Alcohol Catering with Florida Quota License

CC Licensed. Credit Jonatan Svensson Glad on

The next reception you attend might be catered by your favorite bar.

Alcohol Catering: Bringing the Bar to You

Florida’s Alcoholic Beverage Law authorizes alcohol catering by two kinds of licenseholders. An alcohol beverage catering license (13CT) is available to licensed food caterers, and allows them to sell and serve alcoholic beverages at events along with food catering (see Working with Beverage Caterers). In addition, a consumption on premises quota license (4COP or higher) allows the licenseholder to sell and serve alcoholic beverages at an event at which food is catered by a separate licensed caterer.

Alcohol beverage catering is the subject to Florida Statutes Section 561.20(2)(a)5., which was added to the Beverage Law in 2000. Most of this subparagraph is focused on creation of the alcohol catering license. However, near the middle of this dense subparagraph is the following statement:

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any vendor licensed under s. 565.02(1) subject to the limitation imposed in subsection (1), may, without any additional licensure under this subparagraph, serve or sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises of a catered event at which prepared food is provided by a caterer licensed under chapter 509.

Florida Statutes Section 561.20(2)(a)5. (2019).

This single sentence confirms that COP quota licenseholders are authorized to provide beverage catering. Moreover, it is clear that these licenseholders are not required to also provide food catering, as long as another party is providing food catering at the event.

Events Serving Expensive Alcohol Can Work with a Bar

Unlike licensed caterers, COP quota licenseholders are not required to derive at least 51% of revenues at each catered event from the sale of food and nonalcoholic beverages (in fact, they derive zero revenue from food sales). This creates incentive for event organizers to engage a separate food caterer and alcohol caterer, even if the food caterer also has a 13CT catering license. Especially where an event will feature expensive alcoholic beverage products, having separate caterers avoids the requirement placed on the food caterer to ensure that a majority of net revenues comes from food and nonalcoholic beverages.

Do you have questions about alcoholic beverage catering in Florida? Contact us at to schedule a consultation with a beverage attorney.

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