America, so much so that about 65% of teens will have had at least one drink before the age of 18. Before approving your liquor license application, the state will want to make sure that your restaurant has sufficient precautions put in place to prevent underage drinking.

You can prevent underage drinking by having all employees trained on how to identify authentic government issued IDs. If any employees have any suspicions regarding the legitimacy of an ID, it is important that they confirm whether the ID belongs to the patron by asking him or her about where they live and matching the address to the ID or requesting for additional IDs that have a name, photograph or signature on it. If there are still suspicions, employees should refuse alcohol service to the patron. To further improve your chances, make sure that your restaurant has a confidential magnetic stripe reader to authenticate all IDs.


Serving alcohol at your restaurant opens up some risks. It's important that you can prove that your restaurant can manage anything that comes its way in order to improve your restaurant's chances of getting a liquor license. The liquor license can really improve the dining experience at your restaurant and allow patrons an opportunity to further enjoy their meal. 

If you have questions, contact a company like Arizona Liquor Industry Consultants.