The Liquor License COVID Response Program

Liquor License Advisor is pleased to announce the launch of our Liquor License COVID Response Program for Boston and area restaurants, bars and other on-premise licensed establishments. Over the past 6 months, we have been approached by many owners who were looking for specific advice about their current situation and options.

The was a common theme and questions that kept coming up and the more owners we talked to, the more we knew we had to do something more to support the Boston restaurants who have supported us all of these years.

The program allows a quick assessment by our team of liquor license professionals to help you evaluate what your potential options are and what’s next. For full details on the program, see the info below or reach out to our office at (781)319-9800 any time to schedule a private conversation about your unique situation.

You’ve worked hard and deserve the best possible outcome for you and your business – we’re here for you. Give us a call at (781)319-9800.



Predictions For 2021 Holiday Liquor Sales In Massachusetts

Last holiday season was unprecedented, as COVID turned many large gatherings into small or virtual ones, and the most wonderful time of the year looked much different for most. People thought it was safe to assume that by the 2021 holiday season life would have returned to normal, and that holiday gatherings and spending would gain momentum.

Enter Delta variant and renewed restrictions in certain areas, and it looks like consumer trends may continue to shift. BevAlc recently released their top predictions for 2021 holiday sales, which highlights the uncertainty surrounding consumer behaviors during the months leading up to the start of 2022. Let’s take a closer look.

Before delving into what people will be consuming this holiday season, it is probably more notable to consider how they will be consuming. Celebrations will be mixed this year, as BevAlc reports that less than half of people surveyed will celebrate like they did in 2019, while a majority’s holidays will resemble those of 2020. Many are hesitant to make big plans in the ever-changing climate that has become pandemic life, and there will likely be a mix of pre-pandemic and pandemic celebrations.

Holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without gifts, and BevAlc believes that many gifts will continue to be purchased online this season. Drizly has reported significant growth in the gift giving sector, with share expanding from just 9% in 2019 to 20% by the end of 2020.

Retailers must pay attention to this significant shift, as it presents a valuable opportunity for them. Liz Paquette, Drizly’s head of consumer insights, comments that, “This is an awesome opportunity to drive valuable sales online”, as retailers can both acquire new customers online who perhaps wouldn’t normally frequent their store, as well as be introduced to new local shoppers.

People will be celebrating in different ways and making a lot of online purchases, but what will the drinks of choice be at these celebrations and for online purchases?

According to BevAlc’s report, tequila and whiskey will enjoy huge popularity, tequila making up 25% of liquor sales on Drizly.

Lander Otegui is the senior vice president of marketing at Proximo Spirits and remarked that “our customers like to enjoy tequila during celebratory moments”, and that “this is especially true during the holidays, a time when many are willing to spend more on premium offerings”.

Also making an appearance at holiday celebrations this year will be the newer-to-the-scene Ready to Drink cocktails. Drizly has reported an 85% increase in RTD sales, as hard seltzer sales decline and “RTDs could potentially be seen as a replacement for consumers for some secondary cocktail ingredients”, according to Paquette. If some are limiting their social interactions, hitting the liquor store or clicking around Drizly for the whole package might be all the rage this holiday season, rather than making multiple trips to multiple stores for cocktail ingredients.

And finally, champagne. “…in the U.S., Champagne is the wine for celebration”, according to Xavier Barlier, who is the senior vice president of marketing & communications at Maisons Marques & Domaines USA. Many felt cheated out of their 2020 holiday season, which is all the more reason to celebrate in 2021, whether at a small, socially distant gathering, a large reunion, or while catching up on Zoom. Champagne is also a great holiday and host gift, so people will be enjoying and gifting the bubbly.

“The more frustrated we get with COVID and Delta, “ comments Barlier, “the more we want to compensate. I think this year we’re going to splurge”.

For more articles on liquor licenses and liquor stores, check out our monthly magazine, The Advisor Magazine – Issue #9.



Planning Past The Pandemic For The Liquor License Industry

Date With Destiny

It seems as though the scales have officially flipped where business restrictions are fewer and far between, while news of phase progression is becoming constant. The country reopens, history is being made, and a new air of hopefulness is stretched across the nation as we retreat from our long hibernation. And what better to do than head straight to your local bar, restaurant, concert, or sports game, any and all things we’ve held out on for over a year now. And many of which -for some of us- means having a drink and letting loose!

Business and market analysts are honing in to see where this new era takes the trends of e-commerce, delivery, wellness, small businesses, and altered mindsets of their consumers. There is an entirely fresh layer to the new normal and hopefully, this one provides a well-rounded, stimulating boom to the world of commerce & consumerism.

