19 Tallahassee Bars Support Glassware Initiative

To: House Careers & Competition Committee Re: Passage of HB 853

The Tallahassee Bar & Hospitality Association was established in January 2016. We represent over 20 bars and restaurants across a wide variety of business models and license types to create a safe and innovative bar, restaurant and nightlife industry in Tallahassee.


March 27th, 2017

Members of the House Careers & Competition Subcommittee---

The hospitality industry is one of Tallahassee’s most important industries. There are more bars and more bartenders in Tallahassee than ever before. [1] In 2016, the hospitality industry outpaced every other industry for job growth in Tallahassee, growing jobs by 6.1% since the previous year [2] . In 2016 alone, the bar industry in Tallahassee was responsible for nearly $50 million in revenue. [3] The Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality estimates that bar and restaurant industry is expected to grow another 1,200 jobs by 2024. [4] Nationally, census information indicates that just over 77% of bar establishments are small businesses employing up to nine people, and a total of 98% of bars employ under 50 people. [5] SB 1040 allows for bars and restaurants to receive branded glassware at no-cost from distributors. Broken and stolen glasses represent a somewhat significant cost of running a bar or restaurant.

A survey of Tallahassee bars showed bars pay between $1,500-$2,000 on broken and stolen glasses per year.

Running a small business means making tough decisions about when and what to invest in, and small business owners would prefer to be able to invest this money in other expenses of running our businesses, or increasing staffing hours.

We support HB 853 because it reduces the cost of starting, running, and maintaining businesses within the hospitality industry. Since our efforts began, bar owners all across the state have reached out to show their support for our initiative. As of the writing of this letter, we have 105 bars all across this state that have signed a letter of support for this change. Thank you for your time, and we ask for your favorable support on SB 1040 to support Tallahassee’s bar and restaurant industry,


Max Herrle, Government Affairs for The Tallahassee Bar & Hospitality Association Jeremy Matlow, Owner of Gaines Street Pies, Northside Pies, Midtown Pies & the Wilbury

Scott Carswell, Owner of The Moon

Mike Ferraro & Bobby Staerker, Owners of Cabos Island Bar & Grill

Shannon Moore, Owner of Fifth & Thomas

Jim Smith, Owner of Poor Pauls Pourhouse

Jamie Christoff, Owner of the Wine Loft

Chris Elridge, Owner of Krewe De Gras

Costa Vathis, Owner of Fox & Stag

Derek Hart, Owner of Fire Betty’s

Simon Dag, Owner of Coliseum Nightclub & Tabu Nightclub

Jay Scott, Owner of the Warehouse on Gaines

Tarek Habib, Owner of Primetime, Sumo Sabi, California Chicken Grill

[1] DBPR, ABT, Bureau of Licensing 2017

[2] Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality Job Data for 2016

[3] Florida Department of Revenue Data “Drinking Places” January 2016-December 2016.

[4] Tallahassee-Leon Office of Economic Vitality- Fasting Growing Occupations in Leon County 2016-2024

[5] U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Department of Commerce. Statistics of U.S. Businesses 2016

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