Should to-go cocktails continue once restaurants and bars reopen? | The Tylt
Should to-go cocktails continue once restaurants and bars reopen?
Although in most states, it is illegal to get alcoholic beverages to-go or to drink them in public spaces, coronavirus has changed things. According to Eater's Jaya Saxena :
...in order to provide restaurants and bars with a boost during the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have loosened liquor laws, allowing patrons to get cocktails or wine to-go from delivery windows, or have them delivered with their food. It seems to be working quite well, both for businesses and customers; businesses get to offload more product at a time when every penny counts, and customers get to enjoy mixologist-quality cocktails at home. And it raises the question of why the hell it hasn’t been like this the whole time.
The changes in regulations is making it possible for many bars and restaurants to stay afloat:
Restaurants typically make about 30 percent of revenue from alcohol sales, and for bars, it’s obviously much higher. So being able to move alcohol means an extra shot (sorry) at survival.
As one restaurant owner puts it for Saxena:
“The coolest thing in the world is to be able to pick up breakfast and bring home a Bloody Mary.”
But not all patrons are celebrating the change. Some feel liquor laws should be kept in place no matter the circumstances, citing concerns about increased drinking and driving when picking up to-go orders, as well as public drunkenness. In order to still help restaurants weather the pandemic, some suggest selling "cocktail kits" as an alternative. These kits would include all ingredients for a cocktail, while customers provide the liquor for their own drinks.
Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, bars in Washington state could only hawk “cocktail kits,” with a factory-sealed liquor bottle along with bags of juice, syrups and other cocktail ingredients. Customers then mixed the cocktails at home.
Washington state has since changed its regulations to allow for the sale of to-go cocktails.