Cocktails to-go will now be a permanent thing in Florida after the FL Legislature passed SB148. Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill on May 13. The bill will become effective on July 1, 2021.
The bill’s ultimate goal is to increase consumer convenience and supporting hospitality businesses devastated by COVID-19.
Drinks can’t be bigger than 32 ounces, and food must be included as part of the to-go order.
Florida is the 11th state to implement such measures
Florida is the 11th state to make a COVID-era cocktails to-go measure permanent
“Governor DeSantis was an early supporter of cocktails to-go as an avenue to help Florida restaurants and bars during the pandemic,” said Jay Hibbard, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Senior Vice President of State Government Relations. “Cocktails to-go provided a much-needed lifeline for struggling hospitality businesses and prevented the permanent closure of many. Now that this measure is permanent, bars and restaurants will have increased stability as they begin the long path to recovery. We applaud the Florida Legislature and Governor DeSantis for supporting local businesses and for providing increased convenience to consumers.”
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation issued an emergency order allowing restaurants to sell beverage alcohol with to-go food orders in early 2020.
Supporting small businesses
“The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated Florida’s hospitality businesses, and it will take years for them to fully recover,” said Jay Hibbard, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Senior Vice President of State Government Relations.
“Cocktails to-go has already proven to be a vital part of their survival during COVID-19 and will only provide increased stability in the months and years to come. Hospitality businesses are desperate for a sustained source of revenue, and cocktails to-go provide a critical lifeline. We thank the legislature for passing this measure and encourage Governor DeSantis to sign this bill and make cocktails to-go permanent in support of Florida’s hospitality businesses.”
Adapting to difficult times
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation issued an emergency order allowing restaurants to sell beverage alcohol with to-go food orders in early 2020, and Governor DeSantis expressed his support for making the change permanent at a news conference in September 2020.
Have you enjoyed cocktails to-go in Tampa? Let us know in the comments.
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