How to get a Special Food Service license for your restaurant
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Alcoholic Beverage Law
  4.  » How to get a Special Food Service license for your restaurant

How to get a Special Food Service license for your restaurant

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2021 | Alcoholic Beverage Law, Licensing and Permitting |

You want to give your restaurant guests a complete dining experience, so you’re thinking about getting a license to legally sell alcohol in your establishment. A Special Food Service (SFS) license will allow you to sell wine, beer, and hard liquor. However, there are certain conditions that you must meet to keep an SFS license.

The Special Food Service license

There are many types of licenses available in Florida to sell alcoholic beverages. However, as a restaurateur, the most appropriate license that will allow you to sell beer, wine, and spirits is the SFS license, also known as the Special restaurant or SRX license. With this license, a restaurant can sell wine, beer, and liquor, as long as they derive fifty-one percent of their gross food and beverage revenues from the sale of food and non-alcoholic beverages during each 12-month operating period and don’t sell the alcohol after the serving or consumption of food has elapsed.


Not all restaurants are eligible to get an SFS license. To successfully apply for the license, the restaurant must comply with specific requirements. A restaurant is eligible if:

  • It has at least 2,500 square feet of service area
  • It is equipped to serve meals to at least 150 guests at one time

Getting and keeping your license

If your restaurant qualifies for an SFS license, you can file your application with the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. Once you get it, you must remember to keep records of each purchase and each sale of food, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages for at least 3 years. The division will ask for these, and you must have them to prove that you are complying with the revenue rule.  If the restaurant fails to meet the percentage of revenue stated above or have the records required to prove that they do, the authorities will revoke their license.