Sometimes when house party, BYOB means “Bring Your Own Bottle”, simply because the host does not want to spend endless amounts on alcohol or beverages that might go to waste if they don’t know their guest’s preference. It is not unreasonable, after all, they are hosting the party cooking, and/or having it catered, why do they have to worry about how much to spend on what? Red, rosé, white, domestic, imported, etc.
However BYOB when it comes to the restaurant business is a great thing. The biggest issue I always have when I go out is the selection of wine, and the price. Why should I pay $10 per glass of something that is not very good? And if it is decent, why do I have to pay $15 for something I can get a whole bottle for $12? I much rather spend money on something I like and bring it with me.
A liquor license can be very expensive. It depends on the area, how many the town is allowed to have with a region, etc. Liquor licenses can easily go for over $1 million. In fact, There are only 2-3 in the small town I live in, and one is owned by the great grandfather of the establishment. He was also a politician, and the day after prohibition in 1933, it opened and has been owned by the same family for nearly over 80 years now.
There is another factor many do not realize, and that is storage. Real estate in Manhattan is very expensive. To stock and store 100 bottles of wine can easily fill a small closet. Imagine having to store a dozen different wines to have on hand for guests who dine there. Rent on those bottles alone could be thousands of dollars per month.
If you ever walk into a restaurant who has a separate menu just for all the wines available, it is probably a very expensive restaurant because this means they have a wine cellar. While it might actually be in the basement, it is still expensive to store. Just one more good reason to patronize smaller BYOB restaurants.
A $12 bottle of your choice is better than $38 for the same bottle of their choice which might not be as good. Yes, you can expect to at least triple the price of a wine can easily bring yourself.
A perfect example is this bottle of Stone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. The restaurant price was $8 per glass but $25 per bottle. There are 5 five once glasses in each glass, so obviously it is better to order a whole bottle than just 3 glasses individually. However, I can buy this bottle in the store for $7? There are plenty of great bottles of wine you can buy for $10, I would not pay $7 if I saw it in the store now knowing what it tastes like.
If you click on the BYOB link on the left of this page, it will take you to all the restaurants I have been to that encourage you to BYOB. I hope it helps!