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Can food trucks sell alcohol?

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2020 | Regulatory Compliance

Whether you love a good taco or you’re craving a New York slice, you can probably find what you’re looking for at a food truck. They bring us delicious eats at convenient places and easy ordering. They have risen in popularity over the past few years, showing up on city streets, in parking lots, at festivals and even at food truck fairs.

Whether you’re starting a new business or expanding beyond your current restaurant building, food trucks can be a great venture. However, there is one thing that draws people that mobile food doesn’t always deliver: alcohol.

Alcohol licenses are typically meant to apply to a certain business premises. However, because food trucks are mobile and do not typically have a set premises, they often run into issues with alcohol licenses.

The Pera Turkish Taco Truck, however, has proven that food trucks may be able to work around these alcohol restrictions. They obtained a full license from the New York State Liquor Authority to see beer, wine and cocktails. This must be within regular operating hours and the beverages must stay within the truck’s assigned seating area.

Here are a few of the different licenses that may be helpful for your business:

  • Liquor license: The general liquor license that restaurants may obtain may apply to food trucks if you have an enclosed, “specifically defined” area.
  • One-day beer and wine permit: This permit allows the sale of wine, beer and cider during a 24-hour event period. It requires a specified area for alcoholic beverages.
  • Catering permit: A catering permit allows an already licensed business to bring and sell alcohol at specific events not at their licensed premises. the applicant must also provide food at the event.
  • Marketing permit: The marketing permit applies to tastings for licensed manufacturers, unlicensed out-of-state suppliers or licensed in-state suppliers. At an event, this permit could allow alcohol tastings within certain restrictions and then retail sales.

While getting an alcohol license as a mobile restaurant may have its own challenges, specifically when it comes to having a defined area for guests, it is possible and may be just the ticket for boosting sales.