Butler County voters to consider food-service requirement with liquor licenses

Butler County business owners are closely watching a question on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election.
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 11:50 PM CDT
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AUGUSTA, Kan. (KWCH) - Butler County business owners are closely watching an issue that will be presented in a question on the Nov. 8 general-election ballot. Butler County voters will decide whether businesses with liquor licenses should be required to make 30% of their sales from food. A “yes” vote would eliminate this requirement while a “no” vote means nothing will change

“For businesses, if you’re going to have a liquor license, as a restaurant, you have to hit the minimum of 30% food sales. For some people like myself, it’s not a problem. For others, it’s a big struggle, said Shane Scott, owner of Sugar Shane’s Café, in Augusta. “(For) a small business, it can be a really big struggle.”

Scott said if the “no” vote passes in November, it could have a major impact on businesses throughout Butler County, especially those that sale alcohol and have limited menus for food. Golf courses are an example of businesses that would benefit from the 30% food requirement being lifted.

Scott expressed the concern that if a “no” vote passes in November and Butler County golf courses lose their liquor licenses with an inability to turn 30% of food and drink sales on food, golfers will take their game across the county line.

“To hit that 30% minimum, they have to sell a lot of hot dogs and chips, which is virtually impossible, just so they can sell a beer to someone,” Scott said. “Passing this law will allow us to be on a level playing field with Sedgwick County. Butler County is growing, and we need to be on the same field as Sedgwick County.”

Scott also said restaurants missing out on alcohol sales would be missing out on a huge profit. He has a vision to continue to grow the Augusta community with local businesses and keep it growing.

“Eighty percent of our customers come from outside of Augusta. They drive from Wichita. We are truly a destination but we want to grow our economy here. We want to grow our town,” Scott said. “I’m trying to build a district down here and invite breweries and different clubs and different restaurants to come to the district of Augusta. And if [the question on the Nov. 8 ballot] passes, this allows breweries to do what they do best, make beer and not have to worry about food.”