A recent story in the Riverside Press-Enterprise by Sarah Burge about the arrest of a pizza shop manager caught my attention. This manager is accused of embezzling more than $1.3 million from the pizza shop. The thefts occurred over several years. He was actually also a “minority investor” in the business and managed the company’s finances. Until a business partner contacted the police.
If you have a business licensed by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), screening your employees and managers is vital for two reasons. First, to protect your business. Second, it is actually against ABC law for an On-Sale licensee (i.e., restaurant, bar, hotel, nightclub) to knowingly employ any person who does not have the qualifications of a holder of the license.
What is a “manager,” according to the ABC? A manager is “a person to whom a licensee has delegated discretionary powers to organize, direct, carry on or control the operations of a licensed business.” If the person can hire or fire employees, contract for purchases or disburse funds (other than for replenishing stock), make or help in making policy decisions, then that person is a manager. And he or she must possess the same qualifications of a licensee.
How do you know whether your manager is qualified? Well, you may apply to the ABC, pay a $100 fee, and have the person fingerprinted (another $63). I say “may apply” because it is not mandatory. The ABC then investigates the person and if the person is qualified, the ABC provides you and your manager with a Notice of Qualification of Manager. If the person is found to be unqualified due to an adverse police record, then ABC will provide a Notice of Disqualification of Manager. If ABC finds your manager to be disqualified, then you have a right to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
With the large investment of money, time and effort businesses make in their liquor license and business, $163 is a small price to pay for peace of mind.