What does the future look like?
A Look At Changing Alcohol Laws During COVID-19 Pandemic:
Will These Changes Be Temporary Or Permanent?
How do consumers feel about this issue? Before COVID-19 took over our daily lives, the National Restaurant Association reported that 56% of consumers over the age of 21 would likely order alcoholic beverages if restaurants offered them as a part of a food delivery order.
Does the government have an economic incentive to relax alcohol-related restrictions? In 2019, it was estimated that revenue from alcohol taxes amounted to $9.99 billion. This number is expected to increase to over $10 billion in 2025.
Two of the governors mentioned earlier indicated support for extending these changes post-pandemic, but will their respective legislatures agree? We will have to wait and see.
As COVID-19 first swept across the country, states implemented various stay at home orders. As a result, many facets of everyday life changed drastically. This includes the ability to purchase and sell alcoholic drinks. Should liquor stores be considered an essential business, or not? Should states allow for alcoholic beverages to be sold to-go? These are questions that various states have wrestled with over the last few months.
Restaurant consultants argue that alcohol sales should be around 30% of a restaurant’s revenue. With dine-in services prohibited, restaurants have waited for governments to loosen restrictions to allow to-go sales. The National Restaurant Association noted in March that COVID-19 could result in restaurants losing $225 billion in sales over the following three months, resulting in a loss of five to seven million jobs. While it may not represent an exact economic loss, 30% of $225 billion is $67.5 billion.
While COVID-19 initially resulted in a surge in alcohol-related sales in total (not just restaurants), sales have since died down. Many states have changed how they allow for the sale of alcohol, but certain changes have been trending and could remain a permanent fixture in how someone can purchase alcohol. What kind of changes are states making? Will they become permanent?