AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The above video was published on July 24.
The bar and restaurant businesses are continuing to try to adjust to the new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But a recent change in Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) guidance could make things a little easier for some.
Current guidance from the TABC, under an executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott, states that only restaurants that earn less than 51% of their profits from alcohol sales may be open for dine-in services.
But on Friday, Aug. 7, the TABC said that businesses that have a 51% designation with the agency or that have not traditionally been considered a restaurant by the TABC may now apply to qualify as a restaurant in order to provide dine-in services.
To prove that alcohol sales make up less than 51% of total sales, businesses may apply by submitting an alcohol sales reporting affidavit. If a business is considered a retailer by law, as brewpubs are, they may apply by submitting the retailer version of the affidavit or by applying for a food and beverage certificate. Manufacturers, brewers, distillers and wineries that operate a taproom or tasting room should complete the producer version of the affidavit.
According to the TABC, the affidavit should include:
- All on-premise sales of alcoholic beverages
- All on-premise and to-go food sales (may be required to show proof of food preparation capabilities such as a copy of a menu and photos of the food preparation area and kitchen equipment)
- All non-alcohol and non-food sales (T-shirts, other merchandise, etc.)
The affidavit should not include:
- Off-premise sales of alcoholic beverages (to-go, delivery or retail)
- Wholesale sales of alcoholic beverages (sales to another permit holder)
Businesses wishing to apply for restaurant status should fill out the appropriate affidavit and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The 51% status of a business will not change until it has been notified directly by the TABC.
If a business receives a notice that it qualifies as a restaurant under the executive order, it must still comply with all health and safety protocols required by local, State and federal law and must ensure that their food service is operational for the entire time alcohol is being served.
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