The Advisor Magazine: Issue #21 –

As the November 8th election approaches this week, the division on the issue of retail distribution grows.
Tell everyone you know to support local and independent operators by voting YES on Question 3.
  • The ‘Milestone Moment’ for the liquor industry;
    • How to support the unsung heroes of the service industry;
    • What to stock your shelves with for the holidays;
    • Employee Retention Tax Credit Fast Program for owners;
    • and more!
In this issue, we push the hot buttons of today’s liquor industry.
Click Here To Read The Advisor – Issue #21.

The Advisor Magazine: Issue #20 –

About a month to go before the historic vote on question #3 for the liquor license industry – vote YES. Tell your friends and family to support local and independent operators.

  • Why vote “YES” on Question #3;
  • How to support your local liquor store & spread awareness;
  • “Nipping” litter in the bud;
  • Fall drink choices;
  • On-Premise holds strong despite inflation;
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit Fast Program for owners;
  • and more!
In this issue, we discuss the future of the industry.
Click Here To Read The Advisor – Issue #20.

Restaurant’s Pandemic Adjustments

What’s Here To Stay For The Industry

An article posted in early July on rebusinessonline.com entitled “Retail, Restaurant Industries Embrace Post-Pandemic Design Shifts” addresses the post-pandemic shifts in consumer behavior, as the ease of ordering online with multiple pickup and/or delivery options has become the norm over the past few years. Although the pandemic is behind us, the behaviors consumers adopted are not, and consumer behaviors and expectations when it comes to shopping, dining, and drinking have changed, and businesses are paying attention. Let’s take a closer look at how restaurants are adapting.

The article identifies Border Foods, one of the largest privately held Taco Bell franchises in America, as one restaurant that has worked to create a new restaurant concept designed around the established fast-food model – but an elevated experience, with two-stories and four drive-thru lanes. Josh Hanson, founder and CEO at Vertical Works and WORKSHOP (the company behind the Border Foods redesign), states that their goal was to offer a “highly personalized customer experience” and that “the pandemic accelerated this expectation, as retailers were forced to connect with consumers in new ways.”

To read the full article – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 18.

 

 

Time For Nine

Grandfathering Off Premise Licenses

November 8, 2022 is a date that all liquor store owners should have circled on their calendar as a lot rides on the outcome of a proposed ballot question for 21st Century Alcohol Reform bill.

Most recently, more than 19,000 signatures from the public were filed in support of the reform, which over time would gradually increase the current number of licenses available to a single retailer from 9 to 18 by 2031.

Why is the number 9 so important?

As previously mentioned in Retail Tier Reform: Looming 21st Century Alcohol Changes in Issue #17 of The Advisor, the license cap for the sale of all alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, and liquor under the same license) would be reduced from 9 to 7. Retailers will be allowed more licenses overall; however, the cap for all alcoholic licenses will be lower.

For retailers who are currently near or wanting to capture the 9 license limit, they will have to pick up licenses quickly and start now.

With the cap increasing and the quota remaining the same, simple economics of supply and demand suggest that anyone who has a controlling interest in multiple stores, specifically those with all alcoholic licenses will greatly benefit.

For successful retail owners with great ambitions of increasing their capacity, this is not a time to “wait and see”. Your climb to nine licenses has to start now while there’s still time to get them under agreement.

Waiting around on the sidelines to see what happens won’t work and in fact will be too late. If you need a plan, we’re here for you. Call us any time at 781-319-9800.

To read the full article – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 18.

 

 

Saving Mom & Pop Shops

Vote YES To Question 3 on November 8, 2022

On Friday, July 15, the Mass Pack Association announced to its membership that the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth has confirmed that the Association’s ballot initiative petition (the “Expanded Availability of Licenses for the Sale of Alcohol Beverages”) will appear on the ballot as Question #3 this November. The announcement proclaimed, “Not since the repeal of Prohibition has an issue of this importance within our industry been put to voters. This is historic.”

The announcement, put forth by Ryan Maloney, President of MassPack and owner of Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, MA; and Benjamin Weiner, Chair of the 21st Century Alcohol Retail Reform Committee and owner of Sav-Mor Spirits in Somerville, MA, comes after a year-long process that involved signature campaigns and the tireless efforts of the Mass Pack Association to bring awareness to their membership and to the general public.

The announcement breaks down just exactly what a YES vote in November entails:

A July 7 ballotpedia.org article entitled “Two Massachusetts ballot initiatives filed a second round of signatures for a spot on the November ballot” explains the somewhat convoluted process of a ballot initiative becoming a question on the ballot, stating that: “The process for initiating state statues in Massachusetts is indirect, which means the legislature has a chance to approve initiatives with successful petitions directly without the measure going to the voters” and that “[the initiative] submitted the required 3% of signatures in December 2021 and were presented to the state legislature in early 2022. Since the state legislature did not act on the initiatives by May 4, the initiatives were cleared to gather a second round of 13,374 signatures to qualify for the November ballot.”

The Daily News reported on July 9 (and then updated the report on July 13) that “[the proposal] to expand retail beer and wine sales…cleared a final hurdle to the November ballot,” which is positive reinforcement to local liquor stores who believe that small business in Massachusetts is under attack and that they are fighting for their survival by undertaking the ballot initiative, which has now become a reality as Question #3 on November’s ballot.

Support local liquor store businesses by making A YES vote on Question #3 in November!

To read the full article – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 18.

 

 

More Liquor Licenses Likely Coming To Boston For On Premise Use

Home Rule Petition Coming To The City of Boston

A Home Rule Petition was filed on April 1, 2022 regarding the allocation of liquor licenses in the City of Boston, as supporters of the petition argue that there is a disproportionate distribution of liquor licenses across the city and that “the well-documented racial wealth gap in Boston shows that it is crucial for MWBE’s [Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprises] to have equitable access to liquor licenses in order to advance economic equity”.

