News Blog / Monthly Archives: February 2019

Everything You Need to Know About Open Container Laws in Texas

Want to enjoy a cold one here in Texas? It’s worth knowing about the open container laws in the state. While there are plenty of educational promotions out there about DUI laws, there aren’t nearly as many initiatives and resources devoted to telling people what they are and aren’t allowed to do with regard to open containers.

Therefore, to avoid accidentally breaking the law, it’s important that you do some research into the open container laws that exist and what you need to do to be acting in accordance with those laws.

The history of open container laws in the state is relatively straightforward—the laws haven’t changed a whole lot over the course of time. The laws as they currently exist were passed in 2001. Here’s some information from an alcoholic beverage license service in Dallas, TX to give you a better idea of what is and is not an open container and what you need to do to abide by the law.

What qualifies as an open container?

The biggest thing you need to be aware of with any open container law is what actually qualifies as an open container in the state. In Texas, an open container can be any unsealed bottle, flask, can or other device that is being used to hold alcohol. A partially consumed bottle of liquor or a cracked-open can of beer counts as an open container, but a fully sealed bottle or can does not.

The question you must then ask is when carrying an open container of alcohol constitutes a crime. In Texas, the open container must be in the “passenger area” of a motor vehicle, meaning the open container must be visible and within reach of the driver’s seat. Technically, the open container is not going to be in the passenger area if it’s in the trunk of your vehicle, in the glove compartment, in a locked storage area in the vehicle or in the area behind your upright seat (if you do not have a trunk). These open container laws for drivers apply whether you’re moving in your vehicle or not.

Open container laws also apply to passengers. Therefore, you should never let a friend in your vehicle bring along a “roadie” to enjoy—that’s illegal, even if the driver is completely sober.

There are some exceptions in some circumstances. Passengers on taxis, buses, trains or limos are often exempted from these open container laws, as are people in recreational vehicles, self-contained trailers and motorhomes. Open containers in the living quarters of those vehicles are not considered to be in violation of the law.

A violation of open container laws in Texas qualifies as a Class C misdemeanor—essentially the same as a traffic ticket. Aggravating factors, such as an elevated BAC, can raise the severity of the penalties you face.

LaBarba Permit Service is ready to assist your business in obtaining the proper license to sell and serve alcohol in Texas. For more information about open container laws in Texas, contact our alcoholic beverage license service in Dallas, TX.

The Five Most Popular Spirits in the United States in 2018

At LaBarba Permit Service, we always enjoy seeing the most recent data for which spirits are most popular at bars, restaurants and liquor stores and distributors across the United States. Currently the most recent data we have available comes from a survey performed by YouGov between November 2017 and April 2018. The survey received 20 million responses about a wide variety of personal preferences, which included people’s favorite spirits and spirits brands.

Many people know about the craft brewing boom that’s been happening across the United States. Less publicized but just as influential in the liquor industry is the craft distilling and liquor boom, which has led to a resurgence in the popularity of hard alcohol. The industry reached record sales in 2017—a total of $26.2 billion, according to the Distilled Spirits Council. It was the eighth year in a row liquor gained market share against beer—spirits now account for about 36.6 percent of total alcohol sales.

If you’re in the process of securing a liquor license in Dallas, TX, keep the following brands in mind—these are the brands that ended up in the top five most popular spirits for 2018:

