Tattoos and Booze: Alcohol in Your Shop

Alcohol can present problems to your tattoo or piercing business, here are some things to consider.


Is It Legal To Serve Complimentary Drinks?

Beginning in 2017, California now exempts salons and spas from obtaining state liquor licenses before complimentary serving alcohol to their customers, a new trend occurring in service businesses to attract millennial customers. However, CA Health & Safety code makes it illegal for any tattooist or body piercer to provide services to anyone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Although this law applies to California businesses, it’s likely your state or locality has similar restrictions that would prevent your tattoo or piercing studio from serving alcohol to your customers.


What To Do With A Drunk Or High Customer

Legally, you can’t tattoo someone that you can tell is drunk. So if a potential customer is drinking, you should never tattoo them. However, you don’t want to lose a potential client that could come back when they’re sober. We always tell our clients to use this tale when talking to intoxicated potential clients: “If you drink alcohol, it thins your blood, so your tattoo won’t heal correctly. It will heal badly.” Then try to book the customer for an appointment the next day or sometime in the near future so you can try to secure the sale.

Also, it’s not fun to talk about accidents and lawsuits, but intoxicated people can increase your risk of slip and falls, belligerent behavior, etc. So be careful about allowing your client’s drunk friends to stick around the shop while you work.