‘Booze to go’ may become the law in Florida

Photo courtesy recipe girl

Have you ever had the desire to order a to-go glass of wine with your favorite meal?

Florida is currently deliberating Senate Bill 134  — commonly known as the “booze to go” bill — which will authorize certain food service establishments to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption.

A license would be required to sell and distribute alcoholic beverages by the package in a sealed container — as long as it’s accompanied by the sale of food with the same order.

“The booze license would impact our restaurant in a very positive way. Lately, we have had a lot of out-going orders currently due to the pandemic. I feel it would be nice to bring in more revenue to our establishment while continuing to provide safety measures at the same time,” said a local Chili’s manager, Brandon Benson.

Ty Brown, a local resident, believes the Senate bill will reduce people driving under the influence and prevent car accidents.

“I believe this Senate bill is a great idea. It’s another accommodation to offer families in the midst of everything going on. It’s a better choice not to drink and drive after leaving a restaurant, in my opinion. This should also prevent car accidents and DUI’s when you look at it from a different perspective. I enjoy having margarita’s at local Mexican restaurants and would love to enjoy them in the comfort of my own home,” said local Tallahassee resident, Ty Brown.

Certified sales and deliveries in the proposed legislation include wine based and liquor-based beverages. Furthermore, any sale or delivery of malt beverages must comply with the container size, labeling, and filing requirements composed under Florida statute section  563.06.

“We have some loyal customers who constantly want to order alcoholic drinks to-go. They would love to take advantage of this promotion if it were permanently offered. This is a good way for restaurants to bring in extra profit,” said El Jalisco  manager, Maria Carranza.

Prior to COVID-19, the average sales among restaurants were at 0.1% and negative 1.1%, respectively, according to Black Box Intelligence data shared during the Restaurant Rise virtual conference.

At the height of the pandemic, dine-in sales declines drastically. However, to-go sales increased significantly by 96.4% in May.

“More customers are taking the safer route and choosing to place to-go orders. Why not enjoy your favorite alcoholic beverage from our restaurant at home instead. It’s convenient and will be a way for us all to adjust to this new norm,” said Benson.