Make sure you obtain an alcohol license. Here’s how to get it for California-based caterers. Thanks ABC for coming up with this informative video!
I often get calls from catering companies that want to be able to serve alcoholic beverages in events. In catering, it’s really unique we’ve done in California for alcohol. If you have a permanently licensed restaurant or bar, you can add a catering permit to it that allows you to serve alcoholic beverages off-site, at a location, as long as you get a catering authorization proof for it. So, it’s really easy to add a catering permit to an existing license and then they can get catering authorization for each of the locations.
Every time they want to do a specific event, they kind of says the who, want, where. So the … ABC now is they charge $25 fee for that. However, if you are a licensed caterer and you have a… don’t have a restaurant, there really isn’t a good option for you to serve alcohol during events. However, you can offer bar tending services to your clients. So, if your clients go down and they purchase the alcoholic beverages and bring it to the wedding reception or the birthday party. Your staff can act as the bartender and serve the product to them but you can’t purchase the product for the party, you can’t deliver the product to the party, the alcoholic beverages, you can only appear at the party and have your…for instance… in terms of the alcohol and have your staff serve it as a bartenders. Otherwise, you would be getting in to the business of selling alcohol without a license. So, if you have customers and you aren’t able to get a license, team up with a licensed restaurant so get on their license, then the best thing you can do is, you can offer bar tending services but don’t go down the Costco and buy a case of wine and bring it to the event and serve it to the client and then charge them for the wine and then charge them a service fee. Because, now you’ve just sold an alcoholic beverage without a license.
In some cases, I have clients come to me that they want to get into the catering and I ask them “Do you have any relationships with restaurants or [??] and sometimes they do, they’ve been a long term partner with the business or so have a friend, or the restaurant. I’ve recommended to them that they consider going to them and partnering with that restaurant on their license with actually having a co-licensee on their license. So, you don’t jointly but you could operate the alcohol catering component for the business and maybe potentially drive more revenue for both of you by being able to be an alcoholic beverage caterer if you can partner with somebody on their license.
If you have any questions about it, give me a call. I’ll go through it with you and maybe we can think of a way to get you licensed.