KCMO Repeals Liquor Card Requirement for Servers and Bartenders

Published: May. 21, 2023 at 9:18 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Trying to become a bartender in Kansas City, Missouri, got a little bit cheaper on Sunday.

Mayor Quinton Lucas signed an ordinance that repealed the requirement for bartenders and servers to buy a liquor card before they were allowed to serve alcohol in the city.

“This is truly cutting red tape, truly making things easier, for normal working people,” said Quinton Lucas.

The liquor card cost $42 and had to be renewed every three years. The card essentially served as a background check so convicted felons wouldn’t be allowed to serve alcohol in restaurants.

“It was originally made to keep organized crime out of the bar business way back and that risk is now long gone,” said Bill Teel, the Executive Director of the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association.

The ordinance aims to make it easier for employers to find employees, and for employees to find jobs.

“With [the liquor card requirement] being scraped off the table, it makes the hiring process a whole lot easier and it opens up the hiring pool,” said Alan Kneeland, owner of The Combine and the Vice President of the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association.

Now, local leaders hope this move allows more Kansas Citians access to better jobs.

“We are a city of second chances,” said Mayor Lucas. “I think this allows us to build more second chances for people.”

“People that are trying to comeback and they’re looking for their second chances, those people should be able to have the chance to work in restaurants,” said Kneeland. “Not only in the back, dishwashers or cooks, but they should also have the opportunity to become a server or bartender.”