What States Legalized To-Go Cocktails For Good?

As the pandemic winds down, many temporary regulations and restrictions related to COVID-19 will expire soon. Businesses and customers alike all have their own opinions about what should stay or go, but one trend that’s gained a lot of traction this year is to-go cocktails.

How To-Go Cocktails Got Popular

Last year, restaurants all over the world shut down their indoor services. Instead they had to rely on other avenues, like takeout and delivery, to make profit. Unfortunately not everything can be transferred online and off-premise. For example, cocktails and other drinks accounted for as much as 40% of sales in some restaurants before the pandemic. Unless you happened to be situated in New Orleans, carryout alcohol didn’t spread widely until coronavirus did first.

Quickly, individual states passed temporary rules about deliverable drinks. It was a great revenue source when few others were allowed, and enabled restaurants to hire back workers they had to lay off when lockdown hit. Now, people want to-go cocktails to stick around permanently. Customers enjoy the convenience of having a treat delivered to their door, as easy as pulling out their smartphone. Even as restaurants recover, the extra sales channels help guide them back to full health.

So customers want to see takeout alcohol stick around, and so do restaurants getting much-needed sales out of it. Some states listened.

Where Can You Get Beer Delivered?

During the height of the pandemic, thirty-five states temporarily legalized the sale of to-go cocktails. Now, more than a year later, those deadlines expire one by one. A dozen states have extended their permits already; Massachusetts, for one, set theirs back another year, while Maryland and Tennessee legalized to-go cocktails through 2023. The dual motivation of restaurant recovery and public support will surely encourage more states to follow in their footsteps.

In fifteen states (and D.C.), they’ve already legalized it for good:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Still, these states have different rules to go alongside relaxed guidelines. For example, in Ohio customers can only add three drinks per order and they must buy food too. For many other state legislatures, the debate rages on about whether to keep off-premise alcohol sales going now that people can dine-in at more and more restaurants again.

Why To-Go Cocktails Are Here to Stay

With customers and businesses both onboard with lifted restrictions becoming permanent, more states will likely follow. Convenience and ease is hard to give up. As restaurants recover and continue pulling customers into their multitude of revenue channels, they’ll need to get equipped with Point of Sale technology that can handle the added traffic. A faster and more efficient POS system will save money and improve the customer experience at the same time.

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