Is it illegal for a restaurant to offer a complimentary glass of wine to their customer’s while they are waiting for a table?

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Is it illegal for a restaurant to offer a complimentary glass of wine to their customer’s while they are waiting for a table?

Asked on January 27, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, it's not illegal, so long as (1) the restaurant has the proper and appropriate liquor license; and (2) the customers are legal age to drink. Of course, if the restaurant is a franchise or owned by some other, larger company, it might be against the rules or the franchisor or owner--that is, the franchisor or owner may make it a policy to not offer a complementary glass of wine. But the law would allow it, so long as there is a liquor license and legal age customers.


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