The petition requests that 200 non-transferable licenses (meaning that if the business closes, the license would go back to the city) over a three-year period be distributed to establishments with a capacity of 50 people and under in the following neighborhoods: Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, and Hyde Park, where there is currently a lack of licenses. For example, the petition points out that out of the 1,432 liquor licenses in Boston, Mattapan holds only ten of them.

It is proposed that all liquor licenses in the City of Boston shall increase by at least 10% over a ten year period. These licenses are for on premise use only, and because they would be non-transferable, these licenses would be given back to the City of Boston if revoked or canceled, to grant an application with the same requirements.

 

WCVB5 Boston commented on the petition in an April 7 update, describing it as “a tool for addressing the city’s racial wealth gap”. Likewise, an April 17 Boston Globe article entitled, “Waiting for liquor license reform in Boston”, comments on the petition, stating that: “Reforming liquor license law isn’t ultimately about booze. It’s about economic opportunity”. The article argues that because liquor license holders tend to open establishments in wealthier parts of the city, the less wealthy neighborhoods are hurting. The article also calls out Boston’s state-imposed hard cap on restaurant liquor licenses as being “antiquated and stubborn…a vestige of a bygone time”.

On June 16th, 2022, a City Council Committee on Government Operations hearing was held regarding important matters for the City of Boston, including this home rule petition, which consists of two Dockets: Docket #0465 and #0435.

Docket #0465 is the Petition for a Special Law Regarding an Act Authorizing Additional Licenses for the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages to be Drunk on the Premises in Boston, with sponsors being Councilors Brian Worrell, Ruthzee Louijeune, and Ricardo Arroyo. Docket #0435 is the Petition for a Special Law Regarding An Act Authorizing the City of Boston to Grant Four Additional Licenses for the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages to be Drunk on the Specified Premises, with sponsors being Councilors Ruthzee Louijeune and Julia Mejia. If you were unable to attend the hearing, we’ve got you covered with an overview of the discussion to provide you with the most current updates.

To read the full article – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 17.

 

 

Restaurant Revitalization Ends

Restaurants Face Closing

A sobering May 19 article from the Independent Restaurant Coalition claims that at least 50% of restaurants could close after the senate does not pass funding for struggling restaurants. Sponsored by Senator Roger Wicker and Senator Ben Cardin, The Small Business COVID Relief Act hoped to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), which 90 senators voted to create last February, with $40 billion. However, in a 52 to 43 vote, the funding did not pass.

According to Erika Polmar, Executive Director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, more than half of the 177,300 restaurants waiting for this grant will close within the next few months. “Local restaurants expected help and the Senate couldn’t finish the job”, according to Polmar. The report states that at least 90,000 restaurants and bars have closed since the beginning of the pandemic, which is when the Independent Restaurant Coalition originated.

In 2021 alone, nearly 300,000 restaurants applied for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants, but nearly 200,000 didn’t receive the funding. Here are some interesting statistics from the article:

– 42% of businesses that did not receive RRF grants are in danger of filing for or have filed for bankruptcy, compared to just 20% that received RRF grants.

– 28% of businesses that did not receive RRF grants have received or are anticipating receiving an eviction notice compared to just 10% that received RRF grants.

– Restaurant and bar owners who did not receive an RRF grant are taking on more personal debt. 41% of people that did not receive RRF reported taking out new personal loans to support their businesses since February of 2020. This is only true for 19% of businesses that received an RRF grant.

– 46% of businesses reported that their operating hours were impacted for more than 10 days in December 2021.

– 58% of businesses reported that their sales decreased by more than half in December 2021. If you are a restaurant or bar owner who is looking to sell your liquor license because of the current difficult climate in this industry, give us a call. We have qualified buyers waiting and are here for you.

 

For More Liquor License articles – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 16.

 

 

20 Years In The Boston & Massachusetts Liquor License Business

What’s Next?

Twenty years is a long time to reflect back on and recall some incredible stories!

Some of the main characters who influenced my career path include Howard Deering Johnson, Donnie Wahlberg, Charlie Perkins, and of course, Dick Newcomb, my Father and original creator/owner of the Mug ‘n Muffin restaurants.

Our original family restaurant business started in 1965 in Wollaston, Massachusetts, the birthplace of one of America’s best-known restaurant chains, Howard Johnson’s (HoJo’s). My Dad’s new restaurant, named Mug ‘n Muffin, was opened in July 1965, only 1.5 years after I was born, so I was essentially born into the family business. Even as a young kid, I was involved as my Dad grew his business, which had evolved to 26 restaurants by the early 1980’s.

I grew up flipping eggs and burgers at my family’s restaurant, and before I was old enough to do that, I watched guys like Bobby Orr and other decorated Boston Bruins stop in for coffee, as one of the main restaurants was conveniently located across from the old Garden. Over the years, I watched my Dad negotiate with vendors and landlords and I now realize that I was getting a front-row seat to a real-life masterclass in influence before I was old enough to drive. I knew I wanted to be a restaurant owner and run my Dad’s business.

After I graduated college in 1986, we re-developed the concept, worked hard, and I was able to grow from two to four restaurants that I managed for the family. A lot of work and stress brought a lifestyle I didn’t want to maintain as my own family grew.

Ironically, my Dad’s restaurant was a regular host to AA groups, and I’ve been sober since March 28, 1988.

 

To see how the next 20 something years go – check out The Advisor Magazine – Issue 16.

 

 

The Process of Buying a Liquor License in the United States

How To Acquire A Liquor License & Liquor License Closing

2022 Liquor License Advisor USA All rights reserved