On-the-go cocktail legislation supports recovery and innovation for struggling restaurant industry

Despite the initial panic and long months of closure, our hospitality industry has collectively endured one of the worst financial and public health crises to materialize in our lifetimes. More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry continues to struggle to regain stability and strength. For now, however, it looks like Florida’s restaurant industry can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that take-out and delivery liquor privileges can continue to include pre-mixed cocktails and wine and beverage products. of beer sealed by the manufacturer. The passage of Senate Bill 148, strengthening take-out liquor delivery privileges, modernizes Florida’s liquor laws and provides stability for the struggling restaurant industry.

Almost immediately after dine-in shutdown orders swept the state in early 2020, the restaurant industry began buzzing with support for greater flexibility in take-out orders, including selling produce. bottled liquors and pre-mixed cocktails. In support, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an emergency order allowing certain establishments to sell cocktails and other alcoholic products to accompany food orders. The general language of the initial emergency orders created some confusion with little guidance on how pre-made cocktails might be packaged and sold, but the restaurant industry quickly adapted and adjusted its menus and ordering processes. ordered. The increased flexibility of take-out and delivery orders has allowed restaurants to maximize the use of their existing inventory, stabilize off-site sales, and provide consumers with the ability to replicate the full dining experience at home.

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Cecil N. Messick