TABC Offers Options for Businesses to Update Their Gross Receipts
Several weeks ago, Gov. Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-28 stating, among other things, that the state would use Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) gun sign status to determine a retailer or producer’s status of either bar or restaurant. Because of this order, some businesses were forced to close immediately while other similar businesses were allowed to remain open.
Under the new guidance released by the TABC, there may be a path to reopening if you fell into this category of being mischaracterized by simply having the wrong sign posted in your business due to incorrectly estimated or outdated gross receipts numbers.
What Color Is Your Gun Sign and What Does It Mean?
One of these signs should be hanging in your business. If for some reason it is not and you need to look it up, go to the TABC Public Inquiry to search your location(s). In the bottom right-hand corner of the information, you will see that the gun sign designation for your location is either Blue or Red.
This sign warns that unlicensed possession of a concealed weapon is a felony and is intended generally for restaurant locations that have alcohol sales of 50% or less of total gross receipts.
This sign warns that possession of a concealed weapon on the premises is a felony and is intended generally for bar locations that have alcohol sales of greater than 50% of total gross receipts.
What Are My Options to Reopen?
If you currently have the red 51% gun sign hanging in your business and have been incorrectly classified as a bar, one of these options may offer a path to reopen if you meet certain requirements:
- Submit an Alcohol Sales Reporting Affidavit for Retailers
This is an option for on-premises Texas permit holders that can show the TABC that alcohol sales have been less than 51% of gross receipts (excluding alcohol sold to-go or to another Texas permit holder) from April 1, 2020, through the date that you submit this affidavit to the TABC.
- Apply for a Food and Beverage Certificate
If you’ve adjusted your business model to incorporate permanent food service facilities, applying for a Food and Beverage Certificate may be the right path to opening for you. Please note that to qualify here you must have done something permanent such as increase the capacity of the current kitchen or add permanent food trucks. You also must meet all the requirements laid out in TABC Rule 33.5.
- Submit an Alcohol Sales Reporting Affidavit for Producers
If you are a manufacturer, distiller, brewer, or winery and operate a taproom or tasting room, you can complete the above affidavit to resume dine-in services if you believe that alcohol sales will remain below the same threshold of 51% of total on-premises sales. This includes all on-premises food and alcohol sales, to-go food sales, other merchandise sales, and any non-alcohol charges such as tour fees.
Because this type of sales data is not reported by producers otherwise, each Texas permit holder must maintain current and ongoing data that they can show a TABC auditor in the event of an audit to prove that alcohol sales have remained below the 51% threshold.
For more information on the newly issued guidance, click here to view the Industry Notice.
Want to know more about TABC guidance, provisions, and Texas permit renewals? Check out our other TABC blog posts here.
Photo Credit: @annmartianova80 via Twenty20
About Martin Powers & Counsel PLLC. Dallas-based Martin Powers & Counsel, PLLC is a boutique business law firm dedicated to providing personalized and strategic legal services for businesses of every size. The firm is home to experienced attorneys with expertise in business disputes, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) compliance, labor and employment law, real estate transactions, landlord/tenant disputes, contract negotiations, general counsel services, and other areas at the intersection of business and law.