Case Study: Re-arranging Licenses

ALB Case StudiesCLIENT OVERVIEW: The client company is an established national restaurant chain that has been in business for more than 30 years, with growing franchise numbers. They specialize in creating an atmosphere designed specifically for adults that combines the best elements of a bar, restaurant, and casino under one roof for a unique and inclusive dining experience. Their ability to serve adult beverages is critical to their business model and demographic.

CHALLENGES: When attempting to open a franchise in Burlington, MA, the group was denied its liquor license based on the concept they were selling. The chain was able to find friendlier, neighboring municipalities where they would encounter less resistance; however, they experienced difficulty obtaining a liquor license in these areas as licenses had been largely absorbed by other national chain competitors, leaving these towns consistently at legal quota on their allowed licenses. Attempts by developers and attorneys to find a license in the area were not turning up any results, and the chain was left considering the possibility of finding a less desirable market in which to expand.

SOLUTIONS: Atlantic License Brokers, using our extensive local market knowledge, was able to quickly generate a unique solution using our multiple resources to broker a deal that allowed the restaurant to obtain licensure in their desired location. ALB discovered a previous act of the legislature that created 10 new all-alcoholic licenses within a specific area of town that was hoping to spur economic development. This area was more industrial and just slightly away from the highly desirable areas most sought after by national chain restaurants, including the client. ALB located a national hotel chain that was operating within this economic development zone that had been issued one of the town’s quota licenses and brokered a deal in which they would sell this quota license to the client and simultaneously apply for one of the new, area-specific licenses.

RESULTS: Rather than give up on our client when realizing the license market in this area was quite stagnant, as there had not been a license transfer there in some time, Atlantic License Brokers continued to relentlessly pursue a solution for the client. Our efforts resulted not only in licensure for the restaurant, despite challenging circumstances, but unexpected profit for the hotel chain from the transfer and sale while enabling them to also continue to serve their guests adult beverages as they had been doing.