To-Go Alcohol Stimulates Sales
After COVID-19 restricted or eliminated dine-in seating for most restaurants, savvy owners shifted their focus. Takeout and delivery became primary sales channels in 2020. However, since selling beer and cocktails makes up around 30% of a restaurant’s profits, many lobbied for to-go alcohol sales to become more accessible. The states listened.
Currently, 32 states allow to-go alcohol sales. They loosened restrictions although how much varies by individual state. These temporarily lax laws aren’t just good for business—they’re also creating more positive experiences for your favorite customers.
Pros of To-Go Alcohol
All too often, customers want a delicious cocktail or crisp beer to go with the meal they ordered. They don’t want to go to the liquor store for the same reason they did contactless, off-premise ordering from you in the first place. It’s more convenient for guests to get their drinks delivered with the meal.
You can experiment with pairing different cocktails and meals to generate more sales for both. That bit of creativity goes a long way toward setting you apart from the competition. Do other unique things like selling mixology kits for customers to make their own blended drinks at home or create some kind of subscription service where you send new wine and cheese pairings once a week. Give them a chance to try the signature blended drink you’ve worked so hard to create.
In the meantime, watch out for changing laws as restrictions expire or update to meet the market’s evolving needs. As restaurants gradually reopen and states debate how long the regulations should last, stay on top of the legalities so you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of your to-go alcohol law’s expiration date.
If you’re in one of the eighteen states that don’t allow to-go alcohol sales, team up with other businesses nearby and lobby your lawmakers for permission to open these revenue channels. Considering how much alcohol sales play into your overall profits, it can mean the life or death of your restaurant.
As always, watch out for customers’ ages. Card them appropriately even with off-premise orders by integrating software into your online ordering platform to scan their IDs, contact-free at their door.
The Future of To-Go Alcohol
These rules are popular enough that customers and restaurants alike began to advocate for to-go alcohol laws to stay. In states where delivering beer was already OK, like New York, they seek to expand allowances to include cocktails after this pandemic is through.
Selling to-go alcohol betters your reputation and increases sales, so why not implement this service if your state allows it? Customers will appreciate the expanded menu options, and happier patrons tend to stick around. As times and restrictions evolve, check in with your local laws and get involved with lobbyist groups to push for change you support.
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