It is not uncommon for salons and barbershops to add services to their salons to stand out from the competition. Many high-end salons, especially those that also offer day spa services, now serve wine and champagne to clients. Some salons have also tried to cater to the male crowd by offering beer, live sports, and more. A new trend popping up in several places, including in California, are barbershop-bars. California has recently worked on a bill to legalize serving alcohol in barbershops and salons, which could lead to even more salons and barbershops offering alcohol.
Serving Alcohol in Barbershops
In several places in California, there are barbershops that are connected to bars, although each place remains its own business. In these locations, barbershop customers typically receive complimentary beer and wine, and customers can head to the bar to drink, relax, and socialize while waiting for services. Several other barbershops offer liquor as part of a way to create an atmosphere for men to have a space for socializing in addition to getting a cut and shave, according to KCRA news.
Many of these barbershops are trying to replicate the traditional barbershops that would be regularly visited by men looking for shaves, haircuts, and discussion. Some of these services are also very similar to beauty salons offering clients wine or champagne. Whether these barbershops are looking for innovative ways to draw in clients or just offering alcohol similar to their competition, new legislation in California could lead to important changes to the practice.
The New Bill
The new bill in California would legalize serving alcohol in beauty salons and barbershops without the need of a liquor license. This means that small businesses will not have to go through the process of obtaining a permit to serve wine and will not have to worry about facing steep fines. Many salons and barbershops under the current law unknowingly illegally serve alcohol to clients, even though they do not charge for the drinks.
Under this law, barbershops and salons would only be able to serve a single serving of beer or wine for free, which cannot be more than 12 ounces of beer or six ounces of wine. It must be served for free during normal business hours and no later than 10pm, and they have to ensure that clients are over the age of 21, according to ABC news. The lack of clarity in the current law leads to many salons mistakenly believing they are serving alcohol legally, even with the help of legal advice Press Democrat, which is why the new law was developed.
Although many barbershops and salons will no longer have to worry about the need for a permits, a true barbershop-bar will still have to get a liquor license. Any company that plans to sell alcohol or provide alcohol above the guidelines listed will need to get a permit to do so.
Is This Good For Business?
Alcohol in barbershops and salons can be good for business, especially now that California businesses will not need a license in most situations. Many clients have come to expect some alcohol in salons and barbershops, which is why many places serve it. The current trend of developing barbershop-bars also attracts men to come in for a close shave and other services beyond just getting their haircut. By creating an atmosphere that attracts people even when they are not in need of the services leads to a larger client base and additional revenue streams, such as from the alcohol. However, it does come with an additional expense, which would need to be factored into the equation to ensure it makes sense for the establishment.
What Should Stylists Be Aware of When Working in this Type of Place
If you plan to work in a barbershop-bar or a beauty salon that hands out alcohol, there are a few things about which you should be aware. First and foremost, you should follow the law, such as only giving one serving of alcohol and not charging. As a barber or hairstylist, you may be the one serving the alcohol, and you always want to be sure that your client is over 21. As the server, you may be liable for following the law, so you want to protect yourself by ensuring you do so.
If you work in a state that is not in California, it is important that you learn the law surrounding alcohol in your state. Sometimes, as is the current case in California, merely not selling it does not get you beyond the need for a license. If you work in an establishment that plans to sell alcohol, then you want to be sure it has a liquor license or permit. It is to your benefit to know the law and ensure that the establishment in which you work adheres to it.
Barbershop-bars can attract men to your business and create an atmosphere that harkens back to the old days. The bar part of the establishment can lead to socialization that draws men to come in even if they do not want to do so. Serving complementary alcoholic drinks at your barbershop or salon has become a way to reward clients and entice them to come back. This can help your business, but you want to be sure that you do so within the letter of the law.
You also need to always keep up with your cosmetology or barber license, including getting your required continuing education credits. Check out Beauty Academy’s low hassle, cost effective online courses to get your CE done.