Food and "Grown-Up" Beverages

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03/14/2018

I'm in the legwork phase of opening a B&B.  We have found the property, money and contractor. I have a potential partner who wants to move from NY to Ohio because she loves to cook.  She isn't financially invested so she has grand ideas.  She wants to cook for large groups and we noticed that none of the local B&Bs have commercial kitchens.  Well, I got that answered and I'm exempt with fewer than 5 guests and fewer than 5 bedrooms.

Now my question is how to approach alcoholic beverages.  One thought is not to charge for them...so would have to figure something out...donation?  Anyway, I wonder if anyone in Ohio knows a regulation, or preferably an exemption.  I'd like to offer a cocktail hour and wine with dinner and after dinner drinks or coffee with Bailey's or Kahlua and Sunday Brunch with Mimosas or Champagne.

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03/14/2018

I found some good information online about the food part. Also licensing as a hotel.  5 or more rooms you're a hotel and regulated and have to pay sales tax etc.  5 or more people dining you're a restaurant and regulated by Food Service Licensing.  So the house has 6 bedrooms, I planned on making 4 available for B&B.  I'm OK with that as long as I don't have 3 or 4 couples!  Then I have to rip out my 125 year old kitchen and decorate with stainless steel, floor drains and marlite paneling!  I suppose I have to limit the number of guests to 4...if anyone would be caught with 5 it would be me!  Now on to cocktails.  In UTAH you can't have a bar, well you can but it has to be a private club.  If you go in and aren't a member you become a guest of the owner and drink his liquor as private clubs are BYOB.  You pay for your setup, Ice, soda, mixers etc.  I'll have to look for a loophole but I'm not counting on finding one.  I think just being conservative and sharing my own is the best idea.  Thanks all.  I've hired the contractor, have the bid (way under budget) and putting the offer on the property Monday..Cross your fingers!

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

You can do 4 rooms with no problem and can serve all of them breakfast. It is DINNER that gives you the problem.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

gillumhouse wrote:

You can do 4 rooms with no problem and can serve all of them breakfast. It is DINNER that gives you the problem.

That's what I thought. I didn't realize the bit about dinner but I thought 4 rooms were ok.

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Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Totally nosy here - can you make money on fewer than 5 guests per night? You're essentially saying you can only rent 2 rooms at a time unless you're planning on a lot of singles booking.

From the sounds of it you're throwing a lot of money into this.

I understand your expenses are lower in Ohio than other states, but 5 rooms is usually the break even point, not 5 guests.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I called a friend who used to have a B & B in Ohio - 2 rooms. She was told no restrictions on breakfast BUT when she asked about dinners. she was told up to 5 people no problem, add one more, if 6 people she is a restaurant even if it was only registered guests.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I called a friend who used to have a B & B in Ohio - 2 rooms. She was told no restrictions on breakfast BUT when she asked about dinners. she was told up to 5 people no problem, add one more, if 6 people she is a restaurant even if it was only registered guests.

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

As we'd expect, it's generally about the money. The state wants its taxes, so they don't want you giving it away. They want you selling it, and charging sales & alcohol tax on it. At least in Arkansas, even if you buy it at a liquor store and pay tax then, they want you taxing it again when you "re-sell" it.

So they look at it this way: you may say you're giving it away, but it's really built into the room fees you charge, so in the state's eyes, you are selling it. Therefore, they want you licensed and sending in the state's monthly share!

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Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Contact the State innkeeping association in Ohio and ask them. They have all the up to date rules. Ohio has very few rules for small b&b's. 

TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

We are not permitted to sell alcohol, but we sometimes share with our guests.   No extra charge and it is never written into a special.   If it is a special for money, it's 'sold.'  

 

Welcome!

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