  • Crown Royal: This Canadian whiskey brand is most popular among Generation X and Baby Boomers. It saw big gains in 2017 and 2018, as a brand-new marketing campaign also helped boost the flavored whiskey selection it had on the market. Overall sales for Crown Royal increased in part due to the surges of Crown Royal Regal Apple and Crown Royal Deluxe, as well as a strong showing in late 2017 by Crown Royal Vanilla.
  • Bailey’s: Bailey’s made the list as one of the most popular liqueurs in the world, bolstered by the release of new flavor varieties, including a strawberries and cream edition that saw significant success in the United States. It also released a dairy-free, gluten-free variant, Bailey’s Almande, to allow it to achieve certified “vegan” status, meeting the growing demands from diet-conscious consumers. Bailey’s has been a fixture in the industry for years, and its popularity holds steady.
  • Smirnoff: Smirnoff remains one of the best-selling vodkas in the world, thanks to its massive advertising campaigns featuring celebrity influencers and its ubiquity in local bars and restaurants. While vodka lovers would probably take many other brands over Smirnoff in terms of quality, its reliability and consistency (plus its retail affordability) have continued to make it one of the most popular spirit brands available on the market.
  • Bacardi: Bacardi remains the world’s best-selling rum brand and is the second-most popular spirit in the United States. Much like Smirnoff, it is reliable and ever-present, while also affordable for people in retail locations. Also, like Smirnoff, it is one of the most frequently-used spirits in its category in bars and restaurants across the nation.
  • Jack Daniel’s: Jack Daniel’s was the most popular spirits brand in the United States for 2018. It is a good quality, accessible whiskey that is consistent and reliable, and has the benefit of being a true “all-American” brand, unlike the other entries on this list. The brand has also been at the forefront of experimenting with new flavors while keeping its classic Tennessee Whiskey recipe available for whiskey fans across the country.

For more information, contact the consultants at LaBarba Permit Service to discuss liquor licenses in Dallas, TX.

The Top Restaurant Industry Trends and Statistics to Consider in 2019

The restaurant industry is constantly changing and evolving to keep up with people’s tastes and with regional trends. As we proceed through 2019, there are innumerable possibilities for the restaurant industry, so it’s important for restaurateurs to be prepared for just about any of them.

Here’s an overview of some of the most interesting trends and statistics that affect today’s restaurant industry and could play a role in shaping how restaurants and holders of Texas liquor licenses in Dallas, TX do business in 2019.

The restaurant economy

How are restaurants doing financially right now? Consider this: about 60 years ago, the restaurant industry comprised about 25 percent of the family food dollar. Today, that number is about 48 percent, meaning more and more families are eating out more frequently than ever.

Today, American consumers spend about 12.6 percent of their total income on food—a significant portion, behind only housing and transportation. And according to consumer research, away-from-home food purchases are on the rise—all this indicates there are more and more economic opportunities for restaurants that are able to find their niche.

Consumer information

What do we know about people who are going out to eat?

Studies indicate 61 percent of adults say they’d rather spend money on an experience (such as going out to eat) than on an item. This means going out to a restaurant should be about more than just eating good food, though that’s certainly a big part of it. While delicious food should absolutely be a priority, restaurants must also deliver high-quality service and a unique atmosphere or experience to be able to thrive in today’s competitive market.

Payment trends

The vast majority of people these days use their credit or debit card to pay for their food. Even if it’s a low-ticket item, such as coffee, 62 percent of guests still opt to use their card, and 90 percent will pay with a card when out to dinner. Millennials are particularly likely to use their cards—69 percent of them will use their cards for any restaurant purchase of any size.

The food

Of course, trends in food are also crucial to analyze for the restaurant industry, and healthy food options are more important to have than ever before. Today, 70 percent of people who go out to eat say they are more likely to go to a restaurant that offers healthy options on the menu. In addition, 66 percent of Americans say they’re more likely to go to a restaurant that offers locally sourced food items, a consideration that would not have been nearly as important in past decades.

Expect local sourcing, fresh produce and emphasis on authenticity and local flavors to continue to be huge in 2019 and beyond.

These are just a few of the trends that we’ve noticed in the restaurant industry in recent years that you can expect to play a large role in 2019. Another is the rise in options for alcoholic beverages, driven in large part by an increase in craft options. If your establishment is in need of a Texas liquor license in Dallas, TX to expand your customer base, reach out to the experts at LaBarba Permit Service today!

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