Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash
The passing of the SB148 bill for takeaway cocktails provides support for businesses affected by covid-19.
The bill is due to take effect July 1, 2021. For the time being, it has been sent to the Senate before a final signature by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Thanks to this bill, hospitality businesses (bars and restaurants) will be able to continue to offer cocktails to go as part of the recovery project of this sector. The latter was hit hard since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic.
“The covid-19 pandemic has devastated Florida’s hospitality businesses. It will take years for them to fully recover,” said Jay Hibbard, Senior Vice President of State Government Relations for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).
“Takeaway cocktails have proven to be a vital part of survival during covid-19. It will only provide more stability in the months and years to come. On-trade businesses are desperate for a sustained source of revenue. And take-out cocktails provide critical sustenance.
We are grateful to the legislature for passing this measure and motivating Governor De Santis to sign the bill. Make takeaway cocktails a permanent mainstay for Florida’s hospitality businesses.”
A permanent change for bars and restaurants
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation issued an emergency order in early 2020. It allows restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages with takeout orders. During a September 2020 press conference, Governor DeSantis expressed his support for making the change permanent.
Many venues such as Intermezzo, Trophy Fish, Beans & Barlour, Mandarin Hide and Craft Kafe found success in bottling their own cocktails during the pandemic. The past 12 months have changed consumer habits, and this type of offering could mean continued success for small businesses in St. Petersburg and across the state.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.