What does BYO Stand for?

Deborah Ng
Deborah Ng

Have you ever received an invitation for a party and written across the bottom were the letters BYO? No, it’s not a request to respond by a certain day; quite simply, BYO stands for “Bring Your Own” as in bring your own booze.

BYO parties can result in an interesting selection of wine.
BYO parties can result in an interesting selection of wine.

There are many reasons a host will ask you to BYO to a party or an event. If he himself doesn’t imbibe, he might suggest his guests BYO. This will allow him a sober evening, but enable those who wish a glass of wine or bottle of beer to bring their own along, if they’re so inclined. However, some people don’t drink for religious purposes, if this is the case with your host; do check with them before bringing alcohol to their party. To BYO might be considered an affront. Some people would rather not have alcoholic beverages in their homes at all.

Many parties have a bring your own alcohol policy.
Many parties have a bring your own alcohol policy.

Another instance in which you might be asked to BYO is if the host doesn’t have the budget for booze. Alcohol can be expensive; to buy enough for everyone can clean out a wallet. Potluck dinners are also places where you might be encouraged to bring your own.

Plenty of restaurants aren’t zoned for alcohol or are don’t have a liquor license. Rather than expect their guests to forgo enjoying a bottle of wine with dinner, they’ll allow patrons to BYO. Call ahead to the restaurant and find out their BYO policy. Some charge a “corking” fee if their servers have to open your bottle, you might also incur a charge if you use their glasses. If this is the case, you might want to forget the BYO, or bring your own corkscrew and glasses.

How do you know if a restaurant is BYO only? If it advertises in the local paper it will usually have “BYO” at the bottom of the ad. Also, it will be listed on the menu. If you’re unsure, there’s nothing wrong with calling ahead of time to find out.

At potluck dinners, guests often bring both food and alcohol.
At potluck dinners, guests often bring both food and alcohol.

Something else to consider, some hosts don’t stock alcohol because they have drinking issues. If this is the case, you might want to forgo the booze altogether. Your host may be offering a BYO situation to be polite. If he’s only recently on the wagon, the last thing you want is to offer temptation.

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Discussion Comments

watson42

When I was a residence assistant in college, we used BYOB to mean something very different- bring your own bowl, something important for when we had ice cream sundae nights.

Denha

BYO can refer to a lot of things; usually, if it means beer or whine it will say BYOB, with the b standing for beer/booze. Other cases of BYO could refer to food, snacks, dishware, or anything else you might need at a party that the host would prefer you provide.

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    • BYO parties can result in an interesting selection of wine.
      BYO parties can result in an interesting selection of wine.
    • Many parties have a bring your own alcohol policy.
      Many parties have a bring your own alcohol policy.
    • At potluck dinners, guests often bring both food and alcohol.
      At potluck dinners, guests often bring both food and alcohol.
    • Restaurants that do not have liquor licenses may offer a BYO option to customers and charge a corking fee.
      Restaurants that do not have liquor licenses may offer a BYO option to customers and charge a corking fee.
    • Some partygoers bring craft and other beers to events that are designated as BYO ("bring your own").
      Some partygoers bring craft and other beers to events that are designated as BYO ("bring your own").
    • Some restaurants aren't zone for alcohol, and therefore don't have a liquor license, requiring them to be BYO.
      Some restaurants aren't zone for alcohol, and therefore don't have a liquor license, requiring them to be BYO.