How do we best handle customers bringing alcohol to our restaurant?
We recently inherited a business in Mexico. It's a hotel and restaurant. We are looking into the possibility of selling it. But our trips to Mexico to tend to the estate of our father have led us to preach in the area and started a congregation.
We do not sell or allow alcohol on our premises: in the hotel or the restaurant. But customers will sneak in alcoholic beverages to have with their meals. If we are caught by the authorities is a huge fine. There is a permit that allows customers to bring in their own beverages without us being fined.
Most of the time, we cannot control this especially when it's busy. We would not sell the alcohol ourselves but if someone wants to bring in their own alcohol, we wouldn't get in trouble. Would this be wrong? They would have to disclose their alcohol before entering the premises, and we would limit the quantities. We have the right to deny a customer.
I tried checking the laws in Mexico and I was told that if a customer brings alcohol into your restaurant, you are responsible that laws are being followed regarding the consumption of alcohol, such as no underage drinking, no drinking after the allowed hours, and no drunkenness. I was told that if a customer is found to be breaking the law by consuming alcohol during prohibited hours or in a prohibited area, they may be fined, but the restaurant owner would not be held responsible. There may be exceptions in the city where your restaurant is located. I would suggest talking to a local lawyer to be certain of what you need to do and what your liabilities are.
If it turns out that you can be held liable for the use of alcohol by your customers while on your premises, then you should comply with the law and get the required permit.
In a sense, this is similar to how God deals with men. For example, marriage is intended to be for life (Matthew 19:4-6). However, people stubbornly sin so God regulated the terms where divorce is allowed (Matthew 19:8). This regulation does not mean God approves of the situation -- only that He is minimizing the damage caused by people sinning. Thus, you would be doing something similar. You don't approve of alcohol on the premises but when some insist, you regulate it as best you can.