Aside from an existing on-premise TABC permit holder being qualified to operate as a restaurant under GA-28 and subsequent executive orders, there are over a dozen reasons to apply for a food and beverage certificate (FB).
Benefits of a TABC Food and Beverage Certificate
Categorization as a blue gun sign establishment. See Tex. Govt Code § 411.204(e), Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §§ 11.041 and 61.11. This is an important consideration in being able to service concealed hand gun and open carry customers.
Eligibility to operate as a Mixed Beverage Permit with Food and Beverage Certificate (RM), Wine and Beer Retailer (BG), and Retail Dealer’s On Premise License (BE), in an area that is wet for “the legal sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food and beverage certificate holders only” under local option elections. See Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §§ 25.14, and 69.17
Exemptions from Performance Bond and Conduct Surety Bond requirements. Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §§ 11.11, 11.61(b-1), 61.71(l), 69.16(e) , 28.18(f), 32.23(f), 61.13. Performance bonds are required in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Tarrant Counties for applicants and holders of Wine and Beer Retailer’s Permits (BG), and Retail Dealer’s On Premise License (BE). Performance bond exemption is a big deal, because if your performance bond is revoked on third occasion, your license or permit is cancelled by operation law. See Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §§ 11.61(b-1) and 61.71. Conduct Surety Bonds are required for new applicants of a Wine and Beer Retailer’s Permit (BG), Mixed Beverage Permit (MB), and Private Club Permit (N). A conduct surety bond is $5,000 or $10,000, depending on whether the location is within 1,000 feet of a public school. If you receive an FB, you may be eligible to have the bonds discharged or released. TABC has a form you can file with licensing for return of your bond(s).
Exemption from automatic 3-year disqualification to hold a license or permit, if an applicant’s prior license or permit was cancelled or refused due to a shooting, stabbing, or some other violent act. Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §§ 11.481(b) and 61.42(c). What this means is if you are an (MB), (N), (BE), or (BF) holder who settles a permitting a breach of the peace violation which involves a shooting, stabbing, or some other violent act, see, i.e. Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §§ 28.11, 32.24, 69.13, 71.09, for cancellation or the aforementioned permit is cancelled at hearing, the applicant is not automatically disqualified from reapplying.
Exemption from nuisance statutes in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. Tex. Alco. Bev. Code § 81.002. While the Emergency Order of Suspension has been making a lot of news lately, see Tex. Alco. Bev. Code § 11.614, the agency has a much more powerful tool to regulate and punish on-premise establishments. The agency can request an Administrative Law Judge to impose conditions on continued operations of an affected business and or suspending a license or permit until an administrative case has been resolved, see Tex. Alco. Bev. Code § 81.007. As a practical matter, if your license or permit is subject to a temporary order suspending a license or permit during the pendency of a proceeding, that suspension can last six months or more, depending on how quickly the administrative case moves through the appeals process internally at the agency, and through the courts. In contrast, an emergency order of suspension has a maximum limit of 90 days. See Tex. Alco. Bev. Code § 11.614(a).
Exemption from prohibition of use of cashiers under the age of 18. Tex. Alco. Bev. Code § 106.09(e). Although cashiers under the age of 18 are prohibited from serving, dispensing or delivery the alcohol, they would still be able to ring up the sale.
Extension of an (MB) premises to a secured area on adjoining public sidewalk, if authorized by city ordinance. Tex. Alco. Bev. Code § 28.10(c).
Exemption from mail notification requirements of residents and neighborhood associations for original applications. Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §§ 11.393 and 61.382. While an application for an FB certificate does not exempt sign posting requirements, see Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §§ 11.391 and 61.381, bypassing mail notification requirements offers an applicant to apply more discretely. Mailing an application to nearby residents may prompt more attention, and increase the chances of a protest. See, Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §§ 11.431 and 61.313.
Discrete benefits to applicants and holders of an (N) permit. This includes exemption from publication requirements, see Tex. Alco. Bev. Code § 11.392, exemption from one year disqualification of the premises for issuance of a new permit following a cancellation for a place or manner violation, see Tex. Alco. Bev. Code §§ 11.61(b)(7) and 11.612, and limitations on ability of large counties and municipalities to regulate private clubs, see Tex. Alco. Bev. Code § 109.57(e).