At the July 2 meeting, the council approved changing its food and beverage ratios. Before, a restaurant selling both food and alcohol had to make most of its revenue from food sales—by at least 60%. Alcohol sales could make up no more than 40% of a restaurant's total revenue.
Now, restaurants can make most of their revenue from alcohol sales. Up to 60% of the money a restaurant makes can come from alcohol.
"Currently what restaurants have to meet is 60% food sales to 40% alcohol sales," Assistant City Manager Mark Wood said. "What this does is flip that to 40% food sales, 60% alcohol sales."
This was to allow greater flexibility for some of the restaurants that are currently in the city and to potentially attract new restaurants, such as Dallas' Katy Trail Icehouse restaurant, Wood said at a June 18 meeting.
"We received a call about six or seven months ago from them inquiring about the former [JR Steakhouse site] on [SH] 121, and they asked about the percentages," Wood said at the June 18 meeting. "The [ratio] flip would help them. They might be able to meet that 60-40 [ratio]."
At the June meeting, Mayor Richard Newton expressed some doubts with the new ratio. He said it was not clear to him why the city would increase the ratio to 60% instead of 50%. His concern was the city could attract more bars and nightclub venues.
Other council members said special-use permits would protect the city from these types of establishments, and that the existing restaurants within the city could have some breathing room when reporting their annual sales receipts. Wood said he was familiar with at least one restaurant that was having a hard time keeping its alcohol sales at or below 40%.
"I personally think there are more restaurants here in town that are having a hard time [meeting that percentage]," Council Member Tammy Nakamura said at the June meeting.
There was little discussion July 2. Newton expressed his belief that it could be a different percentage, but the amendment to the city ordinance was approved.
If restaurants are not able to meet the new 60%-40% ratio, the city will take steps to help them meet these requirements. The new percentages move into effect immediately.