Liquor is a big draw for a lot of businesses — not just restaurants and bars. These days, it’s not uncommon for a nail salon to have a wine bar where patrons can relax while they wait their turn, or painting studios to offer “paint and drink” nights for adults.
You’re already aware that alcohol can’t be consumed on your premises by anybody under 21 years of age, but how old do your servers need to be? If you don’t know the answer, you could be putting your license in jeopardy almost as soon as you get it.
It depends on what kind of liquor license and establishment you have
The rules on who can serve alcoholic drinks can be confusing. Here’s a breakdown of the rules:
- Off-premises liquor licenses: If you operate a drugstore that sells wine and beer, a convenience store that sells spirits, or any kind of retail liquor store, your cashiers need to be 21 years-old or older to ring up any purchase containing alcohol.
- Taverns: If you operate a tavern that sells malt products, wine or spirits but you do not regularly serve meals, servers must be a minimum of 21 years of age. (Empty bottles, glasses and cups may be handled by anybody.)
- On-premises liquor licenses: Servers and bartenders must be at least 18 years-old and under the supervision of an adult who is at least 21 to handle or serve any kind of malted products, wines or spirits.
- 2% beer licenses: If you operate a 3.2% beer licensed establishment, servers must be at least 18 to sell, serve or dispense the beer. Minors under 18 can handle or stock unopened containers if they are supervised on-site by someone 18 years-old or older.
Retaining your liquor license requires vigilance. You need to know the rules to enforce them. Maintaining your compliance and avoiding liquor license violations isn’t always easy, but getting experienced legal guidance can help you protect the future of your business.