How important is beer and wine for a family pizzeria?

Hello All,

I have run into a bit of a snag during the process of opening my pizzeria. It seems that I might not be able to secure a license to sell beer and wine in my establishment. The reasons why the state may not grant the license are not really important as I dont have any control over them; however, Id really appreciate input from you all regarding the importance of offering beer and wine at my place. How much harder will it make my chances for success? Generally speaking, how much percentage of my sales would beer and wine account for? My place is located in a small town made up mostly of middle class families. Any input is appreciated.


primarily a DelCo . . . not a real problem. Primarily Dine in . . . still not a problem, but could be leaving money on the table and missing opportunities for attracting some customer groups. Not a deal breaker at all, just makes the business model different, and no chance for the easier revenues from beer. We went without Beer/Wine for almost 5 years in our tiny town. Now we have beer since last fall, and sales of it are slowly climbing. Still less than 5% of gross on big weeks. That said, Spring is coming.


We used to have a licqour license, and it was about 10% of sales. As we got busier on weekend nights, we made a hard decision to discontinue it. Customers were lingering at tables, (we seat 40 over 10 tables) ordering another round of 4 beers at $2.50 each, while I had 2 or 3 families waiting for the table. I opted to give up the $10 round of beer so I could seat the $40 table, and it was the right decision. Today, there is no way I could turn the tables fast enough to do the business I do, if we still had alcohol.

We probably have a customer comment about no beer about twice a month…but no one ever gets up and leaves because of it.

Don’t let it bother you…use it to your advantage. Focus on the family atmosphere.

I agree, its all about how you position your self…we were decined a beer lic because we were to close to a church…so we swung the oppisite way by doing things like adding disney shows and doing a lot with the kids…no beer is not a deal breaker

we should be getting ours in a couple weeks after 25yrs without beer & wine…what suprises me now that people have seen that we are in the process of geting ours is the comments that “oh now we can dine in finally”…got to think that will amount to a nice little increase…hoping for 5-10% jump

In one of the places I used to work, we did not sell beer until after 8pm…They found that tables turned too slow with beer service and there was more money to be made by turning over tables quicker…

Its not just the fact that it may help boost sales, its also helps with your profit margins.

Thank You ALL sooo much for responding. I was pretty devastated to hear I wasn’t going to get a liquor license, but all of your words of experience and encouragement have given me back some of my confidence.

we offer B.Y.O.B. BRING YOUR OWN BOOZE there is a $2 cork fee or glass ware fee for ice buckets ,wine glasses etc. for a group of four if theres more than four 2 cork fees.It covers more than cost of washing and stocking glassware,And our guests are delighted to drink a $20 bottle of wine that they would normally pay $65 dollars in a restaurant that does have a liquor license. You might want to check with youre local ordinances to see if there are any restrictions.

in retrospect, i wish i was turned down for the liquor licence… not only because of the cost of the insurance and licenses but because of the idiot people that we have to deal with. For us, liquor our brought us more grungy schmucks. :roll:

It is my observation that liquor brings a different clientelle than beer/wine. I would never (even if we had the ordinance available) opt to bring liquor into our shop. For our model, it would definitely change the “family” appeal.