Rules and Regulations – How to Make Sure You Keep Your Liquor License

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In May 8, 2019
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Rules and Regulations - How to Make Sure You Keep Your Liquor LicenseAs the owner of a new establishment, you have worked hard to build what you have, and you want to make sure that you keep it going. The quickest way to collapse your business is to lose your liquor license. While there are many businesses that this will not impact right away if at all, convenience stores and bars will feel the sting pretty quickly. However, there are a few things you can do proactively to make sure that you keep your license and ensure your business stays up and running which we will cover in the following paragraphs. No matter what type of Florida liquor license you have, the future of your business depends on you keeping it.

Avoid Overserving

This is a rule at any good establishment: don’t overserve. If you can see that the person purchasing the alcohol is already intoxicated, serving them could contribute to personal injury or even death. You could not only be forced to pay damages, but you might also lose your liquor license with no chance of retrieving it.

Note: There are specific ways to spot an intoxicated patron or customer; make sure that your bartenders or customer service representatives are properly trained. As a rule, an intoxicated individual will exhibit slurred speech, disorientation, confusion, poor coordination, or irregular breathing. Your best defense against overserving is always an experienced bartender, so keep that in mind when you are hiring.

Prevent Issues of Disorderly Conduct

Some establishments seem to draw trouble like a magnet, and you want to avoid being one of them. Fights or other outbursts can cause police interest, and once that happens, your business could suddenly be under investigation. If, after investigation, you are found to be at fault more than once, your license could be revoked, leading to the complete closure of the business that you built from the ground up.

Prevent Issues of Disorderly Conduct

Note: Much of this goes hand and hand with our first discussion point of over-serving, patrons who have had too much to drink could be more apt to start fights or other altercations. However, avoiding overserving does not guarantee that you won’t still need to defuse situations that arise in your bar or restaurant from time to time. You can present a warm front, offer the customer water, or invite them to speak to you away from the other guests. The last thing you want to do is get aggressive with them or escalate the situation; most importantly: don’t put your employees or other customers in danger. 

Don’t Make the Mistake of Serving Minors

No matter what state you are in, you cannot make the mistake of serving minors; this can lead to the revocation of your license and may even result in prosecution. While you may be given a warning the first time, you want to make sure that it never happens in the first place.

Note: There are several ways to avoid serving to minors; for example, you could check all ID’s regardless of the customer’s appearance. Secondly, you should know the distinct characteristics of a Florida State ID so that you can easily recognize fakes. You can check the microprint with a magnifying glass, or you the corners of the ID for peeling. The most effective method of ID verification is to have a Point of Sale system that is capable of scanning ID’s and checking for their legitimacy. Finally, and most importantly: never accept an expired ID.

Avoid Selling During Unauthorized Times

In every state, a liquor license will have a cutoff time, and once that time hits, you cannot perform any more alcohol sales. If your license ends at 2 AM, for example, you cannot sell one minute past 2, regardless of who happens to be in line at the time.

Make Sure Your Service Staff is Trained

Make Sure Your Service Staff is TrainedIf you are running a bar or a restaurant, it is imperative to make sure that all of your service staff is adequately trained. In most states, you can rely on programs like ServSmart or SmartServ that can bring all of your employees up to speed and get them the certification they need. State-trained staff can easily spot signs of intoxication and will be able to refuse service in a way that does not cause issues within your establishment.

Keeping your liquor license is vital if you want your business to remain open; after you complete your Florida liquor license application, make sure that you follow the rules, and you won’t have anything to worry about.

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