A glass of champagne is a nice treat to help your clients relax, but it can also cause problems. Here’s what you should consider before serving your customers!
Is It Legal?
Beginning in 2017, California now exempts salons and spas from obtaining state liquor licenses before serving alcohol to their customers. This means you can serve complimentary beer or wine to customers over the age of 21 during business hours, as long as you don’t charge extra for the drinks. For more information and requirements, you can view the new law HERE.
For salons and spas outside of California, the legality of serving alcohol to your customers can get a bit murky. Some state, county and city laws outright ban offering alcohol to your customers, while others may require that you obtain a liquor license first. So before offering your clients any bubbly, make sure to check with your state and local licensing authorities. To find out more, NAILS Magazine has compiled a list of government offices and telephone numbers for each state, which you can view by clicking HERE.
Should Your Salon or Spa Serve Alcohol?
Once you determine whether you CAN serve alcohol to your clients, you need to determine whether you SHOULD serve alcohol to your clients by considering pros and cons like the following:
-Offering Perks: With intense competition, clients are being wooed by special perks and freebies that offer more bang for their buck. Offering a complimentary glass of champagne or sangria could set you apart from your competitors.
-Relaxed Clients: Serving alcohol can provide a relaxing ambiance where people can unwind and relax, making for an inviting environment at your salon or spa. Better yet, research shows that clients who drink are likely to spend more money on products, services and even tips!
-Loyalty: Studies show that clients are more loyal to service providers with whom they have made a personal connection. With complimentary alcohol, clients are more likely to engage in conversation and relay personal stories to your stylists. This creates bonds that may increase the client’s loyalty to your business.
-Wellness: For years, many spas have been trending towards health and wellness, focusing on toxin removal and revitalization services. Serving alcohol at these spas would not only be counterintuitive, but you could also lose legitimacy as an expert in your field and alienate your clients.
-Kids: Alcohol and children don’t mix. If your salon or spa has a kid friendly policy, you may want to think twice about serving your customers.
-Liability: It’s not fun to talk about accidents and lawsuits, but alcohol can increase your risk of slip and falls, over-served/drunk-driving clients, etc. Your insurance rates may also be affected by your decision to serve alcohol to your customers.
Before You Serve:
-Have a discussion with your insurance agent about alcohol liability.
-Develop an alcohol training program with your staff and have a policy in place about serving customers.
-Set up a formal system to track distribution of your alcohol and keep tight inventory controls.
-If your business is in an area with confusing alcohol laws/regulations, try to get your approval in writing to avoid misunderstandings.
-Be prepared for a background check if you need to apply for a liquor license.