SevenFifty [an online marketplace and communications platform that helps importers, producers, distributors, and retail buyers connect with each other and do business in a modern world] did a recent piece on the transformation of alcohol distribution, how e-commerce is becoming a key player, and how wholesalers are responding. One of the most significant periods of modernization since the three-tier system was created in 1933, the article states.

Us vs Them

This transformative era has made niche businesses a foot into direct-to-consumer as well, providing artisanal, craft brands where they hadn’t originally fit in at wholesalers. Speakeasy Co. is just one example of a modern niche platform that enables producers to customize order pages right on their own website that are then provided by Speakeasy via local retailers. As CEO Josh Jacobs puts it, “‘This provides a seamless front-end experience for consumers while handling the backend for brands,’ explains Jacobs. By managing warehousing, fulfillment, and technology for suppliers, they are freed up to ‘focus on growth by owning the data and building customer relationships.’”

Similar to this case, Spirit Hub, independent distillery-focused e-commerce that allows customers to order and have curbside pick-up at one of many national retailers that CEO Michael Weiss is working with. And for all the vinos, Wine must not be forgotten, as it poses as another niche that Vivino hopped into as a marketplace partnering with wineries directly that then fulfills the consumer’s order through a local retailer.

These companies rave that the ability to get into this business while it is a standout need in the market has given them free reign to do what they’re best at, “finding the producers and marketing and getting out there in the world and building these brands. It allows us to be a more nimble and focused company.” An importer of Elenteny Imports explains. (Elenteny provides distribution services in some states which allow importers and producers to sell directly to accounts; in other states, they provide logistics and freight-forwarding services and work with a licensed distributor.)

On the opposite end of the spectrum, wholesalers are pressured to create more value for their buyers and for their consumers. What used to be free cookies and a slice of cheese at the deli, or the newest product offering a tasting, is now at the tips of consumer’s fingers right from their own home! It’s social media marketing, instant gratification, engagement and stimulation.

The wholesalers still have the leg up when it comes to well-developed quality + quantity of mass distribution, communication, the vitality of sales, and suppliers, all factors critical and essential to the growth and longevity of any business.

On-Demand In High Demand

“These are the resources to really help a smaller brand grow and be successful.” Besides, he [Michael Epstein, COO of the Massachusetts-based Horizon Beverage] adds, wholesalers, need emerging brands: “You never know when a brand is going to pop and become a big brand. You need these developmental brands in your portfolio because it’s a dynamic marketplace.”

Eventually, to survive, any platform is always going to be looking for the next better, faster, and cheaper system to rely on. It seems as though it will soon be a meeting of the minds, as online platforms have the upper hand on the customer-facing side when it comes to marketing, ease of access, and modern innovation. “When a product is promoted on Drizly, Breakthru could quickly see a 150 percent increase in sales at its local retail customers; he predicts that 20 percent of alcohol in the U.S. will soon shift online.” Like many online platforms are partnering with retailers to get the best of both worlds, it will be exciting to see which businesses come together to create a master machine of transformative alcohol supply and distribution.


If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love our monthly publication, The Advisor Magazine – click to view more articles like this in The Advisor Magazine – Issue #3.


Liquor License Broker Boston - How Do You Know If A Broker Is Right For You?

Boston Liquor License Broker – or any broker for that matter are not all the same!

When you are buying or selling a license or a business, there are many moving parts and it requires some skill and finesse to get the result you want. A successful transaction in the liquor industry has to be navigated by someone who meets the following criteria:

  1. they are a specialist in the liquor industry, not a generalist
  2. they are trustworthy and have integrity
  3. they have industry-specific knowledge of liquor licenses in the area
  4. they have the confidence and communications skills that will lead the process and keep all parties in check
  5. they have proven systems and processes
  6. they are surrounded by a team and complimentary experts who can get the deal done

The intricacies of a deal have to be managed in a way that keeps it moving along. We’ve found the longer a deal goes, the more likely it is to not close. We place significant priority in timing each phase of the process and know exactly how long it takes to sell a liquor store or license.

In this video, Dan Newcomb, long time liquor license advisor and liquor license expert talks about finding the right Boston liquor license broker:

At the end of the day, you want to find the best fit with someone who can see the deal through to the end and get the transaction done in the quickest time possible for the most money when selling your liquor store.

If you are looking for a Boston liquor license broker or a liquor store broker anywhere in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Florida – give us a call we’d be happy to discuss options to work with us to get you where you need to be.

To learn more about our general offerings and specialized services for attorneys, licensing coordinators, liquor store owners, franchise developers, food and beverage establishment owners, bankruptcy trustees, lenders, and more, visit our resources section or give us a call  directly at 781.319.9800

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