Popping the Lid on the Future of Restaurant Industry
Thursday, June 25, 2020
By David Gaudet
A bill currently circulating approval in Michigan could restaurants there to serve cocktails to-go for delivery to homes with food orders.1 Similar legislation was previously approved in New York, Pennsylvania and in more than 30 other states, as reported by Imbibe Magazine, a publication sharing details on beverages of all kinds. Several of these states are considering extension and/or permanence of the provision to help the struggling restaurant industry overcome financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Restaurants and bars in Illinois united under the Cocktails for Hope initiative pressing government officials to approve to-go beverages in preservation of establishments there. Today, to-go cocktails are permissible in the Prairie State and must be in sealed containers with tamper-evident lids and labels featuring ingredients and licensee details. Only BASSET-trained employees can hand drinks over to customers, and once in a customer’s possession, it must remain out of the driver’s reach while driving. For alcohol deliveries by restaurant employees only, customers must show valid proof of age verification, otherwise the product is returned to the business. Temporary legislation is set to sunset one-year from approval date.
In Colorado, where to-go cocktails are permitted through June 27, patrons must present a valid ID.According to the Colorado Restaurant Association, sealed containers with accurate labeling (see label here) are required, and for those containers with drink holes in the lid, it must be covered with tape. Unlike in Illinois, purchases of to-go alcohol in Colorado must accompany food. State officials caution all liquor establishments to abide by previously existing and newly erected ordinances, including no sales to anyone under 21 years of age or showing signs of visible intoxication, and to maintain social-distancing orders.2
Nationwide, the restaurant industry is expected to face on-going financial battles after a nearly two-month shutdown forcing furloughs and reduced operations. Unless implemented wisely, the unlawful sale of alcohol could result in continued hardship. To combat this, restaurant owners can access TiPS’ newly created, Guide for Alcohol Delivery and Carry Out. The guide addresses newly modified practices for alcohol delivery, curbside pickup and to-go cocktails for on- and off-site consumption. If the thought of implementing additional rules and regulations has you feeling apprehensive, contact The BARS Program at email@example.com or by calling 1-877-540-5500. We’ll work with you and your employees to sure thorough training and implementation.
1Detroit Free Press, 06/03/2020; Michigan bars, restaurants get OK on 'cocktails to go' from House panel
2Colorado Department of Revenue, BULLETIN 20-03 Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division Notice Guidance Regarding LED Response to COVID-19