Header graphic for print
Texas Restaurant Law

What To Know About Texas Alcohol Permits: An Industry Perspective

Posted in Alcohol, Commentary, Competition, Legislation, Liability, Negotiation, News, Vendors

Obtaining and dealing with alcoholic beverage permits requires a lot of time and effort, and it can be full of legal pitfalls as well. Sometimes you need a lawyer, but often an outside alcohol permit company can be more cost effective. As one example, we recently interviewed Nancy Scott, with Joe LaBarba Permit Service in Dallas, who shared the following about her company, the restaurant industry, and when you should consider using a permit company:

How Do You See Recent Changes In The Restaurant Industry?
The grocery industry in Texas has reached an all time high. One source estimates that there are 22,235 grocery stores in Texas alone. With Wal-Mart, Costco, and other large national chain stores coming into the market, the competition between them and the smaller specialty stores has become quite sophisticated.

Similarly, the restaurant industry is also booming. Specifically, Dallas diners eat out more than diners in any other major city in the United States. They spend 91% more eating out than all other American households each month. In addition, Plano, Fort Worth and Austin fall in the top 10 cities in the country whose diners eat out regularly.

Alcohol sales are an integral part of the grocery and restaurant industries, with an estimated 692 million gallons of alcohol being sold here in Texas in 2012.

Has this boom created a high demand in Texas for services such as yours?
Yes, growth in the restaurant and grocery industries leads to growth in the alcohol industry. There is an expected growth of alcohol sales of at least 2% annually. This presents the need for fast and timely processing of all kinds of alcoholic beverage permits.

Where do you see the most growth in the future?
We see growth in the wet counties of Texas, which continue to grow. In May of 1998, one study showed that there were 29 wet counties and 54 dry counties. In contrast, the same study showed in June of 2012 that there are now 46 wet counties and 22 dry counties. Most restaurants and grocery stores that we have talked to will not consider building in a dry area now.

When should restaurant owners consider using a permit service like yours?
Any restaurant should consider using our service (or any permit service) when the legal issues are few or uncomplicated. For 47 years, Joe LaBarba Permit Service has been processing and obtaining alcoholic beverage permits for the State of Texas. We are full service agency that takes the hassle out of dealing with four different governmental agencies in order to expedite paperwork to ensure that permits are issued in the quickest manner possible. We have seen the growth and change of the industry over the years and are current with all of the new procedures, which involve city, county, and state.

How can restaurant owners contact you?
Call us for more information or visit our website at www.liquorlicense.org. We are happy to bring you updates through this blog on relevant changes and procedures concerning the alcoholic beverage industry.

About the authors: Nancy Scott is part of the family that owns and operates Joe LaBarba Permit Service, and she has worked with permitting since her father, Joe LaBarba, started the company in 1965. Click here for the company’s contact information.

Matthew Sanderson is a restaurant lawyer in Texas. “Good service with a smile” is his motto. Click here to find out more about Matthew Sanderson’s legal practice and how he can help you today. Follow him on Twitter @dealattorney.